YOUR NAME MATTERS

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Growing up I HATED my last name. SPYIES? OMG, I have heard it all, “are you a spy”?, “Spies, like 007”?, “Do you work for the CIA”? I mean every possible corny spy joke from kindergarten until now, I’ve unfortunately heard them all, and if not, I am sure soon, someone will make up an even cornier one. It wasn’t until my I had a conversation with my late grandfather regarding our family history, where I encountered a new found respect for my last name and the legacy the name carried. It’s a name that bears roots in Cuba, France, Bahamas, and America–a name of vast diversity. It’s a name of uniqueness.  It’s so set apart that you won’t find any other family that bears the name with the same spelling. It’s a name that embraces fighting through adversities and being victorious. A legacy of hard working women and men who went after the dreams they wanted from professional baseball to a lineage of fighters for our country. I was so impressed. How dare I ever shun the last name of such uniqueness and richness?!?!

In biblical days, names held much significance. A name could depict aspects of a person’s birth, expressions of parent’s reactions to the birth of their child, it was given to secure the solidarity of familial ties, and many to show the character or affiliation with God. A NAME MEANT SOMETHING! Another thing that was very common in the bible was when a person was transitioning from one phase to the next, their name was changed–this is the type of event I think of when transitioning from the stage of singleness to marriage. It was a new name depicting a change in direction. A new name that was evidence of becoming a member of a new family or having a new responsibility, with all the rights and privileges that exists within that family/assignment. It is evidence of a new connection that embodied all of the characteristics designed for that purpose. 

 


A NAME MEANT SOMETHING!

MEN DON’T GIVE IT AWAY CASUALLY–WOMEN DON’T TAKE IT WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT’S BEHIND THAT NAME…

Ahh…KNOWING… Let’s talk about that!

In biblical days, the greek word ginosko “to know” someone had weight/value to it. They didn’t “know” someone through a friend, or “know” someone through social media. When Abraham “knew” Sarah–boy did he “know” her…

Let’s look at some definitions-

GINOSKO- TO KNOW

1) TO HAVE FACTS OR UNDERSTANDING ABOUT A PERSON
2) TO BE KNOWLEDGABLE AND AWARE OF A PERSON
3) TO HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH A PERSON
4) TO SEE OR EXPERIENCE A PERSON
5) TO BE CERTAIN OF A PERSON

Wow!!! DO YOU REALLY KNOW HIM? DO YOU REALLY KNOW HER?

What things have you learned about your significant other?
What things have you learned through family, friends and colleagues?
Have you experienced different seasons with this individual?
How do they react in conflict or crisis situations?
When you think of carrying their last name, what thoughts come to mind?
What legacy will be passed down to your children based on this name?
Outside of their earthly surname, does he/she hold the name “child of God”, “follow of God”, Man/Woman after God’s own heart? Hmmmm…

Just questions for thought.

As women, when a man purposefully proposes or expresses interest regarding you taking on his last name, there is value in there, just as there is honor in you accepting that name.

That means that he is certain about you, understands you, has seen and experienced you enough to trust the transferral of his family history, legacy, and collaborative purpose to you. He trusts you enough to unite as means of creating a new lineage with you as a matriarch. How honorable is that?

However, when a man finds a woman with a good name (good reputation), the conditions become mighty favorable for him.

Proverbs 22:1 states: A good name is to be more desired than great wealth. Favor is better than silver or gold. 

Proverbs 12:4 states: A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Proverbs 18:22 states: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

Proverbs 31:10 states: A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

So often in our generation to people so casually take on the name of one person after another, not truly understanding the weight of a good reputation (good name) and the significance behind changing your last name or attaching your surname to another individual. So we jeopardize access to divine favor, all for the sake of a status update or a ring. IT IS JUST NOT WORTH IT! 

CHOOSE WISELY.

Peace, Love and Blessings,

Brandi

LOVE NEVER FAILS: Written By: Brandi Spyies

I don’t have any regrets in life. My perspective is:

THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON!

Most of those reasons are to become better individuals in a corrupted world. More recently, thoughts of a dissolved relationship have been flooding my mind. My last exclusive relationship was in about 2004 and then the gentleman reappeared in 2006. In total, I would say we were together for 4.5 years–my longest relationship to date. We met in graduate school as I was working on my doctorate, he was finishing up his Pre-Med degree and getting ready to take the MCAT for medical school. We hoped together and dreamed together. Nothing could tell me that he was not my husband. It was one of the purest relationships I have ever experienced in my adulthood. He was celibate, I was celibate. The love that we had was based off of the pure fact of, I see your potential and I want to be apart of it. It wasn’t an easy relationship for me, because it wasn’t what I depicted my relationship would be however, he treated me like a queen. Despite the fact that I didn’t deserve the love and respect that he poured out at times–he gave it to me unconditionally and I learned to reciprocate.

