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The Truth Is
Desperate Times Calls for Desperate Faith
By Marie A. Turner
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Marie Turner
All rights reserved.
The Cover Up
"When you take time with God and listen to his voice, he renews your strength and enables you to handle life" (author unknown).
There are deep secrets in all of us that we do not desire for anyone to know. We spend a portion of each day covering up the flaws in our lives. Therefore, to others, it appears that we have it all together. All along, we are hiding, masking, and making it look good on the outside. While on the inside, there is misery, pain, and disappointment. Then there is another side to it all. Some people put you in a position where they see your outer, but have no idea what it takes even for you to smile, get dressed and put on your best. We live in a world where people place you by the things you obtain in life without ever really knowing who you are. When we were children, my parents owned their own business. My Dad did so well that I never knew about any type of struggle. Back then, parents kept things from their children. It is important that we become transparent and that our children know that life happens.
My teachers and friends perceived in their minds that the Fooks children were wealthy. To realize that we are all the Kings Kids is to know automatically we are wealthy. Nevertheless, the catch to it all is as Paul says to the Corinthian church, "I know how to abase and abound," meaning I know what it's like to have lots and to have little. We all have valley experiences. It is not the valley that is bad, but it's how you go through the valley that determines your level of victory. We are pleased when things are smooth with no bumps in the road and our homes, and our jobs are great. We are in a place where our children are obedient, and we are living behind the white picket fence; that all sounds well and dandy.
However, there comes a time where our faith is tried and we become weak along the way. We must look to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. God strategically places us in experiences so His glory can be revealed. Look at Job, the test of all tests came his way. Imagine losing everything, but still having faith to know that no matter what my God cannot fail! That's enough to make you run laps around the house, come back, sip some water and watch God fight your battle, even in the face of your enemy.
So many times in my walk I have wanted to cover my face and say "what's the use," but there's a level of fight inside of each of us, even when you want to give up you have to trust the process. I am so glad God can trust me with the trial even when it hurts. I wanted to run and hide so many times, but God gave me a warriors praise that made me see every crooked place straight. I have seen the Lords ability do the abundant in my life, even when things seemed impossible. I have recognized my own personal worth, it's not always easy to smile and give to others, the same ones you sacrifice for, those that have spoken negatively of you, all the while leaving you for dead, and you have given them your last. However, the word says, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread." It is always good to be true to yourself so you can really be true to others.
Listen my friend; it is never good to cover up how you feel to appease someone else's feelings. Some days you need personal time and some days you need someone to encourage you. Not every day is not going to be a mountain top experience. There would be days I would have to push myself, remember who I am and who I belong to. If He could carry my mess all the way to the cross so I could live, the least I could do is keep up the good fight of faith. My Savior is a deliverer. I am living proof of that. It is so much easier to be yourself than to be someone that God never intended you to be. Happiness is a choice, not a mandate, but with happiness comes peace and with peace comes joy. Life does come with failures so don't try to get away from them. Use them to grow and don't be disheartened. Use trials to help someone else avoid the same disappointments. We can't save folk from everything, but we can sure share. It's what we do with our failures that help us recognize our worth. Shake yourself, speak to yourself, learn from it, move forward and breathe new life. Don't ever cover up who you are, expose yourself to the truth; there is more gratitude with having a positive attitude.
Your ThoughtsCHAPTER 2
The Spirit of Intimidation
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom" (author unknown).
The Cambridge dictionary's definition of "intimidation" is to frighten or threaten someone usually in order to persuade him or her to do what he or she does not desire. Intimidation is also called a spirit because truly that's what it is when someone or something tries to control us. Oftentimes people, places, and things can intimidate us and move us directly outside of our comfortable, normal behavior and that's terrible! No one wants to be around anyone or anything that makes us feel uncomfortable! When you walk into a room or meet someone for the first time, and you feel, I can't be me, or if you have to pretend to be something you are not, it's absolutely not the environment for you! Run and take cover. We only want to surround ourselves with people that are going to make us better and bring out the best in us. Know your self-worth. Let's not ever put on a façade or a mask. It is so hard to be a counterfeit, but it's a pleasure to be original. We say this at our church all the time when people say they are so unhappy, or they feel like they don't fit in. Really? Or I'm going to leave. Really? Remember, you carry yourself wherever you go, so running is not the answer. They have the same issues in South Africa that we have here in Salisbury, so you have to know your worth. Never let anyone or anything run you away from your blessings. That same spirit will be there if you are not secure in you! God is so awesome He always tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14. So listen, your environment does not change you or define you! You change and define your surroundings by your presence, and you become the difference you want to see. That's why the Lord commands us to love as He first loved us, John 3:16. He loved us so much He gave us love to give love, to shift the atmosphere to be one of love. So the game does not change us, we change the game. That is why we are still here and did not die from it but thrived through it. You earned this place; you suffered for this, so why allow your surroundings to dictate to you.
