The lyrics above I wrote for my wife and sang them to her on the day of our wedding. Today would mark 10 years of us being married and boy has it been a journey. The day we got married felt so surreal; committing to the ONE I love and looking back wondering if you’ll ever have those moments again. I’m so grateful to know that in Christ it’s a resounding YES and infinitely more as we mature. So honey, let me remind you one more time who you are.
You are a reflection of the Most High God; beautiful and elegant in every way. You are filled with all the fullness of the sacred Godhead. You are a priestess and my Queen. And when we look into the world, remember it is a kaleidoscope of our existence. We don’t have to be insecure anymore, neither should we stifle our gifting. I want you to see and know all that you are as you learn to appreciate me for who I truly am.
Me: Dennis, why don’t you know how to act? Dennis: What you talkin’ about? Me: The people sayin’ you causing trouble again. Why you gotta be a problem these days? Denis: I’d rather be a menace to solve, than be a mace forgotten and discarded.
Being an artist myself, it’s easy to predict who is good as opposed to who will be great. Good artists are either naturally talented or have charisma. The greats I’ve studied all possess a similar characteristic; a strong work ethic. Following Jeff Bezos’ philosophy, the men I’ve admired either worked hard, smart, long, or a combination of the three. There’s this nagging urge to improve – to do better than what they did yesterday. As a Christian man, I too adopt this passion not to be great, but to be whole. I desire perfection because I believe it’s the best way to reflect the glory of God in this age. It’s relieving to know that perfectionism doesn’t have to stem from a desire to be accepted or feel superior than others. There’s the possibility for it to be healthy as it arises from a certain unction:
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Cor 13:11 ESV
Typically, people won’t gain interest in something unless it is accepted by others and gives them an advantage. No call is more compelling than having the upper hand no matter how often the deck is shuffled. The allure of living the Supreme Life and being Ultimately Loved in community with fellow believers is the selling point of the Christian faith. If this is something that one desires, how should they be prepared in practicing godliness and circumspection! Practice makes progress which is within perfection.
To give a solid premise for such a pursuit – as idealistic and unreal it seems – let’s reexamine the existential claim against perfection: perfect doesn’t exist and nobody is perfect. While this maybe the prevailing opinion, it deserves a challenge. For those who assert these notions have already disqualified themselves as arbiters to reality. If nobody is perfect, neither are you, so why should we take your postulations seriously? But we understand that the ideas around restoration exists – at the very least – nominally. And if we are honest enough to admit our judgments are NOT ALWAYS sound, we can begin to explore three hypothesis:
Someone is perfect
that someone is NOT you
that someone IS you
You mean to tell me that there may be someone out there right now that is so smitten about you that they are doing everything within their power to be with you? Have you ever felt that way about someone? What exactly does it mean to be perfect? This is what I want my journey to be all about. In this blog however, we’re talking about what perfect love looks like and how can we grow into loving in this manner.
The Building Blocks to a Fulfilling Love Life
Philautia is what should be the base for all other loves. Now for many Christians, this may run counter to their viewpoint that agape is the base and we don’t want to disagree with the philosophy of how man has the capacity to love. We start with self-love to avoid the sinister arbitrariness of dogma and allow men to experience the love of Christ AS they love themselves.
1 Be aware children, that in the midst of perils, times of restoration will come in the last days. 2 For as God loves the world, people will love themselves, filling their storehouses with the treasures of charity. 3 They shall wax self-confident in Christ and boast in the LORD; destroying every lofty thing opposed to DIVINE KNOWLEDGE. 4 No longer shall they listen to the wicked advice of their ancestors, but they will learn the Law of Christ. 5 Contentment for mediocracy and evil shall no longer be commended, and thanks shall be given to God for the power to overcome. 6 Piety shall no longer be practiced in pretense. It shall be developed in the light of God’s Word. 2 James 3:1-5 The Prototypical Version
Excerpt from the Lost Letters – James Richardson
Pragma is practical love and is the natural overflow of Philautia. While self-love is consistent with the traditions of Soliphism, it’s difficult to reasonably ignore the sense of duty. Arguably self-love is the most subjective of loves. Pragmatic love is the beginning of making relative progress – or to put it more bluntly – pragma love deals with what who or what one can love in their present circumstances. Unfortunately this type of love if left unfulfilled will be less fun or stimulating. Wedding reason with imagination may help one assess options that will allow them to realize the freedom of Christ as opposed to being a slave to situations.
20Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 1 Cor 7:20
Me: Bro, when you gonna get out of yo’ man cave and hang? Dennis: ****** I’m snoozing out here, lemme get back with you. Me: Aight bet. Hit me up!
If you have made significant deposits of benevolence, it’s easier for your love to pass through the storge phase; familial love. We do not choose the families we are born into, but we have the freedom to surround ourselves with a family integral to our growth. Now storge love is normally reduced to love between parent and child, it can additionally be associated with uncles, cousins, nieces, etc.
Somewhere between reaching out to having your deepest desires met, and behaving in a becoming way, is the need to break the rules. Enter Ludas love, which is more playful and flirtatious is nature. Just like self-love has negative and positive aspects to it, ludas love should be approached with caution. Non-committed love, if casually practiced can lead to breaches in health and relationships. This is especially true if one is seeking sexual liberation outside of the light of the Holy Ghost. A simple way of avoiding such vices is looking to Jesus as you relate to people. Lead through the transformation of your heart, and not through the appetites of your body and you will do well.
Non-committed love, if casually practiced can lead to breaches in health and relationships.
Can I get it on a platter, shatter your bladder And put so much light in yo’ life I’ll make the roaches scatter – Ludacris
Practice Ludas long enough and you’ll enter Eros love. This love is the most passionate of the rest as it includes romance and sex. For Christians, this love is reserved for marriage nevertheless it includes the mystical union of being joined to Christ. It’s been said that Eros is by instinct the natural course of life to survive. This resonates with me as I’m compelled by an innate desire to have what is purely pleasing to me. And I am certain that neither ecstasy or heaven can be real without God.
Warning about Eros
It should be noted here that only in the context of the mystical union of Christ can porneia be redeemed. Porneia is the greek word for any extra-marital relationship carried out by body, soul, and mind.
To be clear, to physically carry out fornication, adultery, pedophilia, incest and the like goes against the will of God and is deserving of damnation as one corrupts themselves. But those who diligently look to Christ, who richly provides all for our enjoyment, will be transformed in a way where pursuing conjugal relationships are consistent with Divine Law and it’s consummation acceptable to God and man. May this word serve both as encouragement and conviction to those who have pure desires but have stepped out of Divine will; who exchanged godly transformation for artificial substitutes and therefore fell short of reflecting God’s full glory.
It may be hard to imagine a love that is better than romantic and platonic love; tell certain people that sex is overrated and they might look at you funny. The pinnacle of all loves is the love God has for humanity and inversely the love man has for God. It’s this type of love that I desperately long for. The hope of restoration is found in this affection.
And if we’re honest enough to admit our judgements are NOT ALWAYS sound, we can begin to explore three hypothesis: 1. Someone is perfect 2. that someone is NOT you 3. that someone IS you
Who needs perfectionists in an age where Narcissism abounds? Can the world sustain more people with inflated egos? There needs to be a distinction between one who is arrogant and selfish, one who is self-confident and generous, and one who has God-esteem and is benevolent. While much has been written about the former and has caused much grief and problems in our world, there is much room for the latter to heal and restore the world around us. God-esteem by definition is ascribing God to be Immaculate and by union, a reflection of His perfection. And just like how Christ’s Incarnation was birthed to build a meaningful relationship with the world, Christians ought to strive to build a profound fellowship with each other.
