Friday, July 30, 2010

Have To versus Want To

Matt. 26:41-All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The Sprit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.

How many things do you do in life because you HAVE to? Weigh that against what you do because you WANT to. What’s the balance? Few of us give strict attention to the things we have to do with the same rigor we give to what we like. The problem with that is that things you like are easy. It’s the things you don’t like that take the extra commitment and that dreaded word—DISCIPLINE!  I’m finding in my life that I have to stop trying to fool myself into thinking I will want to do that particular thing  that needs doing...I probably never will. Thinking "I'll want to do that"  has not motivated me much because at least for me it is hard to pretend something is what it isn’t.  Being a tee-totaling realist, it’s hard for me to drum up that kind of self-deception. Generally, I’m intolerant of things that I don’t like (and people). Maturity has helped me to see that isn’t a good attitude. 

As there are few things in life that go exactly according to plan-- so is it that we will enjoy everything we do. Mostly we will need to do what we need to do and like very little of it in the process (sigh). Truth is, if we live our life only wanting to do exactly what we want to do at all times, well, we will be selfish and probably not real successful. That's also how sociopaths are created completely void of conscience or consideration for others!  Settling the fact that I can do few things well based on what I feel, or by what I think I want has brought me peace and actually helped me overcome a lot of procrastination. I bleat it out, add some energy and sweat equity and get it done regardless of how I feel about it or if I want to do it.(except for my closets and my dresser draws...I hired someone to do them for me and have been dumbstruck about them ever since...they stay a mess:). Developing that discipline has revolutionized my life, providing the ability to accomplish volumes of things. I don't necessarily think it, feel it,  I just DO IT and tell myself often "don't talk about it, be about it." I want to be a woman God can trust to do what He tells me to do---quick to obey so much so He knows if I get my marching orders I'm on the move without nary a need for Him to convince me or motivate me. Do you share that warrior attitude with me Beloved? People frequently sit and peer at the stage of others lives and accomplishments forgetting that behind the scenes was so much preparation and sacrifice and discipline. Its nothing super-duper special about people who are successful and living their dreams, few are exceptionally talented or smart either and we all have a lazy streak, trust me. You're just as able dear one, perhaps you're just not as willing to sacrifice and do what you must to get what you want? 

 It would behoove you to do a short survey of your life and how you dedicate your time. Are there things undone in your life?  Finish them and start by exercising some “have to” over “want to.” Quit waiting to want to do it. You may never get there but tell you what…do it, whatever that thing is fill in your own blank (____________) because you HAVE TO regardless of how you feel. I’m praying with and for you.

Please feel free to forward CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr to friends and colleagues, but please forward in its entirety. CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr is written and distributed by Arete1 International.

(c) Copyright 2010 Cheryl Carr and ARETE1 International.

Monday, July 26, 2010

No Longer Negligent

Jer. 48:10 -"Cursed be the one who does the LORD'S work negligently, And cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood."

Beloved, are you obese with ideas and plans and anorexic in action and follow through? How many unfinished works of the Lord are idling in your heart and mind? What needs to happen to you for you to finally get to it, go hard after something and get some things done? Did you read our focus scripture where God says YOU ARE CURSED IF YOU DO THE LORD'S WORK NEGLIGENTLY? Are you cursed because you're neglecting responsibilities and lacking concern about what you KNOW you should be doing but your attitude is lackadaisical and you'll get to it...eventually? 

Today, how about you stop thinking and talking about it and instead BE about it? You can you know? Refuse to live another minute of your life  "finna do" something while accomplishing just about the same thing everyday--which isn't very much. 99% of the time we KNOW what we're supposed to do we're just undisciplined and unwilling to get to it because we'd rather do our "want to's" instead of our "got to's."  Living like that is immature and makes you wasteful with time you can never get back. We all get the same 24 hours regardless of status, gender, intellect or wealth. The difference in quality of life is what will you do with your time? Focus and make quality choices with each and every moment you are given. Waste not one minute, never can you afford to. To focus, here is a lesson I learned over 18 years ago from Mike Murdock about being productive, he said "give each hour an assignment" and that is a lesson that has served me well all these years. Planning my day the night before and WRITING THINGS DOWN keeps me on task and works so well and isn't time consuming, its time saving! Realize, you can't do everything nor are you meant to, so making sure you're expending your energies in the right place is key. MAKE A DECISION. Being double-minded makes you unstable in all your ways (James 1:8).  Just coasting through your day with no plan will have you concluding your day in the same neglectful position. Dear heart, God plans (Jer. 29:11), why won't you?

