Real Talk w/Terry (formerly Relationships-411)

Celebrating Love

Inspired by Joyce M. Jones JoyceJones_headShot

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” — Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

My husband has undergone numerous health challenges in the past decade of our twenty-six years of marriage. Quite recently, he had a “routine” procedure that nearly cost him his life. There is really no, minimally invasive, “routine” procedure when you are diabetic. A couple of days after the procedure, he was weakened and in pain with chills and a fever. It was apparent that he had an infection. I accompanied him to urgent care where it was determined that he had a serious sepsis infection requiring hospitalization.
When I left him at the hospital, I knew he was sick but felt confident that once the antibiotics had taken effect, he would be fine. About 3 a.m., I received a call from the hospital that he would be moved to ICU. They allowed him to speak, his voice was trembling. He expressed that he felt very cold and that he loved me.

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At the time, he and my 92-year-old father were in the hospital. I thought the worst, “my God, I didn’t want my story to be that I lost my husband and my dad very close together”. I had heard of such stories, but I did not want it to be mine. God enveloped me in His peace. I prayed that God would spare him; that no matter what, I would trust Him; and that His perfect will be done. I tried to sleep, but of course I couldn’t. I was not worried. I wanted the time to pass so I could see him. He is a Veteran and getting onto a military base hospital isn’t as easy as just driving up to a civilian hospital. I wanted my son to see him, just in case this would be the last time. I phoned the hospital about every hour. At daylight, I gathered my son and we headed to the hospital. The antibiotics were working. God didn’t have to do it, but He did! He spared both my husband and my dad. You have heard the saying, “you don’t miss your water, ‘til the well runs dry”. Well, that is not me when it comes to my husband. I love him and appreciate him every day. I know I would not be the woman who I am without him. I am so thankful and I realize that our love is truly meant to be a divine union. We were brother and sister in the Lord first, fellowshiping and discovering bible truths; then friends, sharing our everyday experiences, getting to know one another and accepting one another; then husband and wife, sharing love and life, building an amazing family together.

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for my husband and my marriage.
Meditative Reading:  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

A Divine Union in the Making

Inspired By Joyce M. Jones

JoyceJones_headShot

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.” Ecclesiastes 4:9

It’s been nearly twenty-seven years ago – we enjoyed each other’s company enough for me to ask him to escort me to my ten-year high school reunion. At our church, he had become quite the reliable photographer. Willingly accepting the task of escort/picture taker, he escorted me to the reunion with his camera secured around his neck. We took the commemorative photograph together. The reunion photographer insisted that we stand close to each other. That’s the first time we embraced, though mechanical, it seemed very natural. I didn’t see him for most of the evening, I mingled with classmates while he took pictures. A few days after the reunion, he presented me with a photo album of nearly 100 pictures. I saw people in the photos that I didn’t recall seeing face- to-face. How thoughtful! couple 15

Of course I’m talking about my, now, husband of twenty-five years. The foundation of a good marriage is laid long before you say “I do”. It begins with a commitment to God; we were committed to God as individuals, growing and maturing in Him; brother and sister in the Lord, fellowshipping. We enjoyed each other’s company and started building a friendship by sharing our everyday experiences, and getting to know one another. I am so thankful for all that happened to bring us together in a divine union.

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Prayer:  Thank you Lord for the gift of love, the gift of friendship, and the blessing of our marriage. We give you praise for the joy and the love you have poured into our hearts.
Meditative Reading:  Galatians 5:22-23

He Caught My Attention

By: Joyce M. Jones JoyceJones_headShot

(originally published in the Zoe Life Inspired Devotional (2012-16))
“Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;” -Romans 12:10 (NKJV)

My husband loves to tell his story about how we met, when I was the new member’s clerk and program coordinator, at our former church. As the new member’s clerk I collected contact information; and as program coordinator I worked closely with the new members to organize quarterly programs. I took my position very seriously. That may have been how we met, but he didn’t get my attention until later when my mother and I were in a car accident.  While I was home recuperating, he called to see if I wanted to go for an outing.  I consented. He took me for a lovely ride in the hills where he once delivered mail. On our way back, he made a stop. We then proceeded to an early seafood dinner. When he took me home, he gave me a beautiful, fragrant bouquet of  2½ dozen red roses (that he had apparently picked up when we made the stop).  “How thoughtful”! That kind gesture got my attention and was the start of our friendship.