In conclusion, perfect love is immanent in all the other loves discussed. However, agape love is transcendent and is where a person may find the awe and sublime of God. So therefore, what is holding you back from becoming a true worshipper of Christ? Do you doubt that a full reward awaits you as you give Him your all? Are you still feeling like you can never be deeply loved? There are yet sublime experiences to be had in marriage. Your marriage does not need to burn out. There is a passion even the singles can feel alone. And it’s all found in Christ:
You didn’t get tired of me/ When I brought you hell/ Ice fell as an epagoge/ Rock bottom now I found a gem emoji/ Thank you LORD for loving me/ Even when I was unloveable/ You gave me faith & believed in me/ With a grace so incredible/ I laugh with joy unspeakable/ It preaches to the unreachable/ LORD cause me to not save face/ All day long may I give you praise/
So Israel left Egypt which is called Babylon to serve the LORD.
Me: Yo’ Dennis are you up yet? Dennis… DENNIS!!!
14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
1Here is what God is saying concerning the United States: The colors of your flag are red, white, and blue; why then is your land only red? 2The sounds of violence are within the ear shots of babes; the musician no longer plays their instrument, and the singer has ceased from singing. 3Nations have turned their backs on you; even those who plead to you for their lives, for you have exchanged vitals for vitriol. 4Open your eyes and weep! Feel remorse! For your transgressions have piled up, and you have prized rubies over me.
His Story of Slaves
5I showed belligerence to your fathers; when I punished them with the sword and with whips, my wrath was on display as in a stadium. 6I impoverished them even to the depths of their soul, but my Holy Ones can afford my delight and favor; for the sweetness of my charm has never left my necks. 7They have found their standing in Me, and become my most precious of Messengers. Because of this, they will receive my inheritance. 8Doesn’t my name bring about salvation? Does it not both deliver and destroy? Dare to praise me, and you will find refuge.
The King’s Meme
9For I am the LORD, a consuming fire; Yeshua, the LORD of hosts. I was severed from my brothers as in the days of Joseph. 10And my brothers came to me saying, “Who are you to tell us you’re the King?” And my authority is challenged. 11Therefore I instructed my muses to prepare a drink for me with hyssop; for a libation, but for themselves. Let them pursue pleasure within reason, lest the serpent beguile them. 12I commanded the powers to irrigate the land with dryness; that the country shall thirst with nothing to quench, and the ungodly shall drown in their appetite. 13Those who have respect to my name shall not be in chains, they shall remain untarnished; uninhibited and will escape the grip of the despot. 14Still the sacrilegious shall burn in their corruption; it shall be heaped upon them as coals of fire; yes even as meteors of wormwood. 15Their souls shall be tormented forever; left desolate with no one to restore, for they despised the only hand that could rescue.
A Waning Church
16O Israel, my ministers have become dispassionate; my prophets are apathetic, for their bloodshot eyes have not seen peace. 17And the minds of the wise agonize, they seek knowledge from dusk until morning, and yet no solution is found to cure. 18Because at the end of the Day, they’ve forgotten Me. I am the Day, the Bright Morning Star. The grind that the LORD requires has ceased amongst them. 19Therefore dancing shall cease from the clubs, and skipping from the hearts of the streets. Giddiness shall be known as an ancient relic; 20And the vigor of the strong shall fail; even the fragrances and cosmetics. Let those who keep judgment accept bribes no more!
21Keep the ways of the LORD and he will preserve you; You will continue on Highways that the profane cannot enter. 22You will rest in the loveliest pastures that God has provided. Justice shall be your front and rear shield. For only the pure in heart can enter my presence.
You ever in your younger years enjoyed a past-time that was considered innocent; it could be a form of entertainment, or hanging out with friends; doing some type of activity that when you got older realized how messed up that past-time was? Such epiphanies can be traumatic or eye-opening depending on how socially unacceptable the practice really is. The latter is how I think about Disney movies. Some adaptions of children stories were perhaps not really for children to begin with. Alice in Wonderland is one of those movies that come to mind.
Let me spill the tea on a dark saying in the movie: There’s a certain scene in which Alice interrupts a celebration held by the Mad Hatter and the silly rabbit. The party had to do with un-birthdays; the days of the year that a person wasn’t born. Now while this could give a living person a reason to celebrate every day of the year, this also indirectly speaks to a practice that is shunned in American society. To what extent should we celebrate the lives of the unborn? This is where we begin exploring the text:
And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. Ecc 4:2-3 ESV
It wasn’t until God took the lives of every firstborn including Pharaoh that he decided to let the children of Israel go. Leaving Egypt marked the beginnings of deliverance for Israel with its climax occurring after crossing the Red Sea. Miriam would worship God in celebrating God’s deliverance from the Egyptians. On one hand, there was celebration of the salvation of God. On the other, an entire generation and their future children were destroyed.
