I Am NOT NeNe Leaks and Neither Are My Friends. Why Reality TV is Doing Us All More Harm Then Good

Reality TV madness is now apart of our everyday lives. It feels like on every other channel there’s a reality show where people are fighting, sexing or getting drunk. Today’s youth have horrible role models like Snooki and NeNe Leaks and that breaks my heart. While I do not know these women personally, the behavior that they portait on TV is nasty, rude and wreckless. As god fearing, hard-working, drama free people in society, we must make sure we’re stepping up to the plate and positively impacting those around us. Everyone isn’t getting drunk, sleeping with anything that walks and yelling curse words from the moment they wake up till they go to sleep; it’s just an act for TV!

As parents and loved ones to children and teens, we must work hard to teach them why they can’t listen to the inappropriate messages of those like Katie Perry and Lady Gaga. We must introduce them to positive, holy yet still entertaining TV shows, movies, books and music. I’m not suggesting that our children live in a bubble but they shouldn’t be thrown into the crazy world to soak up all the junk and figure things out for themselves either. We must have standards, morals/values and be our children’s heroes and roles models, NOT degrading rappers like Lil Wayne! The world can not have our children!

Every other Tuesday I host a Christian married mommies book club. I love this group of women. We are all educated, hard-working, dedicated women whom are always looking for ways to glorify God in our lives, marriages and parenting. We explore ways to help build our husbands up not tare them down. We talk about how to keep it HOT with a capital H in the bedroom on a regular!! We read books about how to be better Christians and mothers. We laugh, cry and pray together. There isn’t any drama or competition. We love God, our families, each other and ourselves. I can count on these women to pray with and for me, to call or text me when I’m going through and to give me a word from God on the spot when I’m too upset to think straight. True friendship is worth more than all the riches in the world. (Let me state that this is not my only group of friends, I have many other amazing ladies in my life. This is just the group I’m discussing in this post)

Sadly, our story of positivity probably would never get any form of media attention because nothing super juicy is happening. If we were being caddy and rude to one another and arguing over who has more money and whose husband is the finest, then we could call it The Real Housewives of Detroit and everyone would tune in. But because we’re 9 women who look different, think different, have different household situations but are confident, loving and excepting of one another, many wouldn’t think that it would make a good show.

If you desire to start a business, get married, start a family, start a ministry etc you need to hook up with people who are successful in that area and make them your mentor. If you want to fail at life then follow the fake reality TV celebs and others in the entertainment biz who are completely lost and clueless themselves. I used to watch the Real Housewives of ATL a few years back and one day my husband said something profound to me. He asked me why I wasted my time watching a show filled with drama that was teaching me what type of wife or woman NOT to be. I decided that since I needed to keep working on my attitude, I shouldn’t watch TV shows that continue to show women arguing, cursing and neck rolling. I want to glorify God in my home as and watching junk on TV won’t help me to do that.

What are you watching? Who are you hanging around? Are you a positive or negative role model to those around you? Do your children see God in you? Do you respect your husband as God commands you too? Each of us needs to examine ourselves daily and ask God to show us how to be better. Thank you Jesus for your mercy, grace and love and the opportunity to get it right after we’ve messed up.

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Loyal Drama Free Friends, How Many Of Us Have Them? Happy Bday To My BFF!

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov 18:24

Every woman needs at least one friend that she can always count on to support, challenge and have her back. A friend that will keep her in line in love when she starts trippin. A friend who has a serious relationship with God and is able to remind her of God’s promises during the challenging times. A friend that makes her feel like she’s back in middle school because their always laughing and talking for hours when they get together. A friendship that is drama free and will never be broken because of selfishness or some loser guy. A friend who knows her value and worth in Christ as well as yours. A friend who makes sure you’re both living up to God’s standards and not the silly emptiness of the world.

I’ve been blessed with several awesome friends but today’s post is dedicated to one of my dearest friends who fits every part of the above description, Marcia Scott. Marcia and I have been close friends since the 8th grade. In the pic above, my daughter and I are on the left and Marcia is on the right. We were at her bday party on 1/27/12. I wanted to write today’s post for 2 reasons: 1. To honor Marcia on her birthday weekend for being the best BFF a woman could ever ask for. 2. To remind women that female friendships don’t have to be full of gossip, drama and jealousy.

