Real Talk w/Terry

We All Are in Need of God’s Grace

I recently saw a show where the widow of a Pastor who had committed suicide as a result of the Ashley Madison hack and leak was interviewed. As this widow shared her story of losing her husband and life partner, my heart literally ached for her. Her story made me think of Josh Duggar, another Ashley Madison client, and his wife and what they both must be going through. The shame, guilt and conviction of knowing that the man – at the head of their house – who was so vocal and unforgiving of those who do not follow their strict conservative Christian belief system has major character and moral flaws of his own.

WeddingRings_interlockingWhat comes to mind is Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” God’s unconditional love for us is so great that while we were dead in sin, it was God’s grace that saved us. He looked beyond our shortcomings and our sin and had mercy on us! We all are in need of God’s grace. No matter how perfect we try to live, even on our best day – we still fall short. The very sinful nature and heart of man should compel us to be empathetic towards our fellow man. Oftentimes, this unfortunately is not the case. I often witness, those of us who are mature in Christ feel it’s our duty to act as judge and jury to those who are struggling with a particular issue or sin. True, we must hold our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable for their actions, but must do so in love. And remember that Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

Rebuke in love …. we all are in need of God’s Grace! Hacker

Twitter: @terry411cato / @rlats411

Why Are So Many Women Excited About Scandal?

Most, if not all women absolutely despise infidelity and cheating. That being said, why are so many glued to their television on Thursday nights watching ABC’s Scandal? The show follows Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, and her associates who are all lawyers but none actually practice law, they work at a Crisis Management Firm created by Pope protecting the images of  high-profile clients ensuring that their secrets remain private. And the major “secret” is that heroine Olivia Pope who is the former Communications Director for the President is/was having an affair with the commander-in-chief. The Olivia Pope character is loosely based on former President George Bush administration press aide, Judy Smith who is a co-executive producer for the show.

I wonder, do women love Olivia Pope because somewhere deep down inside they can somehow relate to her? Or better yet, do they want to be Olivia Pope? You have a beautiful, successful woman, who appears to have it all as far as her career is concerned. She however, has romantic ties to a powerful leader and appears to have an enormous amount of control over the affair. Are women excited to finally see a woman enthralled in an affair and appear to not be emotionally overcome by it? Are women vicariously living through Olivia Pope? Things that make you go ummmm.


I am not one to jump on the band wagon of the latest fad or it thing, but I must admit after hearing so much about the show and week after week reading the many posts in my Facebook timeline about the happenings of the week I must admit that I caved in to the pressure and started watching Season 1 of Scandal on my Netflix. Like many before me, I was hooked after the first episode. I’m trying to finish watching episodes on Netflix to get a good understanding of the plot before jumping on the weekly Scandal bandwagon – I therefore stay off of Facebook on Thursday evenings to avoid any spoilers.

The show has faced some criticism, ranging from what exactly is the show about to the plot being the same type of cliché’s that creator Shonda Rhimes is well known for in shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. I personally think that Shonda Rhimes is a brilliant writer. She obviously knows how to bring in the ratings and awards. In addition to Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off Private Practice, she has worked on projects such as HBO’s Introducing Dorothy Dandridge that garnered lead actress Halle Berry numerous awards and  Crossroads a movie featuring Britney Spears that grossed over $60 million; and her Grey’s Anatomy anchors the coveted Thursday night time slot for ABC.

Now, back to my original question, being that women typically frown upon infidelity, why exactly are women so emotionally charged with Scandal? (wink & a smile) Responses welcome…

Is Infidelity Grounds For A Divorce?

A couple of years ago, I had an encounter with a young lady who was at her wits end. She had just learned that her husband and children’s father had an affair and had fathered, not one, but two children outside of their marriage. She was extremely frustrated at the fact that many people in her circle of friends and acquaintances knew of this affair and the first love child, and chose not to tell her. She learned of the affair as the mistress was about to give birth to baby number two. As a Christian, she solicited my advice concerning what I felt she should do in the situation. She point blank asked me, “can I leave my husband, he cheated on me?” I was a little speechless, and was trying to think fast on my feet. I knew that she was eager to hear what I had to say, but more importantly I knew that I could not say something that could lead this young lady to make one of the most important decisions of her life. I then responded, “let’s see what the bible says about divorce.” She continued sharing as I frantically looked for scriptures on my Bible Gateway app to share with her. I feverishly scrolled through the Old Testament then the New Testament looking for scriptures to share.

First off, in Malachi 2:6, the bible says, “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. The scripture passage before this one ends with the words, do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. God knows the pain and shame that is caused by a spouse’s unfaithfulness and warns of infidelity by telling husbands not to harm their wives by first of all hating them, then by being unfaithful and finally divorcing them. God clearly does not like divorce, however, God knows that man and woman are not perfect and that we live in a fallen world. He knew that infidelity would exist. And therefore gave Moses guidelines in the Law where divorce was acceptable. In Deuteronomy 24:1, the bible says that a man can divorce his wife if he finds something indecent about her; and in the New Testament in Matthew 5:32 the bible clearly states sexual immorality as an acceptable reason for a divorce.

Now back to my conversation with this young lady, I tried to distract her from the subject as much as possible, but did read through the scriptures that I found concerning divorce. And she of course was relieved and jubilant when I read Matthew 5:32, exclaiming, “see, the bible says that sexual immorality is a reason for divorce!” I could not disagree with her, but continued my tactic of distracting her.

Matthew 5:32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (NIV)

Based on what the bible says about divorce, one would conclude that a spouse can divorce based on unfaithfulness. This being true, it is not God’s original design for marriage. Realizing it was not good for man to be alone, God created Eve for Adam and stated that they were one flesh. And regarding marriage, “that for this reason shall a man leave his father and mother.” The man leaves his father and mother to become one with his wife. Clearly God’s original blue print for marriage was that it would be until death parted the couple. However, the part of the vow that says, “until death do us part” is not the reality for many couples. And like the young lady I was talking to, divorce becomes not only an option, but their reality.

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