Having Gay Friends As A Christian And The Ignorance I See On Both Sides

Having spent many years floating in and out of the Church, I’ve definitely lived an interesting life. I’ve had a vast amount of experiences, of all types. Good, bad, funny, side-eye moments and I have made a massive amount of friends! From moving in military circles, track and field circles, obstacle course racing circles and during the process of leaving my country to live and travel in another. The range of friends I have is colourful to say the least. Lots of different people from different backgrounds, living different lives according to different standards.

I remember, after a heated discussion in one English class, during my college years, my teacher took me to one side and shared some things with me. She explained that, a lack of understanding of someone you disagree with prevents any point, or content, being received by the person you are addressing. At that point, I become merely opposition and the breakdown in communication, in the college environment I was in, could lead to violence.
I remember, later that evening, pondering on what she said. The change wasn’t instantaneous but, over the years, I became more accepting and more understanding of others. At the point where one of my closest friends told me he was gay, I discovered I had no choice.

Before continuing, because many won’t read to the end of this blog, I want to make my standpoint on Homosexuality clear.

The long and short is I don’t condone it. As a Christian, it is a sin and goes against the standard I have set my life to. I’m sure that there are many who will, at this point, remember every time that I have contravened the standard I profess to live to and may even wish to vocalize those times. That’s cool with me. I’ll never profess to be perfect and I’ll never profess to live in accordance with my standard 100% of the time. That would just be a lie. The standard, however, still stands. I don’t dictate it, I never created it and I’m in no position to change it.
Scientifically, I don’t see how Homosexuality is conducive to life (Life being a noun here.). Technology to one side, two of the same sex cannot reproduce and all living things have the ability to reproduce, as one of the key functions that all living things possess. I can’t remember what we were taught in school but there are several other common denominators that we see in living organisms.
We also see in nature that living things have living and reproduction as a goal. Whether it be trees fighting for sunlight in a forest or small creatures preparing their homes for the winter. We have the adrenaline system in humans to also consider. That ‘should I stay alive by fighting or running’ mechanism.
I’m aware of species that are asexual but these instances are a reaction to environmental influences and they are also physical (natural) changes. Could it be that homosexuality is a beginning such changes taking place in humans? I doubt it very much.
My faith will never waiver, unless I see Jehovah contradict Himself. I also never shy from scientific discussion. Whether social science, philosophies, physics, chemistry, biology or any other form of scientific study. To that end, I’ll always venture into discussion, to hear what others have to say and to explain my own opinions.

So, why the blog?
It’s pretty simple. It’s sad to see the ignorance displayed by both sides, simply based on a lack of understanding. A lack of knowledge and thriving of existence by stereotype in the eyes of, what has become, merely the opposition. I believe time taken to shut up and assess what is actually being said by the other side could, in the very least, bring about some cordial co-existence and a removal of the often childish carry-on we see today.
I want to make it clear that my blog isn’t entering into the right/wrong debate. I’d like my blog to bring about some understanding so that the right/wrong debate can continue in Love and not pride and ignorance.

Standards.
I believe that before acceptance, in its various forms, can take place, there has to be an understanding that both sides of this age-long argument speak from standards that aren’t their own. A homosexual person will tell you that they are who they are supposed to be. They didn’t dictate their persona, their character or their way of life. It was already there. There is no talk of spirits or spirituality and this is where there is often a total breakdown of communication, before dialogue has even been entered into.
There are those who are gay by choice. I know several. For the most part, though, a gay person is gay by design. Most importantly, a gay person is exactly that – a person!
I find there is a rush to address spiritual cause and effect when we, as Christians, deal with other people, which gives off the air of almost speaking to a person as though they aren’t in the same space. If being gay is a sin and, therefore, something that can be left alone, the sin and the sinner are not one and the same. There has to be a mental separation of entities in order to avoid ignorance.
Before flipping the coin, I just want to remind Christians, myself included, that we are instructed to preach the Gospel to everyone, with the intention of them being saved and coming to repentance. We find this in Mark 16:15-16 and 2 Peter 3:9. It’s important that we remember, how we deliver a message will have massive bearing on how it is received.