And... whatever you do, do it with all your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10), no half stepping semi-committed attitudes, get IN or stay OUT. Chances are what the Lord has for you isn't going to come without a fight to get to it. You've got to be willing to go hard after it. Trust that God has work He has set in advance for you to do (Eph. 2:10). No one can do what you're meant to do the way you're meant to do it and that's why its vital you cooperate with God so you're not writing your own life story.  God can write a much better ending than you could with no stretch of His imagination. Decide right this minute to no longer be negligent...I'm praying with you and for you.

Please feel free to forward CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr to friends and colleagues, but forward in its entirety. CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr is written and distributed by Arete1 International.

(c) Copyright 2010 Cheryl Carr and ARETE1 International.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

His Presents or His Presence?

James 1:16-17 (New Living Translation)

 16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.[a] He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.[b]

Beloved, are you spending all your time praying, reading the bible, going to church so you get what you need and desire from God without a thought of what He desires from you? Are you a selfish taker or a grateful giver? Do you take in all the goodness of God, constantly whining for more-more-more from Him and never give anything back to Him in return? 

What exactly could God want from you? One word-OBEDIENCE. A direction of your will to please Him and not just yourself. He wants you to desire His presence way more than His presents. Don't get me wrong. He didn't make you not to enjoy pleasure and the things that He provided in this earth but as the Creator He alone knows best how things work so He put protection in His word and laws to keep you from harm. He desires that you pay careful attention to and obey those laws so that you're not hurt or destroyed. Violating them costs you a price He never intended you to pay.

The greatest thing about obedience to God is that it is only for your good! God doesn't need anything from us, He is omnipotent, omnipresent and fully contained. Alpha, Omega, beginning and the end, He's in yesterday today and tomorrow right now. Time doesn't constrain Him, He constrains time. He tells the sea and the mountains where to stay put and they obey because they have no choice in the matter. BUT, and here's where it just boggles the mind at His goodness...we humans have choice/free will and can disobey Him if we want to. We, His greatest design of all get to do as we please to our detriment or our delight. Isn't that awesome? He didn't create us as robots to do His bidding regardless of what we think/see/feel. WE GET A CHOICE IN THE MATTER WITH GOD! See...God delights in you. He loves you. He created you. He made plans for you even before you were formed and those plans were all and only for your good (Jer. 29:11). In those good plans He put in you a desire for Him because of His goodness. He knows how much you need Him even if you don't. His greatest plan for you is that you maintain close fellowship with Him so He can protect and sustain you. Isn't that good? Doesn't that make you change your mind from the drudgery of obedience/giving up your will and plans for yourself to the JOY OF OBEYING? If it doesn't, maybe your plans yourself have been so successful and fulfilling which is why you're hanging on to them. Personally, most of my plans for myself stank it up. I let go of them only and after I exhausted every effort trying to satisfy and make myself happy. Went down a lot of roads in search of my dreams and desires and each road was a dead end. Even when I got what I thought I left me empty and wanting something more. Finally I found what I was searching for IN HIM not apart from HIM. He took me back in all my messiness. He loved me to changing my ways and my mind and my heart. And He changed my life. God was merciful to me even in the full throes of my consequences so accurately deserved because of my disobedience.  

Don't know where you are today. Only you know that and I know my God will not force Himself upon you but I do know He's pleading with you today to desire His presence way more than His presents. I'm praying with you and for you that you will do just that...DESIRE and OBEY HIM today.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beware the Man Who Doesn't First GIVE!

Ephesians 5: 21-33: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives,even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;

Submission is often taught from this scripture and appropriately so but I truly believe and submit to you its as much about original intent, roles and giving as about submission.  We tend to focus giving on tangible things like money and time. Giving is as much an act with your heart as your body if you are a believer. God looks upon the heart because that is where your original intent or motivations lie and aren't necessarily a true depiction of what you're really doing despite the outward show. Because I am a woman I want to direct the main lesson in this area of giving to my sisters to ponder, but brothers reading this I hope its a matter you can take to heart as well. 