Disney coupleIt was the phileo love (means brotherly love, in the Greek) that caught my attention. The love that is a tender, affectionate kind of love that friendships are based on. We were brother and sister in the Lord first; then friends, sharing our everyday experiences, getting to know one another, accepting one another, and encouraging the best in one another.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the love of friends that inspire us to be all You would have us to be. Use us to encourage one another and build each other up. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Meditative Reading:  Proverbs 27:17

Couple of the Week Recap

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (ESV)

These are the beautiful couples we profiled this past month. They both offer great advice and demonstrate that love endures all things.

Paul & Linda

Married: July 22, 1978

Divorced: August 22, 1996

Re-married: December 31, 1997

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Their Word of Wisdom to other couples, “Marriage is a commitment between three: God, the husband and the wife. No one person on earth will fulfill all your needs. That is why marriages need a Christ-centered relationship, so Christ can fulfill all your needs that the spouse can’t; there is no room for selfishness in marriage. Treat your spouse as though they are your best friend.”

Izzy & DeBorah

Married June 3rd

IMG_6369Izzy ( nickname ) and DeBorah met while in college, at the time he was going through a divorce. And DeBorah was totally disabled, the result of a car accident. After two homes and raising a blended family of five children the couple has been together for 22 years 17 of them married. DeBorah says, “my husband is a very funny yet intelligent man, family oriented and makes me grateful to be alive.”

Advice the couple offers to other couples is to remember why you fell in love with your spouse and always remember the good that they do on a daily basis … this will help you overlook their ‘supposed’ shortcomings; keep a list of their good qualities and look at it everyday so that every time you look at them or look into their eyes you will always remember the good that you loved about them.

Ungodly Soul Ties

In part 2 of the Saved, Single & Satisfied episode of Real Talk w/Terry, host Terry Cato has an in-depth conversation with two female ministers; they discuss ungodly soul ties, do we only have one soul-mate, on-line dating, can you out-grow your spouse and the declining popularity of the single’s ministry in modern day churches.

Good Guys Finish Last

A few days ago, I was watching my favorite version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder. As each of the Golden Tickets were found, I found myself feeling a sense of disappointment and let down as if I was Charlie and in the movie. Thinking “perhaps, Charlie is feeling the same way as I do that all of the children who found golden tickets appear to be either spoiled rotten, ungrateful and/or entitled”.   After it was determined that the 5th ticket found was a fraud, sheer luck – and perhaps fate – allowed Charlie to be the final child who found a golden ticket. Oh how my heart jumped for joy thinking, “yes! A good humble kid will get to tour the chocolate factory!”

charlie-and-the-chocolate-factoryOftentimes, art imitates life and life imitates art. As I watched this movie, I thought to myself how often this plot line in a movie actually happens in real life. That the very people who seem ungrateful and entitled seem to always have good things happen to them; and those who seem to need “a break or a chance” almost never find those golden ticket moments in life.  As I continued watching the movie, and each of the 4 rotten kids met untimely exits from the factory tour before it is over, I again compare this phenomenon to real life that quite often those who are given golden opportunities and are unappreciative and ungrateful for the opportunity that they have been given will often time find themselves make a premature exit from or squander the opportunity.

There are countless professional athletes – too many to name – who fit this bill. They were given amazing opportunities to play professional sports, made millions of dollars, only to find themselves bankrupt shortly after retiring from the league. I’m also reminded of a young lady who received a college scholarship to attend one of the top institutions in the Nation – an Ivy League University. Instead of being appreciative of the opportunity she had been given, she somehow got involved with drug dealers and a murder – was subsequently kicked out of school, lost her scholarship, and sentenced to prison. There are countless athletes who are probably just as good as or better than some guys who made it to the big leagues but for one reason or another were not afforded the opportunity to play at the professional level or other students who were probably just a qualified for the scholarship but were not chosen, who would have greatly benefited from a scholarship to an Ivy League institution and would have not only been appreciative of this amazing and rare opportunity but would have used it to change the course of their lives and not end up worse than when they started.