In that it’s important for a Christian person to understand they are dealing with a person, the same has to be said of gay people as well. Christians speak from a standard that isn’t created by them and the standard states that being gay is wrong and for that wrong there is consequence. It is the urgency of the consequence that causes Christians to speak out against Homosexuality, not the dislike of a person. Therefore, Facebook memes speaking of Christian surgeons allowing gay patients to die on a surgery table are ridiculous, in the very least, and a total misrepresentation.
As a Christian, the view of sin (I’m using this term generically, as the Bible speaks to us of sin, transgression and iniquity, or abomination) is the equivalent of seeing a child run across a road, where the consequence is being hit by a car. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how good you look while you do it. The reason for running across the road doesn’t play any part either. The simple fact is, you could be hit by a car.
I’m pretty sure that an expected response to this would be, “Well, I should be allowed to live my life the way that I want to live my life.” This is true and choosing Christ is exactly that, a choice. However, based on the two scriptures I presented earlier, there is a necessity and a requirement of Christians to spread the Gospel to everybody. My point here is that of, discuss the message and don’t shoot the messenger, remaining ignorant of the message. It was Paulo Freire who once said, “Only through communication can human life hold meaning.” To live in ignorance is to live a life without meaning.

As a race, humans don’t have to agree but we do have to Love. Love being a standard in life and not a warm, fuzzy feeling, met with dewy eyes because everyone says that we are right. If this were the case, spanking your child for attempting to touch the proverbial hot iron wouldn’t be an act of love but an act of spite.

I think, in many walks of life, there has developed a lifestyle of finger-pointing. There is very little soul-searching and looking in the mirror. I believe that this has hardened the shell of “You can’t tell me that I’m wrong.” We see it everywhere. At the end of the day, it’s the very reason we drop bombs on the countries of others. Because we are too scared to sharpen our opinions across the blade that may say we are wrong. Pride and ignorance.
Pride and ignorance have been promoted as the way forwards in life and yet, very few take the time to see how this way of life has us all living on our own little islands, separated even further by the sea of social media that splashes across our own little shores, creating our own little portholes of two-way mirrors. Everyone has to check themselves, excepting the person that needs the mirror most.

It’s high time that the tables of negotiation were dusted off and the broadswords removed, as we listen to the voice of reason from a standard other than our own, displaying Love for the messenger, regardless of the bitter taste of the message. The ignorance has become tiresome.

Athlete’s Slump – Where I’m At.

As a developing Personal Trainer and as a seasoned athlete, I’d like to think that my only Kryptonite moments would consist of me, in business attire, walking past a gym or running track, unable to train. I’d like to think that I’m a God-made machine that operates at the flick of a switch (Or smartphone remote in this, the 21st Century!) and keeps going til powered down, provided the correct fuel is administered. But that mess isn’t the truth.

I’ve decided to share this blog at this particular point because it’s real. And, if it is real to me, it’s real to someone else. I’m sure there is someone who can relate.
There isn’t anything wrong with giving post-stress advice but sometimes, those we give advice to just want us on a level. Well, here I am.

I woke up yesterday morning, after 8 hours of sleep, and felt like my brain (And small parts of my soul) were still snoozing within the comfortable confines of my blanket. The cold gusts of wind, coming through my open window, practically dragged me to my feet and led me to the shower like a rebellious puppy. I sprinkled Eucalyptus Epsom salts in the bath in the vain hope that an open sinus would allow me to inhale the remainder of my existence from off my bed. The success could have been measured in fractions – of negative numbers!

On the way to the gym, I could hear the voice of 300 Spartans reminding me that this is Sparta. I tried to get on board and jogged for about 10 strides with forced enthusiasm. As the door of the gym closed behind me, I was suddenly reminded that, actually, this is quiet Lumberton, New Jersey and the only Persians nearby consisted of my own thoughts of “Why am I feeling like this?!”

I recorded a video of myself going through a circuit that lasted just over 6m 30s. Physically, I felt fine. My head, though, focused on the pain, how much I was sweating. Trying to get my head into the zone was like putting a square peg into a round hole and the recording, that I shared on Facebook, showed me what I was reduced to, in the demonstration of poor form and the focus of a child in a fairground! These are some harsh times.

I would love to put some positive spin on this but that, at this time, would be like signing a confession that I didn’t write.
The truth is, I’d love to recline on my sofa, sip a Heineken, eat Oreos and then stare at the ceiling for no set time or reason. The truth is, when writing out my training schedule, towards a half marathon and Iron Man, that I’m working towards, I feel like I’m wasting my time and lying on paper. The truth is, I’m working with clients and wondering if they can sense the dark place I’m in. I wonder if my eyes appear dim or if the corners of my smile quiver as my smiling muscles fatigue because it just isn’t fun right now. I wonder if it is all worth it.