Ladies you only need a handful of true friends who you can trust and who always help you to be better. If a friendship isn’t taking you up, it’s bringing you down. Do you friends encourage you to reach your goals and live your dreams? Are you friends hungry to walk according to God’s word or are they looking for opportunities to get into trouble and make bad choices? Today I challenge you to make a list of your closest friends and write out what makes them a good friend and a bad friend. For each friend, see which side of the list is longer and make a decision to hang out less and less with those that you see aren’t good for you. Ask God to send you godly faithful friends and He will honor your desire to be right before Him.

Prayer of Friendship

Dear Lord,

Thank You for your faithfulness and for always being a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Thank you for ALL of the awesome friends you have sent me over the years. Thank you for Marcia especially today Lord. Bless her in every area of her life and continue to give her wisdom, peace, joy, prosperity, strength and boldness for you.

Lord I pray for those who read this post. Help each of them to make better choices this year regarding their friendships. Give each of us the strength to walk away from friendships that bring us down and help us to trust that you will bring new friends into our lives that will help us to live joyful, peaceful and productive lives. We thank you in advance Lord, AMEN!

Whose In YOUR Network??

Thefreedictonary.com defines the word network as an extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and remain in informal contact for mutual assistance or support. On this Mother’s Day weekend, I’m extremely grateful to God for the network of married Christian mother’s that He’s placed in my life. Several of my friends have had babies over the last year and it’s a blessing to be able to call and vent/seek advice about things like breastfeeding, lack of sleep and vaccinations. Motherhood is challenging and while I’m so grateful for my husband, whose an awesome father and support, it’s important for me to have my network of mothers in my corner also. 

Yesterday I had six mothers and their babies over to spend time with Elyssa and I. All six women are positive, educated, married Christians who want to be the best mother’s that God has called them to be. By surrounding myself with that group of awesome women, as well as the others that I know who fit in this category, I will learn, grow and enjoy motherhood. No one was sitting around dogging out their husbands, or saying how much they hate how demanding motherhood is. Yes marriage and motherhood are two of the most challenging things I will ever do, but I need godly, hopeful and determined women in my corner during this journey! Ladies, don’t allow people into your life that will poison your mind with their drama, anger and bitterness. You only want those who love God, themselves and have similar goals in your network.

Today, I encourage you to take time to think about whose in your network. Do you know women who have similar interest as you, who can be of support to you? No matter what season of life you are currently in (single, married, student, business woman, mother etc) everyone needs a small network to assist them in being the best that they can be. As women, majority of us need to talk, laugh and cry with someone at some point. We like to share our good and bad moments with others. Life is not meant to be lived alone. If you’re trying to start a business, surround yourself with other women who have successfully started their own businesses. If you want to go back to school, lose weight or strengthen your marriage, you must seek God and ask Him to bring others into your life who can be in your network and help you meet your goals.

As Christians, it’s important for us to fully trust and rely on God, for He is our source and strength. Our Heavenly Father knows that we need others Christians to encourage us, pray with us and do life together. If you find that you don’t have the network that you desire, I encourage you to seek  God today and make your request known. God is faithful and He will grant you your request. When we surround ourselves with positive productive people, we become challenged to be better and do better. Remember, birds of a feather flock together!

This One’s Dedicated To My Friends

One of the marks of a good friend is how that friend inspires you and when they do, it inspires you to inspire them too. That’s what friends do. They inspire the best in each other~ Vicki Phipps

All week I’ve been thinking about how blessed I am to have such great friends in my life. Ever since I joined Word of Faith Church in 2002, I have been blessed with a large group of saved friends and to me those friendships are worth more than gold. Like the quote, my friends inspire me to be better and I spire them. It’s so important to have positive, productive and healthy people around you. If you hang around people who have no goals, no morals or values, you will look up and be a lonely sad bum, just like them. The best things my friends and I have in common is that we all love the Lord and are trying daily to walk according to His word. I believe that it is impossible to walk this Christian walk alone. We need to seek out the fellowship and friendship of other local believers and do life together.

I love that my friends and I can have a good, clean, fun time whenever we get together. No one is drinking, fighting or purposely trying to start drama! The other day my husband and I got together with three other couples for a potluck dinner and we had a great time. All the couples were married, Christians, one had just had a baby, another couple is having their baby this month and the other couple are newlyweds. We spent the evening laughing, talking and encouraging/loving on one another. I felt so proud to know these awesome men and women of God and I felt so blessed that God put them in my life. I feel this way about all of my friends, whether we go to the same church or not, they are a blessing to me because they add to my life and I add to theirs. Even though I don’t have a picture of all my friends posted, I still love and thank God for them all!!

