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“Yuck”

A few weeks ago I was walking into a Family Dollar Store (yes I go in there once in a blue moon) and I walked past a young lady who was talking on her cell phone. She was a couple inches taller than I and had long braids that went down to her hips. I didn’t get a close look at her but thought nothing of it. As I walked through the store, it appeared as though she was following me. When I stopped to look at something, she walked past me while still engaged in a phone conversation. That was when I got a closer look at her and realized that she was in fact a he

My immediate thought was “yuck,” and I even said it under my breath… I saw him again and noticed that he wasn’t cross-dressed per se, he was just extremely effeminate. Well as soon as I began to walk down the aisle, Holy Spirit instantly convicted me… Yuck? To a person and soul that Jesus Christ died for? To a person who is obviously very broken and whose sin just happens to be more visible? Yuck to someone for whom God has a plan for his life and someone who God loves just as much as me. I judged this young man without even knowing his story, his deepest hurts, his darkest secrets, his inner being that has obviously been severely wounded…

if-you-dont-know-me-dont-judge-me-1

Matthew 7:1-5 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (NKJV)

I’ve always considered myself to be very compassionate towards others. I believe that a good part of my calling in this life is towards social justice. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love kids and that I hate seeing injustice. Something gets under my skin when I see people suffering wrongfully. However, this particular experience showed me that I still have some growing to do. Because to tell you the truth, seeing guys like him isn’t exactly out of the norm in Atlanta, GA. Spiritually speaking, there is a very strong principality of sexual sin that rests over this region and one would likely see guys like him quite often, whether it’s at the gas station, the grocery store, or any other retail store. Personally, I’ve found myself mouthing silent prayers for them when I’ve crossed their paths. But I guess this incident revealed that there is still some haughtiness and/or arrogance within me that needs to be purged out.

Leviticus 19:15-16 You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD. (NKJV)

So as I drove away from the Family Dollar store, I began to ponder how many other people react to guys like him in the same way. I imagine that this young man gets judged all of the time. Sadly, too many of us who are followers of Christ Jesus react to people like him no different than the world. We should be the ones to show these individuals love and compassion. The love of Jesus Christ should flow forth from our words and actions towards everyone. After I walked into my house, I continued to think about him and how so many of believers would never be willing to be a light to him. Not to be too presumptuous, but I believe too many of us would even be afraid to be seen with someone like him. My lord… We have a LONG way to go in terms of truly emulating Jesus Christ. This young man represents a group of people who are ignored and maybe even feared by the Christian community. Have we forgotten that they are souls who need the same salvation that we were privileged to access? Father God loves these individuals too and desperately wants them reconciled back to Him. Father God wants to heal them and restore all that has been lost to them. We are the vessels that He yearns to use to show forth His love. What I should’ve said under my breath that day was “Be healed in Jesus’s name.”

Father I’m sorry for judging this young man. I pray that he will repent and be made whole, and that You will send the right vessels to minister to his soul. I pray that this young man’s heart will be healed and that his mind will be renewed. May he be a walking testimony to bring hope to others who are facing the same identity crisis. And Father God continue to change my heart that I may lose any pride that would prevent me from being a light to people like this young man. Amen.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2014

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Requesting Your Fervent Healing Prayers

I want to take some time to tell you about the man I know as my father: Jimm Snoddy. He is a husband, father, friend, musician, singer, engineer(retired) and faithful man of God. His positive outlook on life and his winning attitude are a large part of the reason he is still here, along with his faith in God. Back in 2008, he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which is a form of bone cancer. He has undergone multiple surgeries, several medical procedures and was once paralyzed from the waist down. After all of the hard work, endurance and FAITH on his part, he regained his ability to walk again and has experienced healing in his body on many different levels. His body has been through so much!!! Our family has walked this path with him and more importantly, Jesus Christ has been with us every step of the way. My mother, Valerie Snoddy, has been his primary caretaker and the ultimate wife that any man could ever ask for. She deserves so much for all that she has had to endure! At one time she feared that their music ministry was over… But God…

Celebration of Life - Jimm Snoddy 015

So why am I telling you all this? Well, I am asking for your prayers. The cancer appears to have returned with a vengeance and he is experiencing much pain. He currently has lesions(internal) on his ribs and even his head. He has several cracked ribs and his left arm is fractured. Within a couple of weeks, he will begin bone hardening treatment and radiation/chemo. Right now, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially since I’m still grieving the loss of my grandfather who passed just before New Year’s. My mother is obviously overwhelmed at this point but is holding on. I am believing for a miracle and I pray that this situation will be just another victorious testimony about the healing power of God. I know that He is able, but I admit that keeping my emotions in check is a bit of a challenge right now. Please pray for me and my family as we continue on this journey.