Out of all of the memories that we shared, the one that showed me how much I was indeed loved occurred when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. It was my 27th birthday, and my mother and I had just received the news from the doctor. When we got back home to my apartment–everything was a blur. Though I was appreciative for my family being near–I needed a comfort that only God could bring. It was an unspoken comfort that I needed and I silently kept it to myself. My mother told me to get my journal and pray to God and write down what He said to me. I wrote down a prayer for me, and a few simple words, “He will return, but will leave again”. Not knowing what I had written, my mom looked at me and said, “He’s going to call”. I thought she had absolutely lost her mind. My relationship had dissolved a little over 2 years prior and all I knew was that he had transferred to a medical program in Grenada. I didn’t know how to get in touch with him, but all I knew, was I needed him. About 30 minutes later, my phone rang, and it was his mother. ‘Til this day, I am convinced my mother somehow found his mother and told her the story. I mean God can work in mysterious ways, but so can protective mothers :). His mother said, I have someone that wants to talk to you. Tears streamed down my face, because I knew. His voice sounded like the sweetest sound one could ever imagine. My best friend had returned. He let me know that he was home on break for a few weeks and would be coming to Maryland to help my mother take care of me. Thoughts swarmed my mind about how our reunion would be.

He made it just in time for my first chemo treatment. When he walked in the room, all I could do was grab him and kiss him. It didn’t matter why we broke up, it didn’t matter what had gone on in his world or mine–all I knew at that moment, no matter what I was about to go through, I knew I wasn’t alone.

After my first week in the hospital and my first round of chemotherapy, we drove to a remote location in Maryland and had breakfast at The Waffle House. I will never forget going down the road and seeing mountains off in the distance. I was coughing terribly, to the point where he had to pull over. I vomited in his car. Not feeling embarrassed but horrible for messing up his leather seats, he simply popped the trunk, pulled out a towel and cleaned up my vomit. He opened up to me and told me how he prayed that God would remove this obstacle from me and allow him to bear it, because he couldn’t imagine losing me. I looked at him, because I couldn’t believe someone loved me that much. I wanted to fight and live not just for me and my family, but also so I could be with him.

For about a week and a half, he stayed by my side. Things became a little complicated because he began to get into “DOCTOR MODE” and I despised it. He began telling me what I could not eat, how I needed to rest–repeating all of the things I constantly heard from the doctors. All I remember was I was at wit’s end, because all I needed from him was to love me and be present, not be another reminder that I had advanced cancer. With his feelings hurt and ego bruised, he uttered the words, “I think I should leave”. Fed up with cancer, fed up with no one understanding how I was feeling, all I remember was that I told him “fine, leave”. Not understanding that the only reason He wanted to leave was because he felt like a burden and he not knowing the only reason I wanted him to go, was because I felt like he didn’t want to be there with me anymore.

COMMUNICATION CAN BRING LIFE INTO A RELATIONSHIP OR IT CAN KILL IT.

I really haven’t spoken with him since that moment–about 6 years now. Though numerous times I’ve tried to reach out via email, not to revitalize the relationship, but just to simply say “thank you. It just hasn’t happened and I’m at peace about it, because at least I tried.

This is actually the first time I’m writing about it, and felt so compelled to write, I am recognizing that maybe I wasn’t as healed as I thought and this may be my last step to completely healing. Ironically, nearing 7 years later.

During one of my most difficult battles in life, the one person I have truly ever loved, left me and truthfully, I’ve been devastated about it. Sometimes we subconsciously hold on to old hurt that may hinder someone else from getting close. What hurt are you holding on to that is hindering you from letting someone else into your heart?

I am not casting blame on him by any means because I am just as guilty of ineffective communication, but this experience just makes me recognize that in EVERYTHING my trust should never be completely be in man (male/female) but be in God.

I know this isn’t just for me though. So many women are serial daters, going from situation to situation yearning for love, praying for love but not understanding what it truly takes to be a recipient of that type of love:

1) You must come to terms with YOUR past faults and correct them (TAKE
RESPONSIBILITY)

2) You must be ready to accept it (BE OPEN)

3) Truly understand what true love looks like (RECOGNIZE REAL LOVE)

4) You can’t be afraid of past experiences. Though one relationship
may fail, the ability to love does not. (LEARN FROM THE HURT)

5) Understand that without loving God, loving yourself and loving
others as yourself, you will never be able to tap into true
unconditional love. (BE LOVE SO YOU CAN RECEIVE LOVE)

6) Anything that you love more than God, give more attention to more
than God, WILL FAIL. You may not say it, but actions speak louder
than words. Idols are formed daily–and God is the master of
bringing them down.

