Social Aloe is a gathering place for healing and deliverance, especially for the brokenhearted and those who have drifted away from the Lord. Social Aloe is meant to provide edification, exhortation, and comfort for the glorification of God.
You will be more than enough when you are with the right person, but you will never be enough when you are with the wrong person. When there is unrequited love, you can have a lot to offer and it still won’t be enough. Conversely, when the love is reciprocated, you can seemingly not have enough to offer and it will be more than enough for your beloved. Keep the following in mind about Elkanah, and which of his two wives he loved more:
“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: and he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there. And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb. And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. Then said Elkanah her husband to her, ‘Hannah, why weepest thou? And why eatest thou not? And why is thy heart grieved? Am not I better to thee than ten sons?’” ~ 1 Samuel 1:1-8 (KJV)
You may already know that despite Hannah’s setback, the Lord was gracious to her and blessed her with five children. Hannah is the mother of Samuel the seer (1 Samuel 2:21). Conversely, there is another story with a similar theme, but it demonstrates the misery trying to pursue a relationship when there is unrequited love (see Genesis 29-30).
Ironically, some comedians make people laugh yet they secretly struggle with depression that is masked by their smiles, sense of humor, and charisma. Similarly, many ministers who preach about being holy unto the Lord, struggle with “secret” sins that are masked by their titles, eloquence, and liturgical attire. Ministers are not immune to the devil’s fiery darts. In fact, they are frequently targeted because when a devil smites the shepherd it expects the sheep to scatter (Zechariah 13:7).
By the way, the terms shepherd and sheep are symbolic of the type of relationship. However, we are people and we need to look out for each other, and that includes the congregation looking out for the shepherd. Don’t hug your pastor on the way in or out of church without doctrinally confronting him about the smell of alcohol coming from his pores. In addition, do not remain silent or excuse any other verifiable bad behavior from the clergy (or fellow congregants). If you won’t confront the issues, at least stop partaking in them and get out of that environment (ministry). Would you drink water from a toilet bowl? If you answered no, which I hope you did, I hope you will not drink living waters from a known contaminated vessel (minister) either.
When the Lord asks a question, make no mistake about it, He already knows the answer. The Lord had warned Cain that sin was crouching at his door but he must rule over it, yet he killed his brother Abel. When the Lord asked Cain where his brother was, he retorted, ‘I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?’ ~ Genesis 4:9 (KJV) Cain soon found out that was the wrong answer. So please, look out for your brothers and sisters in Christ.
In closing, when confronting issues in the church, please keep the following in mind:
“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:19-20 (KJV)
Jesus said, ‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.’ ~ Matthew 18:15-17 (KJV)
Be your brother’s keeper because many Christians are fighting tremendous battles, alone. “For WE wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” ~ Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) Elijah, a prophet who could call down fire from heaven, was wrestling with the enemy and he felt so alone in the fight that he wanted to give up and die (1 Kings 19). Let US wrestle the enemy, together. As the saying goes, “united we stand, divided we fall” so please do not allow the enemy to “divide and conquer” your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Do not allow ministry to cause you to lose your femininity, which is in part due to the acquisition of spiritual pride.
There are many women in various forms of ministry today. That is in part because many men have not fulfilled their calling and responsibilities, to include being the spiritual head of the household (Ephesians 5:22-24). Similarly, Jesus’s initial disciples were sent to preach the gospel to the Jews, but because of rejection, many were sent to the Gentiles instead (Acts 13:46). Many women have had to pick up the slack because men have slacked off.
Don’t get me wrong because I am not saying that women have no business being ministers. The Lord has used women as His ministers throughout the ages. Deborah was a prophetess and judge over Israel (Judges 4), Huldah was a prophetess (2 Kings 22), as was Isaiah’s wife (Isaiah 8:3) and Anna (Luke 2:36). Moses’s sister, Miriam, was also a prophetess (Exodus 15:20). But we see how the Lord disciplined her when she and their brother Aaron, the high priest and a prophet, rose up against Moses because of his interracial marriage (Numbers 12). Miriam was a prophetess but she made the mistake of trying to usurp Moses’s God-given authority, which was greater than hers. Miriam had exceeded the boundaries of her ministry by trying to incite a rebellion against Moses, a humble man whose walk was upright in the sight of the Lord, despite Miriam’s opinions.