Some people  in the world like to believe that young black people don’t go to college, they don’t get married, they aren’t sold out for God and they don’t know how to live healthy lives; well my friends and I are proving the world wrong! God has blessed me with friends who are SAVED AND SOLD OUT doctors, teachers, business owners, therapists, professional athletics, happy stay at home moms, social workers and the list goes on and on. My friends love God, they are getting married and THEN having babies in large numbers every year. I am godly proud of my friends for continually seeking God about their lives and their futures and making their dreams come true. Friends I love you, and this one’s dedicated to you!!!

 

Prayer for my friends

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my friends. Protect them today and always Lord God. Thank you that favor goes before them and prospers their way. Thank you Lord that they are anointed to do whatever you have called them to do. Help them Lord to have peace, patience and joy as they walk holy everyday before you. Continue to lead and guide them in all things. Lord send laborers their way to bless them with whatever they need. Show them how to be the best that they can be. Help them to feel your lovely presence and to desire to seek your face more Lord God. Thank you Lord for answering my prayer for friends. Help me to be the best friend that I can be to each of them, in your name AMEN!!

My Recent Forgiveness Test: Thank God I’m Free From My Past

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well- Lewis B. Smedes

Yesterday I found out that the man who raped me had gotten married and has a child. Honestly when I saw the pictures through a mutual associate who does not know about the rape, I felt all types of emotions and forgiveness was not one of them. For a few seconds I felt anger and hate trying to rise back up. Who was he to be happy? Does she know what he did to me? What type of father will this rapist become? Even though I had been praying for him throughout the years and actively working to shed the layers of negative emotions and unforgiveness, in those first few moments I was walking in the flesh.

Then I had to remind myself, I can’t wish ill on someone and say I’ve forgiven them. I can’t judge him based on what was done ten years ago. I’m certainly not the woman I was ten years ago. I decided that it was better for me to pray, walk in love and forgiveness towards him verses continuing to stare at his picture and wish evil to come his way. In the past, I forgave him so that I could be free of the bondage that held me captive.Yesterday I made that decision again with God’s strength. Forgiveness is a decision and must be done often for the same event sometimes. 

That night I called a friend who had also survived rape in college. She’s a believer also and she was very encouraging and supportive. She helped me to remember that I am human and it’s okay to have initial negative reactions but it’s the decisions I made quickly following the incident that proved that God had done heart surgery on me and I was strong and delivered from the past.

 God has truly done heart surgery on me! Like the lady in this picture, in 2003, I feel like my heart was literally taken out and replaced with a new one. Back in college, following the years after the rape, I was angry, hateful, bitter, fearful, insecure and confused. I couldn’t say the word rape, I literally crossed out the rapist’s name in every book that I read, I wrote depressing and angry poems and made bad choices in my relationships. When I gave my heart to the Lord fully, I asked Him to heal me of all the pain and make me new. I sought the help of my campus minister and she encouraged me to start going to counseling. I joined Word of Faith in Southfield MI, started receiving life changing messages about God’s love, healing, faith and I learned to have an intimate relationship with God. Years later, I know that I am healed and restored and I refuse to let this recent incident take me back. Back to the horrible place that I once was. God has given me a new heart, a new start and I wont allow the past, the young man or the devil to destroy all that I have worked so hard in God to overcome.

To the man who changed my life forever I say the following: I pray God’s mercy, grace, correction, protection, peace, comfort, restoration and salvation for you. I pray you are or do become the man who God has created you to be. I pray you learn what is means to be a godly faithful, nonviolent husband and a godly devoted father. I pray you make better choices and live a holy life in front of your son. I pray you never ever put another person through the things you put me through. I pray you seek God for forgiveness and you learn to forgive yourself. I pray God’s blessing over your family. In Jesus name amen.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Christian Brothas, Where Are You? Hola If U Hear Me

The majority of churches, Christian events and single bible studies all over the world are packed with women. I firmly believe that there are fine saved men in the world, who love God, are living holy and handling their business, the question is WHERE ARE THEY?http://churchformen.com/allmen.php Lists the following facts about men and church: 

• The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.

• On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
• Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.

• The majority of church employees are women (except for ordained clergy, who are overwhelmingly male).

• More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only two out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church.