Eve O’ Eve
The darkest hours are often the most pivotal. When a new age is dawning, there is a lot more pressure. Either you’ll cave in and give up or you’ll press through to victory. The thing about decisions is that there are always alternative options. The kicker is knowing which course is better and what is best considering the circumstances. Don’t trade what is eternal for what is temporary or sacrifice what is wholesome for what is fleeting. One of the most devasting moment in the story of Redemption is the Fall of Man: after they ate of the tree, Adam would give his wife a name.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Gen 3:20 ESV Emphasis added.
The scripture is amazing for a number of reasons. Do you realize that that scripture is saying that Eve was a mother BEFORE Cain and Abel was in the picture? Let’s do a thought experiment here: If Eve was a mother of all before she ate of the tree, how many children did Adam and Eve have? Why weren’t we given any names? Perhaps this may be how Cain found a wife out of ‘thin air’? Oh, if only Eve aborted the desire to eat of the fruit, she’d be the glorious mother of all and none of this mess we see in the world would happen.
It was never God’s design for Eve to remain the mother of all living. For by an extreme design, Jesus would enter the world through a Virgin receiving the flesh and bones of Adam. He would then be crucified on the Cross and pierced in His side; and although no bone was broken, the Church would become joined to him as bone and marrow. No wonder then that neither Eve nor Mary’s name is used in Revelations 12 describing the woman who would give birth to the Messiah who rules overall. For this woman is clothed by the sun…
Little ft’s Cross
If we don’t see Christ in all than we’re more prone to make distinctions that are subjective or relative but lacks objectivity. If all things cannot be reconciled to Christ, ultimately giving Him glory and preeminence in everything, then there are things in this world that in no circumstances can be redeemed. Jesus came into the world as one possessing the fullness of Deity, yet as a child appeared to men as one who is helpless; one who is immature and ignorant and dependent on the care of others. Just how knowledgeable and powerful was Jesus when he was in the manger? And if he is the life of all men, to what extent are our children like Him?
2And having summoned a child, He set it in their midst, 3’Truly I tell you’, He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
What age was the child brought to the disciples? Teenager? Kid? Toddler? Baby?
What a hidden miracle it would’ve been if Jesus brought before the disciples a living fetus!
Does Jesus require us to become like unborn children? If so, how does this play in the lifestyle of self-denial?
One of the things I’m learning is that sometimes, to receive reinvigoration, you have to let down things that burden you. This life is filled with people and things who will heap concern upon concern on you without ever considering lifting up your load. And there are others, who haven’t climbed any mountain but will insist on telling you to go up higher. It’s difficult for me to imagine the plight many are in right now. You know there are women who were raped and is now with child. Children who have been caught up in trafficking rings are with child after being at the whims of men. There are women who during pregnant are being told that there is a high chance for them dying in giving birth. And yet there are leaders in the church who knowing that God shuts up the wombs and causes miscarriages, will insist that abortion is inherently evil.