Knowing this dark period is temporary gets me through. Not knowing how long a period will last for is the part that frustrates. I’m reminded of Gladiator and the scene where Maximus is ready to go out and fight. “This is not what Marcus Aurelius intended!” He was simply responded to, in quiet voice, with something along the lines of, “Shadows and dust, Maximus. Shadows and dust.”
*sigh* Pretty much, that’s where I am right now. Shadows and dust. Pray for me…

It’s OK If Someone Disagrees With You!

When did we become a society where disagreement was the worst thing, EVER?!

I’m extremely opinionated and guess what? Not everybody agrees with me!
That doesn’t upset me, make me want to click the Unfriend button or cause me to post “I’mma do me, boo boo!” Facebook statuses, as I reside in my corner like a crouching tiger.
The simple fact is, if you’re happy with who you are and what you are doing, you probably wouldn’t feel the need to react like that in the first place.

Why can’t we just have some gentlemanly conduct? We disagree, talk about it, we shake hands and move on (Hopefully, before someone initiates a duel!).

Labels. That’s the problem. Social labels. ‘Gay’, ‘Christian’, ‘Ethnic Minority’, ‘Feminist’, ‘Jedi’. The constant need to walk on egg shells, based on someone’s feelings being as resilient as panty lace, has me running around a social maze like Pac Man, lost, doped up on ‘political correctness’ pills. It’s pathetic!

While you’re complaining about not being wrapped up in cotton wool and being allowed to feel warm and fuzzy inside, spare a moment to think about the homeless and those wondering where their next meal is coming from. Spare a moment to think about those being burned alive in Nigeria. Give thanks that you only need to have your feelings caressed because, in other walks of life, someone just like you is wondering if their home will be turned to a pile of rubble by a missile.
In short, get some blasted perspective! Sniveling in your little corner like a spanked child achieves nothing in life. We’ve got superbugs playing peek-a-boo and Boeing jets that simply disappear from this dimension. Society needs YOU. SO… dust your pants off and get on deck!

Many thanks!

Unconcerned.

Some Words From Grandma…

Both my Grandma’s have given me advice that has never left me. The strange coincidence is, as Hollywood as it may seem, both gave me the advice as I delved into large bowls of soup they had made for me!

My late Grandma, Evelyn, made me a bowl of lamb’s-neck soup. She was feeding me while my mum was away for a few days. The soup consisted of a whole lamb’s neck, marinated, placed in a bowl (Both my grandma’s assumed I was ‘skinny’. The bowl probably could have fed four – but I ate it all to be polite!) with potatoes and other vegetables, along with the natural gravy produced from roasting the lamb. DELICIOUS! I’ve probably missed some ingredients out but this is 20 years ago and I’m glad I’ve remembered what was said, as opposed to what I ate! LOL!
Not too long previous to this, I was helping to clear some furniture out of my mum’s home and I’d taken to trying to break it down using various methods, founded on rage and infused with a little Bruce Lee, applied with a small hammer!
After trying to demolish a dressing table for about 20 minutes, my Grandma came over, told me to (Insert Geordie accent here!) “Hang on, Pet!” and then proceeded to remove four or five screws from inside the dresser with a screwdriver. I remember her easing the top off and the remainder collapsing into a neat heap on the floor (As I still stood there, hammer in hand, feeling stupid!). She turned, said something witty and left me to take the rubbish to the bin.
Return to soup scene.
A piece of potato dropped from my fork and splashed soup over my top. I was more disappointed in the mess I made than frustrated but the words seemed timely, nevertheless.

“The problem is, Pet. You’re too aggressive. Take time to think about it and the problem won’t seem so big.”

I pictured myself standing in the garden, holding the hammer, again and felt just as stupid but the words never left me.
That’s not to say I became Gandhi overnight but, without doubt, over the years, I’ve become a lot calmer and lot more clearer thinking and, in many situations, it has paid dividends.

R.I.P Evelyn Rogers.