That being said, I’m hopeful with the way Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ended. The story ended with Charlie, the good guy, inheriting the Chocolate Factory and being able to have his entire family live with him – what an amazing blessing! I know, this is a story, a mere fairy tale. But quite often, life imitates art and art imitates life.

I recall being single, and I remember a time when it seemed as if all the good men were either married or attached;  and thinking what slim pickings there are in the single men pool. I knew that there were “good guys” out there but I seemed to rarely come across any who were available. After going through heart-break and disappointment, I kept the faith knowing that when true love manifested itself, I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had indeed blessed!

There are plenty of “Charlie’s” out there who were given a golden opportunity in life and they made the most of it. I know, I’m one of them!

Saved – Single – Satisfied

I’m pleased to announce that I recently launched the YouTube channel, Relationships-411 that will compliment this blog. I am humbled and honored at how this journey continues to unfold. Every step of the way God has opened doors and paved the way.

I pray you enjoy this episode of Real Talk w/ Terry where I sit down with Elder Paulette Harper, founder of My Sister’s Keeper Ministries and Pastor Sheyna Heard, Senior Pastor of Rohi Christian Church who discuss being single women in leadership in ministry.

Enjoy!

Couple of the Week: August Recap

We were able to profile a pair of dynamic couples in August who gave some wonderful relationship advice.

Dimitrius & Cara 11844280_10206882555249814_1367787135_n(1)

We have three bits of advice for couples: (1) Remember that marriage is not 50/50, it’s a 100/100 percent effort; each person must give as much as possible. Sometimes your best may not be enough so the other must give a little extra to pick up the slack even if you don’t feel like it. (2) Give small gifts to each other from time to time for no special occasion. “I started a new job as a teacher recently and my husband gave me special pens and pencils in my favorite colors to wish me good luck … one of the best gifts I got all year.” And (3) remember we all have bad days … so assume best intentions.

RJ & Monica

11787231_10153071826237291_1951428593_nWill celebrate 5 years of marriage in October. Their advice: never forget the basic foundation that a successful marriage is based upon – God as head. Work hard to communicate effectively, and always show your mate how much you love them. Allow God to lead your path and have FUN as often as possible!

I Have My King’s Back

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The other day I saw a Facebook post that had the following quote from Jada Pinkett – Smith, Will Smith’s wife, I always walk three steps behind him to his left. Anything that comes toward him from behind, I encounter first. I can clearly see what advances to his right and his left. I also have my sights on what approaches ahead. If I stand beside my King, I can only focus on what’s ahead and if he swings his sword…I will surely be struck. Three steps behind is the most powerful position for a Queen.”

This post garnered a lot of likes and a lot of comments. I myself was humored at the part of her statement that read “if I stand beside my King, I can only focus on what’s ahead and if he swings his sword… I will surely be struck.” After reading the post a couple of times, I myself was compelled to make a comment. First and foremost, I did not think that Jada was literally speaking of walking three steps behind Will, I do believe – like most other readers and those who made comments that she was speaking figuratively. And my response was from a spiritual angle, “That’s a similar protocol for England’s royalty … I’d like to think my King has my back. Which is why my husband always sits facing the door of where we are to protect me from oncoming danger in his words”. As I mentioned in my comment, the protocol that Jada is speaking of – walking 3 steps behind “her King” is protocol very similar to that of the British Monarchy. And the motive behind this practice is out of respect, not for additional protection. Her statement sounds great in theory and figuratively speaking, but we as Christians are warned to be careful of leaven bread – half truths and deceptive teaching that is eloquently stated but have no spiritual foundation. [Matthew 16:12] The bible clearly states that God created woman from the rib of man – from his side – she was created to be a help-meet for man; a helper, not a protector. [Genesis 2:18, 21-23].

Everything that sounds good to us, is not necessarily good for us. Quite honestly, and with all due respect, her statement makes no sense and is not biblically based at all. As children of God, we have to be careful that we do not fall prey to schemes of the enemy through the use of eloquent words, phrases or leaven bread. The bible warns beware of the teachings of Pharisees and Sadducees.

Additional Reading

Royal Protocol & Etiquette

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