A part of apostleship is establishing and enforcing doctrine within Christianity. The Lord used Paul, an apostle and Pharisee (student of the Law), mightily in this manner. The apostle Paul made some comments that can be viewed as sexist in today’s environment (1 Timothy 2:12). But the failure to adhere to those standards has contributed to some women ministers losing their femininity. Quite frankly, some have lost their minds because the power has gone to their heads, oftentimes because of immaturity, and like Miriam, the refusal to submit to authority. The following warning applies to male and female ministers: “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” ~ 1 Timothy 3:6 (KJV)
I know of some strong women ministers who have not lost their femininity. Consequently, they have not lost my respect, which means I listen to what they have to say and support their ministries. Sadly, and conversely, I have seen too many women who are conducting themselves as men, in a manner reminiscent of Jezebel (1 Kings 21). Deborah and Huldah were prophetesses who were married, but they had to be wives to their husbands instead of their masters. They had to balance delivering the Word of the Lord with authority yet submitting to their husbands, thereby treating them with respect and dignity.
One of the repercussions of women who lose their femininity, as a result of ministry, is they oftentimes lose their ability to enter into or stay in a relationship with a man. They may be able to find and keep a man like king Ahab, one who will tolerate the ungodly role reversal, but they will rebel against someone like a Jehu who wants to maintain the Lord’s order. One of the reasons men will avoid masculine women is because it will be like being in a relationship with another man. A Godly man will seek a Godly woman but he will avoid and reject the ones who are simply too masculine. One of the signs of a masculine woman is one who refuses to tone things downs and believes a man has to be strong to “handle her”. Men are not interested in being in a power struggle with a woman in a relationship. Men value being respected and certain actions from women will come across as a challenge to their authority, as if it were coming from another man. Ladies, you do not want a man to treat you like a man, or at least I hope you don’t.
Since I have stirred up the proverbial hornets’ nest, let me also address another aspect of women in ministry, and that is them serving in positions the Bible clearly states is reserved for men. Is there a shortage of male ministers in the church why women are appointed as bishops (the senior pastor or overseer)? My Bible says:
“This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) …And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” ~ 1 Timothy 3:1-5, 10-12 (KJV)
By the way, I am also going to state the obvious, because based on those standards, and the others I excluded from that chapter, many men are not qualified to be bishops or deacons either. Note how the apostle Paul was inspired to stress the importance of men maintaining headship of their homes. If the men cannot maintain headship of their homes, things do not bode well for the churches they will be entrusted to oversee. That is one of the reasons why men, especially those who are on track for those positions, will reject masculine women who will sabotage their ministry unto the Lord.
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Deeds are more important than words, but a person’s motives outweigh both. Many people say and do seemingly good things but with very sinister motives.
The Gift of Love
It is hard to love a person who hates him or herself.
It is hard to love another when you don’t love yourself.
It is hard to love another when you are in love with yourself.
Two broken people in a relationship usually result in both getting cut from their sharp edges. Become whole before you try to unite two people as one.
When two people or groups are fighting against each other, while using the Lord’s name, either one or both of them are wrong. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)
Willing & Able
A relationship consists of two people who are willing and able to give 100% of themselves to each other. When both people are giving 100%, no one gets left out, unless the other person’s 100% is simply not enough. But sometimes a giver’s insufficient 100% is because the recipient needs to heal. If not, it is like pouring into a cup with a hole at the bottom that either never gets filled or won’t stay filled. It is worthy to note that a healthy person does not want to be in a parasitic relationship.
Never commit (relationship) idolatry by seeking something from a person that only the Lord can and should provide. You are going to lose yourself and a whole lot more if you seek your identity in anything or anyone else besides Christ.
It is better to be happy and single instead of married and miserable. Reject anyone who negatively impacts your relationship with the Lord. When the Lord removes people from your life, or allows them to leave*, it is because they have no place in your future. You will know because your life will be better without them, and quite frankly, their lives will be better off without you. It is idolatrous if you are pining over someone who is not yearning for you, a case of unrequited love (or actually, lust). Like the idols that have been made of false gods, when people pour out their heart and soul to those images, all they receive in return is a blank stare.