My Grandma, Linda, on my Dad’s side of the family put me up when I moved out of my mum’s at 18. I lived with her for about 2 years.
One afternoon, I came in from the gym with my top off, feeling big but, really, looking anything but!
(Insert Jamaican accent)”Darren?”
(Me)”Yes, Grandma?”
(Grandma)”How yuh body t’in so?!”
(Me)”I’ve just come from the gym!”
(Grandma)”But yuh look like crab leg!”
I was then told that I looked thin like ‘leather’ before being told that I was to be fed – a lot!
Saturday soup is the soup of kings, man. I don’t care what anyone says! Basically any meat and vegetables in the house, boiled with dumplings, yam, dashine, plaintain. Mmmmmmmm. The Lord is kind!

While sipping on the soup, my Grandma asked me about work and we spoke about it for a while. She told me how I should appreciate employment and proceeded to share some of her time, living in Jamaica, with me. Pretty fascinating stuff but then she gave me some advice I’ve never let go of (Even if I haven’t practiced it 100%!).

“ALWAYS have a steady job and develop a trade [Hustle] in case times get hard. And save 25% of every wage packet.”

I’m still working on the saving of 25% of every wage packet but I’m definitely in a position to begin climbing in that direction.
In terms of employment, I’ve ALWAYS held down some form of employment, ever since working for Reed Temping Agency at the age of 16. On the side, I’ve done numerous things. Whatever helped ends meet and whatever helped me to meet the requirements of my responsibilities. Washing cars, selling books. Now, I’m a Personal Trainer and that will continue, as I look to develop it into a personal business. In today’s economic environment, simply generating income just doesn’t cut it anymore. Ownership of assets is the ONLY way to ensure stability in old age.

I was able to see my Grandma, Linda, over the Christmas period. I hadn’t seen her for just under 5 years. It was such a special moment to me that, even though she has battled illness that has robbed her of her memories, she was able to recognise me. I could have cried. But, unfortunately, that just wouldn’t have been the Robinson way! LOL!

Even Fit-Freaks Struggle! (An Encouragement)

It has been almost 20 years since I first stepped on to a running track with the intent of it becoming what I do regularly. That decision then became a discipline. That discipline is now character, pretty much inescapably!

When I first stepped on a running track with my good friend Kemuel, I remember getting there ages before anyone else and, all of a sudden, having no idea what to do. All we knew is that we needed to look sexy for summer. Come what may, there had to be pride in removing the shirt for Notting Hill Carnival later that year!

As life took us in separate paths of responsibility (But never severed our friendship!), I found myself turning up to the track on a Tuesday and Thursday evening on my own. It took a while to hit me but I realised that, for me to routinely be turning up, there must be something about it that I loved. Without me even knowing it, I’d stumbled across my passion. A passion so deep that I’d find myself at a running track or doing something running related for the next 20 years. All over the world, on deployments, in any weather, on my own and in groups, one of the better athletes in the group and one of the beginners. The circumstance didn’t matter. “Just lemme run!”

My point here should be the foundation of your health and fitness life: “IT CAN’T JUST BE WHAT YOU DO. IT HAS TO BE WHO YOU ARE.” In order for it to become who you are, you have to make the decision and carry out the discipline to stick with that decision when the tough time comes and when the novelty wears off. Because those times come to EVERYBODY. Even fit-freaks struggle!

**A quick digression! This is a good mantra to take into every aspect of your life. You see, if you take this into your job, you’ll never waste time and effort when you are there. Productivity will make you happy and, once you see that it isn’t your passion, the decision to leave and work a career path that is your passion will be easy and straight forward. Parenting will be fulfilling (Anyone giving the side-eye here clearly doesn’t have children or has programmable robots for offspring. Parenting can feel like a burden at times. This is normal!). Basically, as aforementioned, TIME and EFFORT become utilised and waste is kept to a minimum.**

Before I began competing in track and field, training was optional. Poor weather meant I’d need to stay home and pull out the Nintendo or Sega consoles. If it had been a long day and the 20 minutes walk to the stadium felt like it was too much, I’d justify it somehow. “OK. I’ll start again on Monday.” or, “It’s been a tough week. A day off won’t hurt.” Even, “Abs are looking tight still. Let me kick back and chill!”

Then I had my first competition…

You know, there is something about giving your all, getting absolutely battered in a race and then dealing with the guilt of it being your own fault.
I finished last in my first 100m competition and 4th in my first 200m competition. Then I was passed in the home straight of the 4x400m relay as I blew clean out of steam. Even fit-freaks struggle!