My husband and met at our church 7 years ago. Our church is very large and therefore it has a large single population. If our group was 30 deep on a particular night, only 10 of the 30 would be males. As a single woman, it was frustrating to always go to Christian parties, concerts, bible studies and always have the girls out number the guys AND have it continue to be the same handful of guys that consistently hung out. My husband was bold enough to develop a friendship with me and pray about pursuing me in God’s timing. When he felt the time was right, he asked me out stating “I want to pursue marriage with you.” We had a courtship, engagement and then marriage. The thing is, many Christian guys drag their feet when it comes to dating and marriage. They don’t ask girls out and many of them appear to be comfortable being single, but that’s another blog for another day.

Now that we’ve been married for over 2 years, the same problem still remains for my single girlfriends who are living for God, successful in their careers and haven’t been chosen yet. Even though more women go to church then men, I know there are Christian men in my city who do not come to Christian events or even seek out friendships from other males or females at their church. Why is this? Where are the men at? Why don’t they get involved at their church or reach out to others for Christian fellowship? My group of male and female friends do all kinds of fun stuff together, bowling, house parties, concerts, movies, dinner, ballroom/hustle parties etc. We have good clean fun and if other men are living for God, they should be desiring and seeking out the same thing. It’s important for believers to fellowship with other believers and do life together. I’m not saying that Christians should cut themselves off from the world and look down on those that don’t believe but as a Christian, my friends are Christians.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (The Message)

Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God.

To my brothers in the Lord

If you are active at your church please continue to do so and invite other men to attend and get involved too. If you see a new guy at your church, take time to get to know him and make sure he feels welcome so that he will come back. If you are a man who goes to church but leaves right after service, doesn’t get involved, volunteer or fellowship with other believers, ask yourself why and pray about changing. Living this Christian life alone is hard but when you have others around you who love God, are living for Him and growing in Him, your relationship with God will become stronger. Coming to church and getting involved will bless your life and who knows, you may find a wife!!

To my sisters in the Lord

Sisters continue to be patient. God has not forgotten you. Don’t believe the lie that there are no good men out there. Majority of my married friends found their husband at their church. Worldly men can be very aggressive and Christian men, in their attempt to be gentlemen, can sometimes move a little slow. A man who moves slower than usual but is honest and seeking God every step of the way is much better than a man who is only out for one thing. When a new guy comes to church or a Christian event, PLEASE don’t bombard him like a piece of meat. We don’t want to intimate the new male faces and cause them to not come back. Let’s continue to learn how to treat each other like brothers and sisters in Christ. If a friendship develops into a relationship then fine, but don’t force things to happen because you’re tired of waiting. God knows your desires, He knows just want you need and when you need it. Keep trusting in Him.

Save The Drama For Yo Mama: 4 Tips On Living Drama Free

Here’s my Facebook status from 9/23/10. I received some great responses from the status so I promised to write a post about drama.

One of my biggest pet peeves are grown people who always have drama in their lives like their 15 but their 25+ years old. What’s the point? Having drama ain’t cute, it’s a waste of time! Get some godly, productive and faithful friends and date someone worthy of your time. I feel a blog post coming on! Lol

Examples of grown folks drama:

1. You continue to date guys that you know are bad for you. You and your man are always arguing, spying on each other and breaking up, only to apologize and start the cycle back over again.

2. You and your friends are always talking about each other and can never get along. This isn’t high school people, focus on developing a few close friendships instead of trying to have a clique as big as a football team.

3. Your always bouncing from job to job claiming that your boss and coworkers “just don’t like you” instead of seeking God about where you need to be, being mature and a diligent worker.

4 Tips On How To Live A Drama Free Life

1. Learn to love yourself. When you study the bible and discover how precious you are in God’s sight, when you start to appreciate your strengths and truly know your value, you won’t allow others to treat you like crap. Psalm 139:14

2. Learn to walk in love and forgiveness. No one is perfect. When a friend offends you or your boss speaks harshly to you, instead of cussing them out and telling everyone know you, ask God to show you how to be forgiven, merciful and how to walk in love as th bible commands. Matt 6:14-15 & Luke 10:27

3. In relationships, pay close attention to signs that the person may be bad for you. Guard your heart and end it when the red flags start popping up. No one wants to waste time jumping from bad relationship to bad relationship. Stop falling for the “bad boy.” Know that God’s got a hard working, respectful, honest, sold out for Christ MAN not boy, just for you. Be patient and trust God. Proverbs 3:5-6 & 4:23

4. Develop friendships with people who desire to live drama free. You must let go of friends that like to gossip all day everyday, argue over petty things, are easily offended and self centered. Birds of a feather always flock together. If you’re trying to honor God with your conversation and lifestyle, you must befriend others who have that same goal and are walking according to God’s word. Proverbs 11:13 & 20:19

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com