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Celebrating Love

22 Aug

Inspired by Joyce M. Jones JoyceJones_headShot

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” — Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

My husband has undergone numerous health challenges in the past decade of our twenty-six years of marriage. Quite recently, he had a “routine” procedure that nearly cost him his life. There is really no, minimally invasive, “routine” procedure when you are diabetic. A couple of days after the procedure, he was weakened and in pain with chills and a fever. It was apparent that he had an infection. I accompanied him to urgent care where it was determined that he had a serious sepsis infection requiring hospitalization.
When I left him at the hospital, I knew he was sick but felt confident that once the antibiotics had taken effect, he would be fine. About 3 a.m., I received a call from the hospital that he would be moved to ICU. They allowed him to speak, his voice was trembling. He expressed that he felt very cold and that he loved me.

Box_ILoveU
At the time, he and my 92-year-old father were in the hospital. I thought the worst, “my God, I didn’t want my story to be that I lost my husband and my dad very close together”. I had heard of such stories, but I did not want it to be mine. God enveloped me in His peace. I prayed that God would spare him; that no matter what, I would trust Him; and that His perfect will be done. I tried to sleep, but of course I couldn’t. I was not worried. I wanted the time to pass so I could see him. He is a Veteran and getting onto a military base hospital isn’t as easy as just driving up to a civilian hospital. I wanted my son to see him, just in case this would be the last time. I phoned the hospital about every hour. At daylight, I gathered my son and we headed to the hospital. The antibiotics were working. God didn’t have to do it, but He did! He spared both my husband and my dad. You have heard the saying, “you don’t miss your water, ‘til the well runs dry”. Well, that is not me when it comes to my husband. I love him and appreciate him every day. I know I would not be the woman who I am without him. I am so thankful and I realize that our love is truly meant to be a divine union. We were brother and sister in the Lord first, fellowshiping and discovering bible truths; then friends, sharing our everyday experiences, getting to know one another and accepting one another; then husband and wife, sharing love and life, building an amazing family together.

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for my husband and my marriage.
Meditative Reading:  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Pastor Devon Franklin Defends Wife Meagan Good

21 Feb

“She will wear what she wants to wear, in the Name of Jesus.” That was Pastor Devon Franklin’s response to a womanwho questioned his wife, Meagan Good’s choice of clothes. The showdown took place at a recent Valentine’s Day event that the couple appeared at to promote their new book. It’s no secret that actress, Meagan Good’s choice of clothes at high profile events has raised some eyebrows in the past. I have watched the video clip that has gone viral and read many of the comments and have tried to maintain my silence on the hot topic.

IMG_6314However, as a woman of God who has strong convictions and believes that a Christian in the entertainment business has a unique plat form, I can no longer maintain my silence. First off, I do not agree with the woman’s approach and how she came at the actress regarding her choice in clothing; I do however feel like her comment was valid, her approach simply lacked tact. I applaud Pastor Franklin’s ferocity in defending his wife, but his response left much to be desired. The word of God says, “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP) As I watched the clip, this scripture immediately came to mind. In and of itself what a Christian chooses to wear has no bearing on whether or not they are saved. But has everything to do with their witness and credibility.

As Christians, we have the holy spirit residing inside of us. The role of the holy spirit is to be a helper, a comforter, it rebukes, and convicts us. In other words, once we become saved, the holy spirit awakens in us and we as Christians should be enlightened to the point where, we realize that perhaps many of our choices in life bears no witness as to whether or not we saved, but our choices definitely affect our witness and effectiveness as Christians. And I do believe that holy conviction is what brought Meagan to tears. Her response to the comment in summation was, “…if that’s how you feel, pray for me.”

Selah.

Full interview:

 

Ungodly Soul Ties

2 Feb

In part 2 of the Saved, Single & Satisfied episode of Real Talk w/Terry, host Terry Cato has an in-depth conversation with two female ministers; they discuss ungodly soul ties, do we only have one soul-mate, on-line dating, can you out-grow your spouse and the declining popularity of the single’s ministry in modern day churches.

A Christmas Message 

23 Dec

The following message – with minor edits – has been making its annual rotation around Facebook for the past couple of days and worthy of a share. Continue reading

We All Are in Need of God’s Grace

30 Oct

I recently saw a show where the widow of a Pastor who had committed suicide as a result of the Ashley Madison hack and leak was interviewed. As this widow shared her story of losing her husband and life partner, my heart literally ached for her. Her story made me think of Josh Duggar, another Ashley Madison client, and his wife and what they both must be going through. The shame, guilt and conviction of knowing that the man – at the head of their house – who was so vocal and unforgiving of those who do not follow their strict conservative Christian belief system has major character and moral flaws of his own.

WeddingRings_interlockingWhat comes to mind is Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” God’s unconditional love for us is so great that while we were dead in sin, it was God’s grace that saved us. He looked beyond our shortcomings and our sin and had mercy on us! We all are in need of God’s grace. No matter how perfect we try to live, even on our best day – we still fall short. The very sinful nature and heart of man should compel us to be empathetic towards our fellow man. Oftentimes, this unfortunately is not the case. I often witness, those of us who are mature in Christ feel it’s our duty to act as judge and jury to those who are struggling with a particular issue or sin. True, we must hold our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable for their actions, but must do so in love. And remember that Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

Rebuke in love …. we all are in need of God’s Grace! Hacker

Twitter: @terry411cato / @rlats411

Saved – Single – Satisfied

1 Oct

I’m pleased to announce that I recently launched the YouTube channel, Relationships-411 that will compliment this blog. I am humbled and honored at how this journey continues to unfold. Every step of the way God has opened doors and paved the way.