*Note: Joseph was going to quietly divorce Mary but the Lord intervened because his destiny was divinely connected to Mary and the then unborn Jesus. Mary did not have to do anything, except get out of the Lord’s way for His will to be done (Matthew 1:18-25).
August 21, 2016 was the day of the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse. Well, I went outside and a thick blanket of dark clouds was blocking the sun. For me, it was a reminder to trust what God blocks and don’t try to resurrect what He has allowed to die or even killed (2 Samuel 12:14-15). I did not personally witness the eclipse yet I did not feel as if I missed anything. Missing the opportunity did not mean my life was over.
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Prince Charming met Cinderella when she was looking her absolute best, stunning. But it was not her looks that left an indelible mark on him; it was her character. As a result, when he reconnected with her after an extensive search, he did not see the external image he had seen before. Yet, he was not disappointed or deterred because she had retained what mattered the most, her character. The prince confirmed her identity by having her try on the only reminder he had of the woman who had captivated him at the ball, the glass slipper. The glass slipper was another thing that set her apart from all the other women in the kingdom. It was custom made for her so it fit her feet perfectly and effortlessly. And such is love, it is transparent as glass and it does not hurt when it is the right fit. The glass slipper is also symbolic of how the prince could see the character of the woman he desired, despite her outward appearance. Love is clearly unwavering.
By the way, ladies, please take note of how the prince held on to the only remnant he had of the woman he had fallen for, and he searched for her. Ladies, you never have to spend time pursuing a man who has your “glass slipper”. If he has your number but never calls, your social media account(s) and never checks or comments… I hope you get the picture. If a man has your “glass slipper”, and he knows you are interested in him, yet he is not pursuing you, don’t ever pursue him. Never walk a mile for a man who would never walk across the street for you; Prince Charming scoured the kingdom in his search for Cinderella. When you read the Book of Ruth, take a look at how Boaz reacted after Ruth expressed an interest in being in a relationship with him; Ruth never pursued Boaz and she never had to (Ruth 2-3). After all, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” ~ Proverbs 18:22 (NLT) A woman who pursues a man will find misery, in part because he won’t treasure her.
As a Christian, whether a man or woman, do not commit idolatry by pursuing a relationship with a person instead of the Lord. If you cannot let go of a person, surrender him or her to the Lord, that person has become an idol (a god) in your life. If a person permeates your thoughts more than the Lord, that person may be a god in your life. It is idolatry if getting into a relationship, to include marriage, is more important to you than being with the Lord. If you are trying to make someone be with you, especially when the person clearly has no interest in you, that person has become an idol in your life, the god you truly worship. That includes even if you believe the Lord told you the individual is going to be your spouse; I recommend that you read Genesis 24:1-9 and meditate on the eighth verse. The Lord is not going to violate anyone’s free will, so woe unto you if you do, or if you try. If you are trying to resurrect a relationship the Lord has allowed to die, not only is that person a god in your life, you have become the god of your life. I could provide more examples of idolatrous relationships, or attempts to be in such relationships, but I leave you with the following Words from the Lord:
‘You must not have any other god but Me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject Me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love Me and obey My commands.’ ~ Exodus 20:3-6 (NLT)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Do not stay in an abusive relationship because of the lack of physical violence. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” ~ Proverbs 18:21a (KJV) Stress is a slow and silent killer that contributes to a multitude of signs and symptoms. Get rid of the stressors before they get rid of you. God has called you to peace; Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
Love Notes: If…
If you knew what some people went through in their relationship you would never encourage them to stay in or return to it.
Love Notes: Narc
If you are in a relationship and you finally discover that your partner is a narcissist, create an exit plan, and when you leave, do not return. By the way, even if you are in love with a narcissist, despite the abuses, one of the best things a narcissist can do for you is dump you. For a narcissist, a relationship is usually not over until he or she says it is over, which is why it is usually better for the narcissist to leave. Sadly, many narcissists will stay in a relationship because they get pleasure from seeing or making others suffer.
Get to know the signs of narcissism, both for yourself and to help others who are enduring narcissistic abuse. One of the major signs of narcissism is a lack of empathy for others but the narcissist will want empathy from others.
By the way, there are various types of narcissists and degrees of narcissism. The degree of narcissism basically determines how fast the person will suck the life out of you if you remain in the relationship.
Love Notes: Snapdragon
Be careful of any relationship where the other person brings out the worst in you and causes you to act out of character.