You see they’re trying to wash Tsunamis/
With Tabloids and the Paparazzi/
Where’s peace when you have Nazis/
Kamikaze the option when they’re spraying peppers/
Only the brave is grave in the tomb/
Who would’ve thought/
Saviors can bear the cross from the place of the womb/
Like Lara Croft is Sailor Moon/
I’m in the Anna but they cursed the R@00!$%?M/
Too soon to treat the temple trivially/
Children screaming MOO MOO/
Like being silent is being cowardly/
Doo Doo fired from principalities/
Liu Loo we finished him with babalities/
Too smooth to be charged with a crime/
Ten sixths I’m forty cents short of a rhyme/
Subliminally eyeing the line/
God will elevate you when the time’s right/
Mind your six and you won’t get a felly/
When they preach there’s martyrs in the belly/
Might have to drop ‘em. Drop a dime in the piggies/
Kobe Jack Cheese/
JONES IN THE WHALE wail no I’m not yelling/
I’m just telling you what ought to be the norm/
The church consists of the dead, alive, and unborn/
Bbo Right Now
As we get ready to close, we just want to reiterate the idea that its possible our children are smarter and powerful than what we think them to be. By children I’m not merely talking about kids in the flesh, but in the Spirit. This conversation may be a huge contrast to what people are used to hearing and what some leaders have preached their entire careers. And my sincere hope is that after laying down solid arguments, when it comes to issues of giving birth or abortion there will be less judging and more objective studies case by case. Just because someone doubles down and holds an opinion doesn’t make it the ultimate reality. Neither does it mean it should be followed no matter how popular. A good sign someone is pointing to absolute truth is in their inclusiveness, and not exclusivity. I hope discrimination on these issues will not continue like the issues of racism, sexism and slavery.
A good sign someone is pointing to absolute truth is in their inclusiveness and not exclusivity.
Two trains of thoughts to help center ourselves in redeeming abortion. 1.) Can the child choose to bear the Cross of Christ to death while in the womb? And 2.) If a parent doesn’t want to birth a child into sin and a world of suffering, is that an act of love?
I bring these concerns because truly, truly I tell you, as long as anyone looks to the flesh and the things that are seen, they will ignore the things God has freely given us; the things that come without labor and without cost. May these words serve as the directive to enter into God’s rest and put away the comparisons; the envy and discontent, the low self-esteem and need for approval. For it is in this place a person finds freedom as they enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore,
It gives me great pleasure to remind us who we were so that we can see who we truly are in Christ. You see the work and the worlds that I’m building. I can’t imagine changing our world without you by my side. My love and Mother of our Children, you heard my cries and felt my tears. You saw my scars and kissed me there. Who would’ve thought this tiger could lose his stripes? We will suffer the cross and we will suffer no more. So, here’s a little kiss to remind you how close we are. Although we’ve had sorrows, in Him there’s a greater joy. Let all of God’s children rejoice in the LORD.
I’ll write one more part on this subject for the road. Until then, take care loves.
1 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
FOREWORD: The following passage is an excerpt from the Analects; the teachings of Confucius gathered through dialogue in a book. How can one find Christ within these sayings?
Sayings of the Master:
“If the great man be not grave, he will not be revered, neither can his learning be solid.
“Give prominent place to loyalty and sincerity.
“Have no associates in study who are not advanced somewhat like yourself.
“When you have erred, be not afraid to correct yourself.”
A saying of the Scholar Tsang:
“The virtue of the people is renewed and enriched when attention is seen to be paid to the departed, and the remembrance of distant ancestors kept and cherished.”
Tsz-k’in put this query to his fellow disciple Tsz-kung: said he, “When our Master comes to this or that State, he learns without fail how it is being governed. Does he investigate matters? or are the facts given him?”
Tsz-kung answered, “Our Master is a man of pleasant manners, and of probity, courteous, moderate, and unassuming: it is by his being such that he arrives at the facts. Is not his way of arriving at things different from that of others?”
A saying of the Master:
“He who, after three years’ observation of the will of his father when alive, or of his past conduct if dead, does not deviate from that father’s ways, is entitled to be called ‘a dutiful son.'”
Sayings of the Scholar Yu:
“For the practice of the Rules of Propriety, one excellent way is to be natural. This naturalness became a great grace in the practice of kings of former times; let everyone, small or great, follow their example.
“It is not, however, always practicable; and it is not so in the case of a person who does things naturally, knowing that he should act so, and yet who neglects to regulate his acts according to the Rules.
“When truth and right are hand in hand, a statement will bear repetition. When respectfulness and propriety go hand in hand, disgrace and shame are kept afar-off. Remove all occasion for alienating those to whom you are bound by close ties, and you have them still to resort to.”
For God is not a God of CONFUCIAN, BUT of peace – as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Cor 14:33 ESV Eisegesis added