HURT, HEAL, AND HOPE AGAIN
LOVE, LOSE, AND LOVE AGAIN

Written By: Brandi Spyies
10/26/12

STUCK IN NEUTRAL–THE NEW STATE OF THE CHURCH?

This probably won’t be one of my most popular blogs, and it’s okay, but it’s my duty to share, what God is revealing to me, through my studies. 

I’m so sad to hear about the man who was shot at Creflo Dollar’s church today. Hearing things like this going on in churches has taken me to a level of prayer for not only believers but non-believers as well.  

Last night during my small group class, the question was asked–IS THE CHURCH WINNING? From the inside the average “church-goer” would assume that the church is indeed winning. Let see–just using my own experiences as an example–you have packed out ministries, packed out services at various times during the weeks, especially Sundays, people praying in the most eloquent ways that one has ever heard, so seemingly it looks as if we are in fact winning; however, winning isn’t defined by your enrollment of members in classes, number of members on your rosters, amount in the building fund or tithing envelopes, or the activities I stated above.  You can have all of that and still far way from the mission of Christ. Believe it or not this is what is seen from the outside. Judgement, manipulation, hypocrisy, backbiting, pretense, people out for quickie feel good messages treating their relationshp with God like any other casual relationship–feels good for the moment, but doesn’t add any long-term quality to your life because you haven’t taken that relationship with him to that deeper level. It’s sad because though this is a partial representation of what’s in the church–it is far from what the original state of the church was designed to be. IS THIS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF CHRISTLIKE LIVING?  Matthew 28:19-20 states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. So if this is the goal of disciples (Followers of Christ <—what “church-goers should be”–the question still lies, IS THE CHURCH WINNING

Being a winning Church begins with being a winning individual for Christ.  It starts at the head level. We must first accept Christ as Lord (person of deity, control and power) of our life. As our mind shifts, changes within our heart are made–our actions and priorities began to line up with what we already know…and as our heart changes, our behavior changes–we become more intentional about the work of Christ. 

With the new perspective God has given me on why I have a second chance at life, I am constantly checking myself and asked myself this very question: If I weren’t a Christian, and someone introduced me to myself–would I want to follow my own lifestyle? Weirdly worded question I know, but a serious self reflection for me.  It made me examine my life more closely to see if what I really “preaching” I’m truly practicing–because it’s not only by our words, but also our actions that will either repel people away from the life of Christ or draw them near. 

So it doesn’t surprise me that we see all of this activity that is disconnected from the mission of Christ (Shootings, accusations of homosexuality from leadership, men spreading HIV to single women in the church, married pastors having affairs and getting women pregnant out of wed-lock). SIN is SIN; however, my Pastor described sin perfectly last Sunday–STUCK IN NEUTRAL…Until we get out of our own selfish desires and in tune with what we were designed for as individuals–the vehicle to winning souls  (THE CHURCH)  in the Kingdom of God will be in this exact position STUCK IN NEUTRAL and in this position, we as a body will never be driven to go the distance in discipleship as God has so commanded. 

 

Honey Lips

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Proverbs 16: 23-24 reads:

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Harmful words/actions can cause deep wounds that can be resistant to healing as more and more harmful expressions like bacteria seep into an already gaping wound. Although our wounds may heal, sometimes there are lasting scars, some more susceptible to infection than others. We try to bandage the wounds with facades of having tough skin–acting out the childhood cliché, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. The truth of the matter is, when these bandages are ripped off prematurely, it’s easy for old wounds to re-open.

Eventually, over time, harsh words/actions can become necrotic–eating away at our character–causing us to become guarded, negative and hard, further promoting the spread of toxic/poisonous communication to others.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT…

Ancient research has found that honey can not only be used as a natural sweetener, but also has several valuable properties for healing.

1) It prohibits the growth of bacteria from entering a wound.

2) It helps keeps skin moist, encouraging the growth of new tissue, reduces the likelihood of scarring, and promotes easy removal of bandages

3) Helps kills cells that cause cancer

How are the words that flow from your lips? Are they naturally sweet? Or artificially sweetened?

As we continue to crucify our flesh daily–let us keep in mind that our words have meaning and can impact others in drastic ways. Let’s strive to impact in a drastically healthy way!