Not in the fine print


28 year old otherwise healthy white male presents to his primary care provider at the behest of his wife. She’s worried about his lack of sleep and sex drive, irritability, weight gain, and fatigue. His father and other relatives abuse alcohol and he’s been hanging out with them more. This change in behavior worsened after they had their third child – an unplanned pregnancy. His love of fatherhood is dampened by financial burdens. A couple of years ago they received a large tax return and decided to use it as a down payment for a time share. The declining real estate market led to increased monthly fees and difficulty selling the property. His wife would go back to work but daycare costs more than she could make. They’re becoming masters at moving money around, sometimes using credit to pay off credit. He can’t see a way out and just wants something to numb the pain.

Unfortunately, they’re not alone.

The amount of debt carried by American households has more than tripled since the 1980s. While I was growing up, so was the percentage of households that carried >$10,000 credit card debt. It grew exponentially from 3% to 27% during 1989 to 2006 (1,2). Our health, however, has gone in the opposite direction. The more debt one has in relation to assets, the worse one views their overall health. Increased diastolic blood pressure, stress and depression occur regardless of prior socioeconomic status, psychological or physical health (1). We’re turning to other comforts like food and substances. We’re avoiding meaningful human interaction and physical activity. We are at the end of ourselves.

We read the fine print. Deterioration of our well being is not listed.


Because of His unmerited favor, His grace, we can be healed and whole. As an ever present help, He meets us where we are. He freely gives.

A new starting point.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 NKJV

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. Matthew 5:3 MSG

That’s the place of true freedom. It only requires acceptance and forgiveness of others and ourselves. My biggest struggle is setting my mind toward the right type of acceptance.

I’ve come across two: acceptance with freedom and acceptance with apathy.

Acceptance with apathy is committing living “suicide.” It forces us to resent. Told hold on to past hurts. To put up walls. To focus on ourselves. To forsake. To separate.

Acceptance with freedom allows us to fully engage despite difficulties. For this guy it could be debt counseling services, talk therapy, exercise, diet and even medications. To live in expectancy of the goodness of God despite past mistakes.  He needs to know that sometimes, when things get bad, it’s an opportunity for us to accept our freedom from things that look like they are tying us down. For:

Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 NKJV

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. Matthew 5:5 MSG

Be well, Beloved!

  1. Sweet, Elizabeth et al. “The High Price of Debt: Household Financial Debt and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Health.” Social science & medicine (1982) 91 (2013): 94–100. PMC. Web. 23 Jan. 2018.
  2. Garcia J.  Borrowing to Make Ends Meet: The Rapid Growth of Credit Card Debt in America. New York: Demos; 2007

Day 18 – No obligation, no money down


Hello Father,

Today, someone asked me how my month was going. I gave the answer “Full!” 

Why are my days so full?                                                                                                                          Full but not fulfilled                                                                                                                                   Full of obligations 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Matthew 11:29-30 The Message (MSG)

I get so weary                                                                                                                                          Efforts thwarted, misunderstood, overlooked, under appreciated, belittled, judged, manipulated                                                                                                                                            

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 King James Version (KJV) 

Obligations bend my back                                                                                                                     Roles taken to satiate the insatiable                                                                                              Purpose feels cast aside                                                                                                                           Time is running out

“Therefore, seeing we also are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”Hebrews 12:1 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

But I’m Black I’m a female I’m Southern I’m a wife I’m a mother I’m a daughter I’m a friend I’m a professional I’m a sister I’m an American                                                                       I have obligations

“If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.” Romans 2:11 The Message (MSG)

Sorry to complain                                                                                                                                             Is tomorrow more of the same? 

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”Deuteronomy 31:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Your words comfort and direct                                                                                                                     But where is my place

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in His BelovedEphesians 1:6 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

Be well, Beloved!


Day 9 – Acceptance: The complaint killer


Hello Beloved, 

As I’m sitting down to write today, I already have my topic in mind and using Ecclesiastes 3:11 as the reference scripture. In looking up the scripture to reference, I decide to read the entire chapter. Upon reading, I realize it comprehensively covers today’s topic. Which is actually a conundrum for me. This 21 days wasn’t just a challenge about not complaining but to get my butt in gear about writing daily. Then, I read the chapter again and it is well. Now it’s your turn to enjoy!

Ecclesiastes 3 The Message (MSG)

There’s a Right Time for Everything

3 There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

14 I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

15 Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
God’s Testing Us

16-18 I took another good look at what’s going on: The very place of judgment—corrupt! The place of righteousness—corrupt! I said to myself, “God will judge righteous and wicked.” There’s a right time for every thing, every deed—and there’s no getting around it. I said to myself regarding the human race, “God’s testing the lot of us, showing us up as nothing but animals.”

19-22 Humans and animals come to the same end—humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there’s really no advantage in being human. None. Everything’s smoke. We all end up in the same place—we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. So I made up my mind that there’s nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do—that’s our lot. Who knows if there’s anything else to life?


(Be sure to click on the “it is well” link. It’s a good one!)


I’m a Christian. As such, we’re taught that a lot of things are forbidden by the sometimes well intentioned but often ignorant. Well, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of being seen as the faith of exclusion. I’m sick of hearing people ostracize others out of their ignorance of the Word. As Oswald Chambers so eloquently stated “We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him.” He loves us without restraint. Pure and simple. That’s the reason behind the Great Sacrifice. So we can have life and have it to the full. It’s so beautiful, it’s delicious!

As a parent, I can somewhat understand the love He has for me. Regardless of how my kids behave, I will always love them and they will always be mine.
If we are really truthful and allow ourselves to be vulnerable with one another, we will realize we all participate in forbidden activities. Such honesty facilitates openness, forgiveness, gentleness, longsuffering, grace and mercy. Our discussion turns from chastisement to acceptance. I want to be able to show you my ugliness without fear or trepidation. And you the same. No more hiding. No more shame. No more hatred.

Love is not forbidden.


Intensive care unit
A place for the weakest and sickest
The nominal cost is extraordinary
The physical cost for many is their life
The sequelae tangible and far reaching

I see you
This walk of life is rupestrine
Our actions and reactions, while motives mostly noble, take on an internecine nature
The spiritual cost is questioned, dismissed, judged, feared
Our relations with one another compromised
We all fail and attempt to fix or repay
We establish arbitrary lines of morality in vain attempts to justify our actions
Self righteousness our payment, can’t cover the cost
Can’t cover the damages

I Christ You
Allows us to reconcile
With each other, Him and our own selves
Allows us to heal
Allows us to be whole
The cost was His life
The price is paid