Beloved sisters, I beseech you to beware of the man who does not first give. What do I mean by this? I mean if you're on the giving end of your relationship, worn out, tired, absolutely parched from being drained dry emotionally, heart screaming out "just show me something" then you are in a backwards position and I want to tell you that thing is never going to work out without a major intervention from God and a man of God to show that brother the way (you can't dear sister, quit trying). He's selfish and will never give you what you need until his role is learned for you. Not talking about the how its done in your relationship--its not cookie-cutter theology I'm talking here, its independent on who the two of you are as people but the premise, the principal is still the same. From the inception of and in the continuation of a relationship, the man must give first and foremost! Period. He needs to take the lead in  pouring time, attention, care, adoration, finance and communication into you for you to respond to. Yes, you will reciprocate and not be a taker only-- please don't think I'm saying that. See, you my dear sister are not wired naturally and with original intent as a giver. You are wired and most natural as a RESPONDER. You're made to take in and give back/nurture a seed. You're made to AMPLIFY what a man gives in to you. If you're primarily on the giving end of a relationship, trying to make a man respond well, then you're batting your head up against a brick wall that's not going to move. This principal is a law and set in God's original intent as much as gravity and the pull to the earth is. I am telling you this with the hopes that you're not married to the non-giving selfish man,  (that's a whole different set of circumstances to teach about because I've been there and I know some things about it) hopefully...if you're simply dating and this describes the nature of your relationship may I please submit to you the eloquent and profound words from a Pastor and friend? RUN AT THE FIRST SIGN OF CRAZY because you my dear are in some craziness that's never going to truly work out. Yes, you may get this man to come back to your space, give you some time and some attention for brief interludes...heck, he may even marry you if that's the pressure you're putting on him gets him to respond that way (we women know how to manipulate and drive a man when we want to don't we?) but sweetheart, you're just headed down the road for even more rejection with that man. He won't change his stripes just because you trapped him with pressure, or a baby or whatever emotionally out of control stunts you pulled to get him to try and respond to your "love." You're in need of a mind change and a heart fix sisters. Realize that you're at your best in strength and dignity, examining a man, reserved in your emotions and behavior with him and letting him reveal if he's a giver and not selfish. This man is rare but he's out there. He just isn't attracted to a woman who wants him to respond. He can see you a mile away with your desperation and lack of knowledge. He won't give his precious things to a woman who doesn't deserve them.

 Let this sink in and heed its wisdom and warning. And, for my brothers...if you're the man who is responding to a woman who...oh, let's say has taken your seed (sperm) and given you a baby and is now giving you HELL in your life accept you've reaped what you sowed. You didn't first give self control, restraint and kept your seed from a woman you weren't married and in covenant with so there you didn't get a wife you got a "baby momma" so quit waiting on her to act like she's got some sense until God intervenes. You sowed selfish and out of control emotional and physical acts and you're now reaping out of control physical and emotional acts.  You did it. She is just doing what she naturally does...respond in kind.

My deepest desire is restoration, healing and liberty for my sisters in pain, hurt and bondage. It is my hopes that as you read this you will examine whatever state you find yourself in. Get OUT of a relationship that is draining you, quit it. Stop (cease all motion) today. Staying in it is just going to deplete you, wear you out and will never give you what you deserve. If you're married to the non-giving selfish man (quite possibly because you pressured the marriage into being) begin by repentance and asking God to restore His original intent in your marriage. Be prepared to adapt your behavior too. You're used to leading and now you're going to have to submit to a man not used to being the head. Its a perplexing set of circumstances but God can and will do the impossible with a submitted heart desperate for change. Even if he doesn't change...YOU WILL. I'm praying with and for you.

Please feel free to forward CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr to friends and colleagues, but please forward in its entirety. CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr is written and distributed by Arete1 International.

(c) Copyright 2010 Cheryl Carr and ARETE1 International.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sisters & Brothers…about Sex

1 Cor. 6: 18-  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

May I share with you what I’ve learned in my last 40 days of consecration and study about sexual purity in the Lord? See, I’m struggling with my belief versus my desires. These two collided like trains when I met someone I truly am learning to love in the Lord. This man hits on all cylinders with me and I wanted to share all I am with him, but, had made a commitment to God to stop wrapping my legs around men I’m not married to. I was tired of failing in that, crawling back to God for forgiveness not repentance and then once again ending up on the end of some man’s penis regretting every minute. I was sick of the emptiness that my bed held when he got up and went away and I was glad about it because I didn’t want him to stay. We’d both used each other and there was nothing keeping us together…no commitment, no relationship. Nothing. I wanted someone in my bed that was also in my head and heart and supposed to be there! So…I decided God’s way was best (aren't I the smart one?) and I had to find out what it was. I really didn’t know. I’d been doing my own thing so much in this area I didn’t know what I really believed and why.  I read the book “Single, Saved, and Having Sex” by Dr. Ty Adams (if you haven’t read it, do) and I also studied every scripture I could find in the Bible about sexual intercourse. I didn’t study it from a “don’t do it” point of view. I studied it from a God’s original intent point of view and it astounded me. See, I was completely rebellious to the “don’t do it” point of view for a lot of reasons. Mostly I’m a bit hard headed and probably more so because I’d had experiences and thought I knew some things that I held as true that really weren’t. I had to surrender my unbelief about God and His original intent about sex. Here’s what I learned in a snapshot that I hope may help you.