Failure to perform, based off half-assed dedication and focus, has a dual facet of consequence. THEY know and YOU know! They know you’ve not performed as you should have and you know that you didn’t prepare as you should have, ON TOP of knowing that they know too.

Even fit-freaks struggle…

 

I walked away from my first competition realising talent can only get you so far. I became a fit-freak!
That’s not to say I made all the right decisions onwards of that day. That isn’t to say that I was 100% focused 100% of the time. What it says, though, is ‘fit-freak’ became my standard and that’s my encouragement to you…

‘Fit-freak’ isn’t just an adjective, it’s a standard. You’ll never break through until it becomes your standard.

I have days that I just don’t want to and, honestly, there are days I don’t follow through. At the base of things we are all human. What separates me and you from others, though, is that ‘fit-freak’ isn’t just an adjective to describe us and ‘fitness’ isn’t just a verb to us. It’s what we are!

Stay encouraged!

 

10 of My Favourite Songs…

This is going to be so hard, man! My taste in music has changed over the years and different songs carry different memories for me.

Growing up in a strict Christian home (Like, at the age of 17, I would lie to my mum and tell her I was working the night shift in Tesco so I could party through the night!), gospel music was the order of the day. Hezekiah Walker and C.O.G.I.C. could regularly be heard blaring from the struggling speakers of our ‘top notch’ Alba sound system, with it’s auto-reverse cassette deck and full-sized vinyl player. There was even an input for a CD Player stage! Man, I can still remember sitting on the railing of the balcony with my sister, Cheralene, singing along to Psalty, the Singing Songbook (He had some classics, though!)! LOL!

Strict religion, unfortunately, comes with a level of ignorance and, growing up, I definitely clashed with those around me on some things. That’s for another time, though.

Going out at a young age, with raging hormones kept on Level: Raging by cheap alcohol meant my first favourite songs were aimed towards my aggression and lust (Yeah, Lust. Judge if you must but, at the end of the day, who actually falls in love on a dancefloor, while slow-win’ing an attractive person of the opposite sex?!). I’m kinda thinking I may go beyond the suggested 10 at this point!!

  1. Valley of Shadows. A Drum & Bass tune that seems to have no producer! I remember when the bass line used to kick in and the roadman of the day used to bounce each other, which often led to arms house and violence. While we were young, the violence wasn’t too bad. More so young guys bouncing up and down while shouting and young, drunk females, staggering on the stilettos that were clearly hurting their feet. As we got older, though, and fights stopped being a one-on-one affair, the violence reached new levels and I found myself on both sides of victory. Usually, I walked away unscathed but I do remember one instance, outside Cameo’s, off Regent Street, Central London where I got sucker punched and went home with a deep cut above my eye.
  2. Shanks & Bigfoot: Sweet Like Chocolate. Along with some other 1990’s Garage songs, this was the young man’s introduction to the Erection Section. It was also a point where I started moving away from Garage, Drum & Bass, Hip-Hop, etc. and exploring music that I remembered my Dad liking: Reggae and Dancehall. That’s for later on, though.
    If you knew the words to Sweet Like Chocolate and you happened to be in some of the larger clubs in Ilford and Essex, such as Time & Envy, Liquid, Venue (Even Drummonds gets an honourable mention here!), you were guaranteed to leave the establishment with a name, a number, a date, a bed to sleep in. Sometimes all of the above! This, unfortunately, was the beginning of a time of life that I’m not so proud of anymore but, if it wasn’t for the following 8-10 years of this point, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. In fact, I’m inclined to believe I would have probably started my ‘female’ phase late and been an absolute mess right about now.

From around 1997-1998, onwards, I became very in tune with my writing. I wrote vast amounts of poetry and was lucky enough to run some of it over a mic with friends. It started off with a whole bag of foolishness. You know. Cars, money and women that I actually never had but wished to attain to but then I fell into the world of conscious Hip-Hop and Reggae/Dancehall. My writing took a turn for the conscious better. Or, at least, it took a turn anyway!