I have been in some major circumstances. I almost allowed my own insecurities to talk me out of my rewards and my blessings. People sure can make you feel bad when God does something great for you. On the other hand, sometimes it is the moment you get to know you, the moment you defeat the odds, the day you smile instead of cracking, that moment that you get that "aha" and gain new strength. That is the moment you realized you have fought for this smile; you have fought for this praise; don't you dare stare me down and try to rob me of this victory. I am shouting, to God be the glory! Lord, you rock!
As I am writing I began to think of how things are developed in our youth; train up a child in the way they should go and when they get older they will not depart. Proverbs 22:6. We should think about the ones that look up to us and admire us. When I was a young girl, I had mentors, those I admired, and my parents who were the best example that a girl could ever ask for. As I was growing and developing, they allowed me to grow into my own identity. I started learning so much about myself. It's a great thing for a parent to allow their child to grow. What's bad is that sometimes we have made bad choices in our youth, but what is put in, will come out. Now I am an adult with my own babies, and I am still learning every day who I am. It is a process. I dislike it when folk act as if they have arrived because we are always learning. Everyday it is something new, even with my hubby. It's been nearly 30 years, and we are still learning each other, discovering and growing together.
A hilarious memory was when I was in high school:
I was skinny, no boobs, flat tummy, thick black uncontrollable hair, and extremely hairy legs. My teammates would make fun of me, "Marie your legs are gross." I loved sports, so to fit in and not be talked about, I had to make some moves. My arms were hairy; I wore a monkey look for a couple of years until 11th grade. (Thanks, Daddy! That came from you, laughs).
Can you imagine me being bold and carefree? Remember that the intimidation spirit can make you do what you don't want to now and then. When I became a young bride, my hubby loved my hairy legs, yet there are some that still look at me as if I have a disease. Even going to buy shoes was a task when the salesperson would look at my legs, I would say to myself, here we go again. After years of folk looking at me funny, I was forced to shave, and ladies it's such a chore; something else for me to add to my daily regimen. Now, I do love the look but let's say; now I do it for me. So, I say to my hairy sisters if you like it own it. Have your own mind. It is ok to feel inspired but keep your inspiration real. Being intimidated is a terrible feeling. Be true to yourself and you can be true to others. Even in our spiritual commitment as leaders, there are times when we are pushed or groomed to follow someone else's footsteps, which is all well and good. But remember to stay true to the call God gave you. We are all different, and we articulate differently. Respect yourself and you will know how to respect others. Remember this; always treat someone the way you desire to be treated. Let's defeat the enemy of intimidation.
Your ThoughtsCHAPTER 3
Fear of Failure
"God will never leave you empty. He will replace everything you lost. If he asks you to put something down, it's because he wants you to pick up something greater" (unknown).
Failure: lack of success! Nobody in this world wants to feel like they are useless. We were all born for a purpose, and it's up to us to reach deep and cultivate the gifts that God has given us.
II Timothy 1:6 admonishes us to stir up the gifts. What is in you? What have you not done due to the spirit of fear? Think about it every great person has been given the chance to either excel or give up. Life is about choice. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7. Wow! How amazing! We have all been given a measure of faith. Activate it and work what you have until you get what you want! Have you ever heard the phrase failure is not an option? Well, that is true and false. Again, we have the power of choice, and God has given that to us' He doesn't force us. We have to be willing. Can you imagine being in a relationship that you are forced to love someone? Not me!
There's another phrase that I have heard; life is like a rollercoaster sometimes it is up, down, happy times, and sad times. Seasons come and go, some are good, and some we never desire to revisit. Overall, it's what you make of it. Be strong and be very vigilant! The dreams that we are given are sometimes stronger than our desires.
I believe that God reveals many things to us through our dreams. Have you ever had a dream that felt so real like you were actually living in that moment? That dream felt so real; you did not want to wake up! So let's compare the two. I actually asked a few of my sisters which one outweighed the other, so let's see what the dictionary says about dreams. Dreams are a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep. Our desires are strong feelings of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen! Let's look at it this way, because honestly it's a matter of opinion. I have always dreamed of having a facility that can house families in crisis. When we go through life's struggles, sometimes we are frowned upon as if we did something wrong but understand, life happens. Often things are out of our control. Can you imagine going through a storm and being treated unfairly? Well, unfortunately, that's how cruel society can be. We are blessed to be a blessing!