Old Disbelief: Sex brings you closer; Belief: Sex is only a small part of real intimacy

I always believed the act of intercourse was the ultimate, pinnacle and epitome… the closest you can get to another human being. It isn’t. If that was the case with all the sex we’re having humans would be so close there would be no wars, fighting, divorce or heartache. I shake my head now that I truly believed this. Yawl, that isn’t true! The truth is the closest you can be to another human being is through honest communication with one another that isn't clouded with a good time in the bed, it truly clouds your judgement especially if you're not married, you can't see that fool for who he is looking up or down at him... trust me! Being able to disclose and be who you really are, talk and be heard/listened to by someone who has your best interest at heart…well, that’s real intimacy. If you're married and can close the deal with good sex in addition to good communication, then you’re cooking with oil. Women stop using sex as a card to play in control. If you're not married, stop having sex and see what a man is really about. God will truly keep you from heartbreak if you do this. And, married women, stop using sex against your husband withholding it when he doesn't do something you like. Acting like that is sin and your body is not your own, its his and his is yours! You open the door for temptation and send his sex starved behind out here to prey on us single women! (had to throw that in because I'm sick of married men out here on the hunt because their silly wives play games with sex).

Old Disbelief: If he doesn’t get sex from me, he’ll get it from someone; New Belief: let him, that’s all he really wanted from you anyway

Why did I think if he was having sex with me he would be satisfied because it was so good (because I made sure I knew what I was doing in the bed, I am a good student at any/everything I want to really know about…don’t hate;) and he wouldn’t stray if I “put it on him” when the truth of the matter was each and every man that had sex with me, good sex or not,  that I wasn’t married to cheated on me with someone else at some point in the so-called relationship. See, the lack of self-control with you and having sex with you while you’re not his wife is indication that the man has some character and self-restraint issues. Do you think he can contain those issues when he’s not with you? Silly believing that isn’t it?

Old Disbelief: Men are visual and must have it so they can’t control themselves; New Belief: Women are just as visual and we all need to exercise self control over our bodies/desires, just fight in different ways

Deeply imbedded in my belief system was the idea that men are dogs, emotionless sex machines that when they did think or feel anything it was all related to sex. Upon in-depth study, the fact I’d heard, seen and experienced so much about that with men made that true to me when it isn't. Men are emotional. Real men want to have real intimacy deep down they just settle for sex because its work to connect the body/emotional part for them. Lazy men who don't know who they are settle for sexing all the time. I also failed to see that women are made to be sexual creatures too. God knew what He was doing when He gave us the gift of sex and he didn’t just deposit his gift in one gender to dominate the other. Truth of the matter we hold a lot of the same interests in sex it’s just we’re socialized to show it differently by generation. As I studied sex in the bible it was amazing to me that it was just as present in the old testament with scandal as in the new and it wasn’t just a bunch of men doing dirt, the women were doing freaky things too---directing lewd acts and subduing men with their bodies. There really is nothing new under the sun and we’ve been rebelling against God in sin sexually since the fall. It’s not just one gender. Stop believing that! Its not true. Women are just as guilty, men just bear the leadership role brunt of the rebellion.


Which is why God says when you sin this way, doing things against His original intent it is a sin against your own body. Both parties are affected emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We are spirits who live in an earth suit, a body. We have our mind/will/intellect to control what these bodies do and unfortunately lead us to forget the spirit man. When you enter in or let your self be entered into you link all parts in the act. You are not able to keep any of it back despite how you display a "its just sex" attitude. It’s a law like gravity. It isn’t preventable and you create a soul-tie, a “knitting together” every single time you do it! What is in them comes into you or your take upon you what is in them. Doesn’t that reality just make you pause and rolodex every single person you’ve done the deed with? Especially if in the end you saw them for the person they really were and it wasn’t good. Yuck. Had me on my face for days with God for cleansing. I’m still purging people out of me and I didn’t get down with a lot of folks compared to most (I started lateJ). Can I tell you how important it is to be aware of this truth? May keep you out of bed, may not, but at least you are no longer ignorant and can say I KNOW what I’m really doing here with my body. You also know now why you have issues in areas that you may not have had issues in before. Just that little deposit from your booty call is all. Its true no matter if you believe me or not!