Several years ago, a minister met his estranged wife (a fellow minister) in an effort to rekindle their relationship. Things did not go well because the male minister was later arrested for aggravated assault. They subsequently divorced and she is still single but he married another minister. His first marriage lasted 6 years and it may have seemed as if he had anger management issues. But he has since been married for almost 8 years and there have been no such publicly disclosed information regarding him being violent.
Sometimes the victim is actually the victimizer; the seemingly dedicated and loving spouse is the one who pushed the other to the brink. The one who got physically abused was the one who had been emotionally abusive. Take note of how Jesus preached about peace, and He is the Prince of Peace, but it was like He snapped when He saw how they had turned His father’s house into a den of thieves. Various Scriptures tell us that God is slow to anger, which means He does get angry. God is love, and He is very patient, but there comes a time when He will no longer tolerate certain things and He will use His rod of correction.
The following is a cautionary tale based on the Lord’s character to be careful about making someone who is greater in power than you angry. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” ~ Nahum 1:3 (KJV)
As was the case with the previously mentioned male minister, when someone acts out of character, look at the reason for such a reaction. Sometimes the “victim” sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind. So, like the Lord said, ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:24 (KJV)
This is especially for the ladies, if you get into an argument with a man and he tells you to be quiet, or he walks away, hold your peace and do not go after him. If you let your emotions get the best of you in the heat of the moment and do not hold your peace, he may not be able to control his emotions and hold his peace either. Keep in mind that when two small flames come in contact they will create a bigger fire. Also consider this. Would you jump into a lions’ den with a piece of steak wrapped around your waist? If you would, I hope you would do so after the lions have had a huge meal and are taking a nap. Well, an angry man who is trying to walk away is like a hungry lion.
This month (August) marks the anniversary of when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. But the devastation started when the Japanese awoken a sleeping fire-breathing giant that had been reluctant to enter into World War II by its attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. One of the most prolific quotes from WWII was, ‘May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.’ ~ General George S. Patton The Japanese naval admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is credited with saying after that fateful attack, ‘I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.’
Whether a man or woman, do not be a fire starter in a relationship and then complain when you get burned by the fire you started. Even God gets provoked to anger, and you would not like to be on the receiving end of His wrath.
I do not condone any form of abuse, but the example I provided of the two ministers is a reminder that two Christians can be unequally yoked, and even the meek can be provoked. Never assume that being with a fellow Christian means you are compatible. Judas was a Christian, yet the Lord made the following comment to His disciples regarding Judas, ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ ~ John 6:70 (KJV)
The Lord does not always show you a person’s true colors for you to take the information to the individual in an effort to cause him or her to change. On the contrary, the revelation is for you to change how you interact with the individual. A herd of zebras getting ready to cross a river does not need to convince what they thought was a floating log that it is actually a crocodile. The crocodile already knew its identity and intentions while pretending to look like an innocuous log. But rather, it is the responsibility of the first zebra that positively identifies the log as a crocodile to alert the rest of the herd.
Knowledge gives you power over the enemy, especially when you demonstrate wisdom by wisely using the information. Moreover, the Lord give us knowledge because as He said, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…’ ~ Hosea 4:6 (KJV)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
One of the greatest impacts of a false prophecy is how it negatively impacts the recipient’s relationship with the Lord. That is a part of the reason why the Lord said, ‘But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.’ ~ Deuteronomy 18:20 (KJV) Yet, so many people casually make declarations in the Lord’s name even though He had not spoken to them or sent them.
Some prophecies take time to fulfill, as was the case with Abraham and Joseph’s very long wait. On the other hand, sadly, many people are faithfully waiting on the fulfillment of a “prophecy” that did not come from the Lord, which most likely means it will not come to pass. A false prophecy will keep a person stuck in the past while looking forward to a future that will never be. Please keep in mind that the Lord also said:
‘And if thou say in thine heart, ‘How shall we know the word which theLordhath not spoken?’ When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.’ ~ Deuteronomy 18:21-22 (KJV)
‘Behold, I AM against the prophets’, saith theLord, ‘that use their tongues, and say, ‘He saith.’ Behold, I AM against them that prophesy false dreams’, saith the Lord, ‘and do tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all’, saith the Lord.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:31-32 (KJV)