Blessings to you all.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Spirituality

 

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Spiritual Hoarding

Have you all ever watched an episode or two of that show “Hoarders?” If you have then you already know that what you see on this show is quite unbelievable. Professional psychiatrists and organizers work together on each of the cases to attempt to bring back some kind of order to the chaotic lives of the individuals being profiled. The “hoarders” on this show have homes that are comparable to that of a landfill! The first season that I watched this show, I was dumbfounded as I saw homes covered in animal and even human feces! Refrigerators full of food more than a year old, clothing and other artifacts piled up all the way to the ceiling, and roach and rodent infestations are extremely common in these hoarding situations. The different rooms that are typical to a home lose their function altogether. From bathrooms no longer functioning and become storage rooms to kitchens becoming virtual cat litter boxes, these situations are common with compulsive hoarding. I’ve seen situations where dining room tables and even couches were literally hidden beneath piles of junk and hadn’t been seen with the naked eye in years!

The truth is that most of these individuals have a real psychological problem. They can find sentimental value in something like a nasty pair of underwear from a loved one who died years ago! Yes, that is how crazy and insane compulsive hoarding can get! In some of the most extreme cases, homes could not be salvaged and had to be torn down.

One thing I noticed about these individuals who compulsively hoard is that their problems run very deep. It is the outward expression and the visible “fruit” that makes their issues seem strange, and even hopeless. These individuals are often grieving over losses that have occurred in their lives and many have basically given up on people and life in general. I also believe that fear is also a root cause of this issue as well. Compulsive hoarders will care more about an unsalvageable coffee table covered in rat feces than a loved one. They can attach their affections to things that have no value or that are even unsanitary. It looks absolutely insane to us “normal” folks, but they have adjusted their entire lives around their distorted thinking. Chaos and dysfunction have become their normal.

So I have watched this show on and off over the past couple of years, and marveled at this hoarding phenomenon. But as of lately, I believe the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about spiritual hoarding. In other words, many of our spiritual houses look just like the homes on this show. The various sinful habits that have gone unchecked could be like the feces and various infestations in the home. The lack of proper cleaning and physical damage done to the home is like the erosion of our spiritual houses due to lack of a prayer life and time spent in the Word of God. In many of the cases when they found skeletons of pets they thought had run away and just general stuff from years ago; this is like the many hidden sins and issues that we failed to address over the years. The saying that “Time heals things” is worldly and an outright lie! The issues simply become buried, whether it is under facades or just other issues that may be manifesting at the present time. They don’t go away. We in essence are engaging in spiritual hoarding.

Recently, I had a buddy of mine come visit for a few days. As a result, I had to take on the task of getting my other bedroom in order. It serves as my office and I had allowed it to get cluttered. However, I didn’t realize how much stuff I had stashed away until I began to dig deeper. (I hope you see where I’m going with this)  I had so much junk mail, work papers and just junk in the closet that I was even surprised. Well to make a long story short, I gradually cleaned the room over the course of a couple of weeks and ended up taking out four large loads of junk on different days. I found stuff from ten years ago and things that I had formally held onto that no longer served a purpose for being in my home. I even found a reminder or two from my sinful past… As I purposed to get this room ready for my guest, I had to be willing to dig deeper and go through all of the stuff that needed to be thrown away. I actually felt like on of those hoarders from the show. As a matter of fact, the music that plays at the end of an episode when they usually get someone’s home cleared was playing in my head once I finished the room! LOL!!! But on a serious note, I realized that in so many ways we are no different from those who compulsively hoard. I know that there are many people in the body of Christ, who are still holding on to past hurts, sinful habits and unforgiveness. Their spiritual houses look just like the ones in the natural that have been subject to physical hoarding. Their spiritual houses are chaotic and don’t function properly due to lack of prayer, lack of faith and a lack of consistent reading of the Bible. Their sinful habits continue to increase the level of filth.

So… It sounds like we must get our houses in order. If the Lord is supposed to dwell in our temples, it must be spotless. Otherwise, He will not dwell there because He is holy. As for me, I’m trying to get my “spiritual hoarding” under control. I’ve decided to no longer watch that show with the same JUDGMENT as before. Those who compulsively hoard, have their problems manifest in an extreme way for everyone to see. However, we all know that God looks at the heart and sees EVERYTHING. When I finished cleaning the guest bedroom, the entire atmosphere had changed and there was so much space that opened up. It was a breath of fresh air and almost like a new found freedom. We can have this freedom in our spiritual lives if we are willing to dig into the clutter and began to clear it away. Jesus paid it all so that we can have this freedom in Him. So for now, I’m journeying to find the secret place where I can ascend to a new glory and keep my spiritual house clean.

Nathan Allen Copyright© 2012

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Spirituality

 

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