My ideas about my sexuality were born out of a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I’d been healed from sexual abuse but hadn’t gone into a real study of my belief about sex and renewing my mind to think how God thinks about it. Thank God I've done this now that I'm with a man I want to be God's best woman for. It’s good to know what you believe and why. Beloved, God doesn't want us deceived or ignorant about anything. He wants us to KNOW TRUTH and liberty.That is why I’m sharing this from my heart with you today. My prayer is that anyone reading this doesn’t feel condemned, especially if you disagree with what I’ve come to believe. I am not trying to beat you over the head with celibacy and some idealized religion about abstaining from sex. I'm just being real.  I’m nobody’s expert, just a sister walking her talk and sharing her testimony. I hope to lead you to the experts on the issue in telling you to get your hands on Dr. Ty Adams book and most importantly get with God about your sex. He is the author and creator of it and knows best what you should be doing. Hear ye HIM!

Please feel free to forward CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr to friends and colleagues, but please forward in its entirety. CEENOTES with Cheryl Carr is written and distributed by Arete1 International.

(c) Copyright 2010 Cheryl Carr and ARETE1 International.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Please Stop Lying!

Proverbs 12:19 - Truthful lips endure for ever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Everyone lies but no one likes to be seen as a liar unless they're a sociopath.  We need order and to make sense of the world we live in...sometimes in order to get along we will erect self-defensive mechanisms in order to cope.  One of those mechanisms is we lie. First and foremost we lie to God (its only a lie in description, you can't actually lie to the truth and God is truth) you never ever get away with a lie with God but being human sinners we try it. Secondly, we lie to ourselves denying what we're saying isn't true or justifying its for the best so we don't hurt. Finally we lie to others because its just easier than dealing with their response if we tell the truth. Beloved, sometimes truth does hurt. If we tell the truth with evil intent (which we tend to do when we want to put someone in their place or make them hurt like they've hurt us) then we're wrong in our motivation in telling the truth but if you're telling someone a painful truth its always for the best. Truth is always the best policy. 

So...if you're a lying liar, how do you stop? Glad you asked. You can stop being a liar today if you want by practicing consistency and consideration. Put your heart before God right now and confess this prayer: God, I'm a liar and you hate liars (Proverbs 6:16). I want to practice living and telling the truth from this point forward and can't do it alone. Help me by your Holy Spirit and with your word which I will hide in my heart to be a person you honest, truth telling person. Amen.

Now, consistently put your tongue and what comes out of your mouth before God before you utter a sentence. I know this is hard work and trust me there are times I chew my tongue to keep from talking because the urge to say something truthful with evil intent or the urge to lie to avoid the consequences of the truth. Consistently confess when you miss it and lie right then and know when you've uttered a lie unless you've lied so long and so much that you're unable to distinguish truth and the remedy for that has to come in another teaching (you're in deception and need deliverance not just change of behavior). Tell the truth to God and yourself right in the moment of lying by praying : "God, I just lied. Forgive me and if I can, help me instead now tell the truth."

We're now ready for consideration. Consideration just means the process of giving careful thought to something. You can't just talk Beloved. Every time you open your mouth you reveal what is in your heart and it must be taken seriously every time. Can you agree with that? If so, then you're ready to hide the word of God in your heart and esteem others higher than just yourself (Phil. 2:3)  and practice self-control with your mouth,  being an honest person God respects.  Here are scriptures you can memorize for having a truthful heart and mouth:

Ephesians 4:25
Psalm 15:2 
Exodus 20:16
Exodus 23:1-7
1 Peter 2:12
Matthew 15:17-19
John 8:44
Psalm 58:3
Proverbs 19:5
Psalm 63:11
Ephesians 4:25
I Corinthians 13:1
Ephesians 4:29
Proverbs 3:3
James 3:5-6
I Peter 4:11
James 3:17-18; 4:8
Psalm 12:1-2
John 8:31, 32
John 17:17, 19

We all struggle so don't condemn yourself for being a liar. If you're like me I want no parts of being or doing something God hates and again HE HATES LIARS! Determine to stop (repent) and be changed. You will be amazed at how simply and freely you can live in truth if you try. I'm praying with and for you!