God As Father

“He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.” Proverbs 15:32

God is forgiving, but He does discipline those He loves for their disobedience. Read God as Father – Part I for an account of the fall of Adam. God as Father – Part II recalls Moses’ punishment for his disobedience.

Be blessed.

SatisFaction: Erotic Fantasies for the Advanced & Adventurous Couples by Karrine Steffans – A Review

SatisFaction: Erotic Fantasies for the Advanced & Adventurous Couple is the latest offering from the Vixen series of tomes from author Karrine Steffans. Yes, that Karrine Steffans who is also known by another moniker that I refuse to perpetuate.

First, and most importantly, this book is not for the faint of heart. Don’t overlook the subtitle. This self-help book is most definitely geared for experienced couples looking to spice up their romantic routines. Divided into twelve chapters, Steffans gives readers a 1-2-3 punch: the fantasy, the reality and hypothetical scenarios.

Each chapter begins with the fantasy. The fantasies are highly charged erotic stories with none of the flowery prose found in most mass-market romance novels. Steffans calls a spade a spade and aggressively sets the tone for the entire chapter. If your sensibilities are easily offended, I would suggest skipping the fantasy section altogether. If they aren’t, then get ready for a pretty wild ride. You’ve been warned.

The reality section follows the fantasy. It is in this section that Steffans’s writing voice shines. At times as equally as charged as the fantasy, her conversational tone is reminiscent of a best friend lunch date, the kind of no-holds-barred approach to topics that usually only good friends discuss with one another. The reality section also has useful points to remember when incorporating the fantasy into one’s sex life.

The scenario sections are called Vixen Logs or V-Logs for short and are a further extension of the reality section. In these sections, the author paints a full picture of a couple as they make the decision to play out the fantasy, their feelings during the fantasy and the after effects. Per Steffans, these are cautionary tales of what can go horribly wrong if the fantasies are not completely thought through by the couple.

Many may question Steffans’s ability to offer relationship advice. While she may not have a PHD behind her name, she clearly shows that she has experience and a boatload of common sense to guide her. At their base, isn’t that what most self-help/advice books consist of? Experience coupled with common sense? I also like the fact that Steffans targets this book towards consenting, married couples. Couples who have been together a while and have built a trust level that is essential to successfully acting out these fantasies.

Given that this subject matter is a bit, well, advanced, I can’t recommend it to everyone. However, if you and your partner want to add a little va-va-voom to your relationship, this book is a good place to start. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Who’s the Better Christian?

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know you, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.” John 17:25-26

We know them. Sister ABC and Brother XYZ. No one can utter a negative word about them; no one can refute their pristine reputations. They give to those in need; their good deeds are legendary in your church. They know the Bible frontwards and backwards and can easily tell others the book, chapter and verse of all scripture. You admire them and want to model your life after them. They are the personification of Christianity.

While Sister ABC and Brother XYZ may deserve admiration and their actions may be a sincere product of their faith, Christians should never look only to man for an example of how to lead their lives. We have been given the ultimate example in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As John 1:1 explains, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this verse, the Word is Jesus Himself. Therefore, for instruction on how to conduct ourselves, we need to dedicate time to consistent and conscientious Bible study rather than looking for others to lead the way. This responsibility rests upon each of our shoulders. Through study, we develop a better understanding of Jesus, His mission and His precepts thus strengthening our relationship with Him. Sunday sermons should not be the only time the Word enters our lives. Faith and belief should be personal, not based upon someone else’s interpretation and understanding. If during your independent study you come across scripture you cannot comprehend, pray for guidance and understanding. Don’t conclude that you are not smart enough, Christian enough or worthy.

At one time, Sister ABC and Brother XYZ may have been just like you. They may have witnessed the light of a Christian elder that shone so brightly it made them want to have the same spiritual maturity, joy and peace. Although that elder was the impetus, he or she was not the root. The root is Jesus Christ. Take the initiative to know Him for yourself.

Rick Perry’s Day of Prayer – What Message Did It Give?

Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux/Getty

Recently, Gov. Rick Perry, R – Texas, hosted a day of fasting and prayer in my hometown of Houston. The governor asked those in attendance to pray for America and her leaders.

I am a less than silent supporter of President Barack Obama however, lately, I have become disappointed in his and the other elected officials’ inability to govern this country effectively. The Oval Office, Congress and Senate are beginning to resemble one big schoolyard with bullies on each side playing Dodgeball with bricks and waiting for the other side to “blink first”. I am an unabashed proponent of praying. Praying for our leaders can never hurt but only help them to thoughtfully, selflessly and wisely author and pass laws that add to the well-being of America and the world. I fully supported Perry in this endeavor, but I am not naïve. I understand his day of prayer was inspired by his interest in pursuing a run for the presidency. However, I would never doubt Perry’s sincerity. I’d like to believe it was a mostly genuine effort.

As with anything that mixes religion and politics, there was controversy. Picketers protested the event. There were, of course, the atheists. There were those who strongly believe in separation of church and state. There was also a young man representing the GLBT community. I remember him because he said something that stuck with me. When interviewed by a local news reporter he cited one of the reasons why he was protesting was that he didn’t think those in attendance would accept him.

I can’t pretend that there aren’t judgmental Christians or that there haven’t been many who have used the Word to further their own selfish agendas. Jesus addressed these types of individuals in Matthew 23. Men are imperfect; that is why our faith should never be placed in man but only in God. “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Ps 91:2, NIV.

Sadly, there may have been some truth in the young man’s comment. However, acceptance by man should never be a Christian’s goal. Christians should never attempt to be people-pleasers. Our goal is acceptance from God. Our mission is to conduct ourselves in a way that pleases God and draws others to Him. I can only pray that one day that young man will read the Bible for his own salvation and see that God loves him. Hopefully, after realizing that God’s love is unconditional, he will lose the apprehension he feels and enter a house of worship. Unfortunately, there will always be those who judge and those who use the Bible to condemn other groups. But in his reading, the young man would understand that God is love. And when he feels rejected by any organization he will remember Heb 13:6: “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”

That is something all Christians should remember, whether it’s facing our own difficult circumstances or standing up for what is right in the sight of the Lord. Let’s work on our attitudes to prevent people like the young protestor from feeling as if Christianity is out of their grasps. Remember, our job is to bring people closer to God, not push them away.

For God Has Not Given Us A Spirit of Fear…

Personal note: My apologies for the lapses in posting. I recently had surgery and have been in “med fog” for the past week.

Whenever faced with personal challenges, I always try to view my circumstance from a spiritual perspective. I recently published the following devotional on my Hub pages domain. Please take the time to read. If you are facing a daunting circumstance, don’t be afraid For God Has Not Given Us A Spirit of Fear…

May the Lord be with you and bless you this day.