3. DMX: Look Thru My Eyes. Going through Tower Hamlets College was a defining time in my life. My horizons broadened, my thinking on so many different subjects changed and, most importantly, I began to increase in acceptance.
As we grow, we begin to define ourselves and we begin to become proud of who we are, to a point that we become unafraid to project who we are.
For me, I was still coming out of my shell. I was the quiet one in the Common Room, sometimes winning a few games of Blackjack here and there and shining, as a Goalkeeper, on the football field. Inside, though, I was still that guy from the strict Christian home. Look Thru My Eyes resonated with me. No one really knew what was going on inside. I was unpredictable, even to myself, at times. The simple piano loop and kick-drum of DMX’s rendition symbolised my life while the stormy background symbolised the frustration of that simplicity. I began to see that there was a massive difference between living in my lane and being kept there. This frustration would grow to a point that I would leave home at a young age.

4. Capleton: Slew Dem. So, early 20’s. The club scene begins to change as I’m drawn away from from Hip-Hop and into Dancehall culture. At this point in my life, I was VERY anti-homosexual. Something that would be tested further down the line when a good friend announced that he was gay.
I wasn’t necessarily drawn to any Dancehall. More so, even now, I found myself drawn to the message that Rastas put across. The music, therefore, varied. A riddim such as Slew Dem would have me jumping on a dance floor, at one end of the spectrum. Whereas ballads, such as Sizzla’s No Pain would see me lost in thought, at peace with myself, relaxed on my couch, on a bus or in a library. These riddims would also come on towards the end of the night, in the clubs, where I’d be found, if I didn’t get ‘lucky’, holding a quiet corner, rocking away to myself. I think, for the most part, I’m still this way, in terms of being very peaceful and private.

5. RZA: Sunshower. I see a running theme of acoustics when I think of the slower songs that have influenced me over the years. Quiet piano, simple drum beat, held together by simple background ‘noise’.
Wu-Tang Forever is my favourite Hip-Hop album, without doubt. The beats, lyrics and rhyming ability of the artists were gritty, raw-edged and uncut. I loved it! Especially with the skits from old kung fu films, which I also took heavy interest in.
I see, so far, from this list that I’m attracted to music that gives a message over a simple beat. I listen to noise from artists like Young Thug and I just don’t see leadership or stability, neither direction. Instead, a lot of today’s Hip-Hop displays, to me, puppets who are chasing money (Which has no value), doing what big music labels want them to do, in order to keep social groups in certain positions. Almost like a gentrification in music.

6. Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata. My go-to Classical place of calm.
I still remember how myself and a good friend were made fun of in school for listening to classical music. I remember going to his house to do homework while listening to The Four Seasons in the background. An album of Classical pieces and short spoken word.
Classical music and Operatic movements have become more and more prevalent in my daily listening. Some would say a sign of getting old. I say a development in my ability to respect the great displays of art. There was no auto-tune back then. There were no digital studios and MP3 files. Just raw talent and ability from minds similar to mine.

7. Agnus Dei (Adagio for Strings). Another masterful Classical movement. This time tied to the dramatic scene of Sgt. Elias (Actor – Willem Defoe) as he exited a Vietnam jungle, being brought down to his knees by multiple gunshots, reaching to the sky with expectancy but left to die on the battlefield. Another go-to place of calm for me.

8. Donnie McClurkin: Great is Your Mercy. November 2013 was a massive turning point for me. I decided that I couldn’t carry on living how I was. It was here that I realised, fighting against my purpose was, as the Daleks would say, ‘futile’.
For whatever reason, I believe the Lord will have me reach my purpose whether I like it or not and regardless of how much I fight it. Sometimes I feel like the baby trying to avoid eating food I don’t like but HAVE to eat! LOL! The lessons start off with, “Here comes the big airplane. Wheeeeee!” and then, sometimes, end up as, “Just open your mouth!”
One Friday night, I came home from work, sipped half a bottle of Heineken and randomly browsed through YouTube videos. I don’t know why I was looking for Gospel music but I was anyway and, let me tell you, Great is Your Mercy played for hours on repeat! The switch was ‘flicked’ and the journey to change began. It’s far from finished but the journey continues nevertheless. I believe, wholeheartedly, that this song ties in with my scripture of change, Psalm 51. Powerful.