Dreams can be captivating. I can imagine myself helping ladies and gents with hair loss. I dream of being able to service them even when they do not have the resources. Now I look at this not only to be helpful, but I desire not to go into debt doing so! The reality of it is you have to have the finances to get things done. Sometimes we are restricted by reality, but who can stop a girl from dreaming? I don't dream of a bigger home or cars. We have a roof over our head and decent vehicles to drive, but there is always that but. Let's find joy and excitement in dreaming. Don't take me from it, let me live in the moment until it's no longer a dream but a reality. "Whew" I feel this thing as I am typing! Now, we cannot always share our dreams (Joseph) because there are dream killers and dream snatchers who will slap you right out of a great moment with their "what ifs."
There have been times in my life that I have allowed the distractions of the enemy to deposit thoughts of failure in me. I am absolutely saved, yes, I am, do I love Jesus, yes, I do. But I am human, so I have allowed my own personal "what ifs" to block my flow, have you? Are you afraid; are you uncertain how things will pan out for you? Are you wondering where the resources are coming from to finish what you have started! How about this, just get started. Just get up and get to moving. Let's go deeper! When God sees us doing our part He knows we are serious. Let me say this to encourage you; do it the way God wants you to. Let's not compare ourselves; that's a set up for failure! Let me give you a quote from Napoleon Hill "he who fears being conquered is sure of defeat." So on the flip side of things; the Bible says in Romans 8:3-39 we are more than conquers. Therefore, everything I need, God has already done! Yes Lord, yes I get it now! If I am on the mountain, you are there, in the valley, you are there also. You are my friend. Thanks, Lord you have me. In other words, when I do not even have myself you have me covered. When my enemies come in like a flood, you are there. Yes God! Are you getting this as I am right now? That's a good place to put a praise! Napoleon says it like this: "to do all that one is able to, is to be man; to do all that one would like to do is to be God." So champions, we cannot fail we are children of the King!
Your ThoughtsCHAPTER 4
"When you feel a peaceful joy that's when you are near truth" (Rumi).
I am certainly a country girl. I grew up in the city of Mardela Springs (ha-ha). My parents are well loved by many. I have three siblings, and we were raised to love God with our whole heart! My parents took precious time teaching us in our youth how to pray and recite Bible verses. My Dad never sent us out of the house without early morning prayer. It is so essential to a healthy life! Our home was always filled with love, good food, discipline, and lots of laughter. My Mom was so cool, and still is; we are teaching her in her senior years to be hip.
So, why do you think things are so different now with families? Why is there so much division in families? Why do people keep secrets that can be harmful to their future? Well to be truthful, it started with our society. When we were coming up, if you showed your tail it was dealt with right then. Now parents are afraid to give their children a good old fashion spanking because the moment you do, it can be your fate. You mean to tell me that our children can now run our homes; the home you have worked hard for, denied yourself for, just to make sure they have food, clothing, shelter, money for school, clothes, and field trips, and you can't even get a thank you. Oh no saints. Joshua 8:31 says "as for me and my house we are going to serve the Lord." Yep, that's a fact! I am so blessed to be able to have such an awesome legacy that can be passed down to my babies.
I remember growing up and not appreciating what I had in my parents. I thought they were strict. Child, don't let us girls even think about bringing home a young man that wasn't saved, you could forget that. When I turned fifteen, love came. Now I had boyfriends before but none like this love. Y'all know exactly what young love was like. You would do anything to be with each other. Well look, this nice looking guy with pretty brown eyes looked at me, and I looked at him and said: "well this is it!" Oh yeah, I failed to mention my Mom hooked us up. Back in our day, Skateland was the spot. Raised in a holiness church, going to Skateland was like going to the club to the Saints but not for my Momma. She took us and hung out with us. She played hopscotch and double dutch. That is why everyone loved our home. It was the spot for all the cousins, and we were bad! Yes, I said it terrible! Who plays hide and go get it with their cousins, or kiss tag. Well, we did. We traveled with my parents on summer vacations; that was normal for us. Our family was our world, and being with family creates lasting values and memories.
Excerpted from The Truth Is by Marie A. Turner. Copyright © 2016 Marie Turner. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
Special Thanks, xiii,
Chapter 1: The Cover Up, 1,
Chapter 2: The Spirit of Intimidation, 7,
Chapter 3: Fear of Failure, 14,
Chapter 4: The Family, 21,
Chapter 5: The Church, 29,
Chapter 6: The Bondage, 37,
Chapter 7: No Paycheck, 49,
Chapter 8: The Survival, 57,
Chapter 9: The Truth Is, 61,
Chapter 10: The Freedom, 67,