I pray you enjoy this episode of Real Talk w/ Terry where I sit down with Elder Paulette Harper, founder of My Sister’s Keeper Ministries and Pastor Sheyna Heard, Senior Pastor of Rohi Christian Church who discuss being single women in leadership in ministry.

Enjoy!

Couple of the Week: August Recap

9 Sep

We were able to profile a pair of dynamic couples in August who gave some wonderful relationship advice.

Dimitrius & Cara 11844280_10206882555249814_1367787135_n(1)

We have three bits of advice for couples: (1) Remember that marriage is not 50/50, it’s a 100/100 percent effort; each person must give as much as possible. Sometimes your best may not be enough so the other must give a little extra to pick up the slack even if you don’t feel like it. (2) Give small gifts to each other from time to time for no special occasion. “I started a new job as a teacher recently and my husband gave me special pens and pencils in my favorite colors to wish me good luck … one of the best gifts I got all year.” And (3) remember we all have bad days … so assume best intentions.

RJ & Monica

11787231_10153071826237291_1951428593_nWill celebrate 5 years of marriage in October. Their advice: never forget the basic foundation that a successful marriage is based upon – God as head. Work hard to communicate effectively, and always show your mate how much you love them. Allow God to lead your path and have FUN as often as possible!

I Have My King’s Back

31 Aug

Will-Jada Smith_2

The other day I saw a Facebook post that had the following quote from Jada Pinkett – Smith, Will Smith’s wife, I always walk three steps behind him to his left. Anything that comes toward him from behind, I encounter first. I can clearly see what advances to his right and his left. I also have my sights on what approaches ahead. If I stand beside my King, I can only focus on what’s ahead and if he swings his sword…I will surely be struck. Three steps behind is the most powerful position for a Queen.”

This post garnered a lot of likes and a lot of comments. I myself was humored at the part of her statement that read “if I stand beside my King, I can only focus on what’s ahead and if he swings his sword… I will surely be struck.” After reading the post a couple of times, I myself was compelled to make a comment. First and foremost, I did not think that Jada was literally speaking of walking three steps behind Will, I do believe – like most other readers and those who made comments that she was speaking figuratively. And my response was from a spiritual angle, “That’s a similar protocol for England’s royalty … I’d like to think my King has my back. Which is why my husband always sits facing the door of where we are to protect me from oncoming danger in his words”. As I mentioned in my comment, the protocol that Jada is speaking of – walking 3 steps behind “her King” is protocol very similar to that of the British Monarchy. And the motive behind this practice is out of respect, not for additional protection. Her statement sounds great in theory and figuratively speaking, but we as Christians are warned to be careful of leaven bread – half truths and deceptive teaching that is eloquently stated but have no spiritual foundation. [Matthew 16:12] The bible clearly states that God created woman from the rib of man – from his side – she was created to be a help-meet for man; a helper, not a protector. [Genesis 2:18, 21-23].

Everything that sounds good to us, is not necessarily good for us. Quite honestly, and with all due respect, her statement makes no sense and is not biblically based at all. As children of God, we have to be careful that we do not fall prey to schemes of the enemy through the use of eloquent words, phrases or leaven bread. The bible warns beware of the teachings of Pharisees and Sadducees.

Additional Reading

Royal Protocol & Etiquette

Couple of the Week – July Recap

5 Aug

We once again were able to profile some dynamic and inspirational couples in the month of July. We have a recap here, what makes their marriage work.

Sam-Johnetta

Sam & Johnetta

Christ first, family second. Remember your husband, wife and children are human just like you; forgive quickly, leave hurtful things in the past. [Philippians 4:8] Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. It’s wonderful to be married for 48 years and still be in love.

Desmond-Tanya

Pastor Desmond & Tanya

We decided that we would never let the sun go down on our wrath and 12 years later we have upheld that.  We committed to letting our last thought concerning each other be pleasant prior to closing our eyes.  Nothing is too great that you can’t forgive, kiss and make up!!

Demetric-Charalotte

Demetric & Charalotte

Recently celebrated 5 years of marital bliss. Their advice for a happy marriage: keep God first in everything you do, don’t stop dating each other and have lots and lots of sex!!!

Chris-Kisha_1

Chris & Kisha

Chris and I have been married for 3 years. We like to believe we are still in the honeymoon phase. We love to enjoy each other whether it be a date night or vacations. Sometimes just watching a movie together is all it takes for us to be content with one another. It is very important for us to be honest with each other and that we work as a team. Having two children both from previous relationships, Chris and I make it our mission to ensure we are on the same page when it comes to caring for our boys. As a couple, we believe that marriage is what you make it. We believe in our vows and trust that with God we can overcome any obstacle we may face during our journey together. God is number one in our marriage and without Him, there would be no love. I truly believe that Chris loves me as Christ loves the church and I honor and respect him for it. God is what makes our relationship work. We do not make it work for ourselves, we do it for other married couples and for our Father in Heaven.

Interview: Pastor Chad Johnson

8 Jul

PastorChadJohnson

Founder: Elevate Ministries

Title: Team Chaplain, Pittsburgh Steelers

Spring Chaplain, LA Dodgers

Founder & President, Elevate Intl.

Degree in Christian Ministries

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a long-time friend and brother in the ministry, Pastor Chad Johnson to discuss his work in the ministry with professional athletes and his state of singleness.

Occupation: Pastor Chad (PCJ) is the Chaplain for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and MLB’s LA Dodgers. He provides pastoral services for the sports teams in addition to life coaching for players, their families and administration. He leads player and coach bible studies, and team chapel before games. Some of his other duties include: conducting couple’s bible study, performing baptismal, making hospital visits, personal prayer, one-on-one discipleship, and mentoring.

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