9. Marvin Sapp: ThirstyIn spite of my shortcomings and failures, I want to go on record as saying that my soul seriously craves a relationship, of the closest kind, with my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Academics of the Word, deep discussions about the spelling of his name and the colour of His skin pale in value when held up to the fact that I just want to be close to Him.
The comfort and peace I feel in His presence, the ease of overcoming when I walk with him. Man, I’m at a loss of words to describe the greatness of my God!
It’s often cliche for people to say that they wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the God we serve. I can assure you, my God has kept me, man. Like you might never believe it. I just wish everyone could appreciate His work as I do.

10. Marvin Sapp: The Best in Me. As you can see, there’s somewhat of a journey, through music, here. I always bounce back and forth to various genres but, steadily, Gospel is becoming my safe house and I believe it will stay that way for a long time to come. I’m hoping for eternity.
The Best in Me is in this list because it portrays my Samson anatomy. I chase the Lord but often times, I fall. Sometimes I fall real hard and I pray that, further down the line, my falling doesn’t cost me my life. What I do know, though, is that, regardless of how much I get it wrong, the Lord knows my heart is after him and, therefore, sees the best in me!

 

5 Ways to Win My Heart…

Sadly, I’m wired to not let people in, if I’m honest. I learned, recently, that this is a Robinson family trait. Coupled with my recent life’s experiences, getting in is borderline impossible. Letting in is difficult, at best. As a result, it takes a long time to get to know and understand me and I’m often seen as pretty heartless. I guess it would seem weird to have someone who can give from a loving heart but appear to have no heart at all when looking in. I can’t blame anyone for the misconception but that isn’t to say that I’m unaffected by the misconception. It hurts when someone considers you to be soulless, when you know full well you’re anything but. We’re all dealt the cards life gives us, though, I suppose. For me, a lot of the cards I’ve been dealt to play have been dealt by my own decisions but that’s another conversation…

So, following this 30 Days of Writing, I find myself presented with telling the world how to win the heart I don’t give away too easy. Let’s see how this goes…

  1. Spiritual compatibility. I am notorious for skipping past this foundation of any relationship I have. I’ve been easily distracted by aesthetics and personality traits in the past but I’m making sure I stick this one out. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. Doing what is convenient for now often cuts against the grain of my purpose and I find, when living according to my purpose, as opposed to the comfort of now, life is actually very smooth. It just makes me socially awkward at times!
    I’m a Christian and that is my purpose (Not just being a Christian but my purpose requires me to be one. I know my purpose is to teach the Word. I’m just not sure of the capacity in which I’ll teach.). I may fight with this at times but it’s a fight that is much better for me to fight alone, without adding anyone else to the mix. Especially if they don’t agree with what my purpose is.
  2. Have a purpose of your own. It’s hard for me to relate to a woman who is living ‘one day at a time’. I’ve found that my purpose and life become a crutch, where the focus is always on me and what I have going on but I don’t like that. I actually fall, sometimes too easily, for a potential partner who can map out their plans to me. And it doesn’t have to be plans that are equivalent to taking over the world. Going to school, having a career, being dedicated to something that requires commitment and sets an external standard are all things attractive to me. It’s good to shut up for a while (I can talk, man. Seriously, I can just talk!) and listen to something I don’t know about.
  3. Be confident in how you look! I think this is why I tend to lean towards females who are dedicated to health and fitness. Not because of how they look but because how they look isn’t the key focus.
    Nobody is perfect and modesty is OK but I will usually take issue with an obsession of aesthetics. This includes cosmetic surgery and fake ‘parts’ being added to the body. I’m a big believer in being happy with what you have and working with it. It gives off an air of pride in one’s self. I’m not saying that it’s a deal-breaker to have a weave or press-on nails. They are just things I feel a woman doesn’t need.
  4. NO SMOKING! This is an instant deal-breaker for me. No exceptions! This also includes the need to ‘vape’. I just can’t get with it.
    I’d go so far as to say that I avoid addictions pretty aggressively. Maybe it’s life experience or maybe it’s an assumption but I consider ‘addicts’ of any kind to be unstable people and I LOVE stability!
  5. Humour! Smiles are contagious, as is laughter, and I LOVE both! Practical jokes are also welcome. Although, be warned. I give as good as I get!
    Smiles and smiling eyes are perfect respite for long days and great starts to the same. Mrs. HAS to have a good smile and I HAVE to be with someone I can exchange laughter with.

Man, this 30 Days of Writing thing sure has me opening up! Little by little, I’m sure I’ll get there!