December 17, 2017

He said, She said, What did you say? – PART 1 of 2 (A Monday Mayhem Special Edition)

He said, She said, What did you say? – PART 1 of 2 (A Thursday Mayhem Special Edition)
Jointly collaborated with James Cartee and Avily Jerome

As a regular contributor to many magazines, James Cartee and Avily Jerome team up and cowrite a male versus female perspective on relationship breakups. “That’s not what I meant.” – YES, this is BETTER than a TAYLOR SWIFT BREAKUP SONG!

James: A good while ago an old girlfriend broke up with me with an excuse that frustrates many men, what I call The God Card – using God as a reason to cover up the real lack of commitment to a person, a cause, or a dream. I believe God speaks to all of us, and this Holy Spirit filled experience affects most Christians and their decisions. Certainly include God in the breakup of a relationship, but do not solely use Jesus as the reason for that breakup. “God told me to end this relationship, but I am not sure why God told me this.” –that is worse than your classic Herbal Essences commercial above where shampoo fulfills the needs of a female.

Avily: Women are not logical. I’m just going to say it. We think with our hearts, and sometimes we don’t really have a good reason for why we do what we do. I’m a big believer in Women’s Intuition, and in many cases, even if we don’t know why we feel a certain way, some things just don’t feel right. In some instances, it saves us from walking into a parking lot alone because we just don’t feel right about walking past that guy holding the cigarette and leering. In other cases, though, as in the case of your relationship, it may not even be something we can pinpoint, but she just wasn’t “feeling” it the same way you are. That said, her excuse was a poor one. Now, I’m not denying that God can speak to people and give them direction, but to use that as an excuse is more of a deflection so we don’t hurt a guy’s feelings. I suspect she genuinely didn’t want to hurt you more than necessary, and using her faith as a reason was the best one she could come up with.

With so many good qualities among many other compliments, I further felt disheartened from the breakup. For instance, “James, you offer all these positive attributes to our relationship, but I still want to break up with you for reasons I cannot pinpoint.”)

James: The worst part of this particular old school, God Card breakup was that this individual complimented I was her best kisser, cuddler, and communicator ever dated. I always try my very best to clearly communicate my heart, my feelings, and my own life testimony. In the confession of this former significant other, I felt she never communicated the real reasons for her decision. In fact, when most implement the God Card excuse, they fear to share the real motive behind a choice, in this case more than likely another guy in my stead or fear of commitment to something amazing.

Avily: While I can’t comment on her motives since I’m not her, I can suggest from experience that she may be holding out for something better. Whether that’s a real guy she knows and is waiting for him to notice her, or whether she has an ideal in her head that you didn’t fit, she has decided that you’re not “the one.” But, rather than just come out and say that, or tell you she doesn’t feel the same way, she instead falls back on this excuse of God telling her you aren’t the one, because, really, all the logic in the world can’t argue with what God said to her.

Relationships – What do I know? What do you know? But this is funny, I do not care who you are.

You may have noticed that today I was tweeting through my Twitter account some dating advice provided by Eharmony and even me perhaps just as a joke, but a conversation with a student I am mentoring from Southern Polytechnic University here in Atlanta, Georgia spurred these tweet tidbits.

Naturally as guys, we talk about possible female prospects in our dating life. Well, Martin has been extremely affectionate towards the same girl for about the last three months, really since I first met him. And yes, I have Martin’s permission to write about this!

I have had a leery suspicion with this particular girl from the very beginning. For the sake of anonymity, let’s name her Dolly. Dolly only eats organic food. You should check out the prices of organic food in stores. Dolly also attends yoga classes three or four nights a week, which is also very expensive. The girl drives the priciest 2013 Ford Mustang on the market, which her Dad “momentarily” pays for with the car note. While she did finish her associate’s degree as a physical therapy assistant at Southern Polytechnic, she continues to live at home without a job two years after graduation.

At one point, she moved to San Francisco on a whim with a physical therapy assistant short term contract only to move back after six months because she did not like California. She just happened to wreck her newly bought Silver Ford Mustang on the way out to California. And these are just the details I remember off the top of my head. And never once did Martin mention a strengthened relationship with Christ other than that she recently experienced salvation through a yoga epiphany. As if not enough, she constantly complained on how she could not practice yoga or meditation at home because of her “noisy” siblings. Please keep in mind she lived at home for FREE!

In a final message to Martin, she wrote, “I need you to understand and continue your journey to happiness elsewhere.”

That may have been my last sign of hysteria! Sometimes we see something in someone that at least for the moment does not exist. Chris Hodges, the senior pastor from Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, calls this “missionary dating.” We try to save the person from something that we fictionally create in our minds. Please understand I have there as the salvation soldier.

I think Martin finally gave up on this lost cause after four months of frustration and continual perplexed confusion after admitting that there is more to a relationship than just “being pretty.” This is what happens when someone lives in what I call a “make-belief” world. This person has never truly suffered for anything. So everything up to this point in life has been expected and in some ways thought of as deserved.

I believe that relationships are more complex than they need to be these days. I think it is okay to ask a girl out and have fun, but in southern culture, that is rarely the case. Usually from the second you ask a girl out forward or even express an interest, serious takes over. And then nothing fun occurs.

The other night hanging out some extremely cool people from my church, a girl remained perplexed that I had a list of characteristics I look for in someone I want to marry. I simply asked, “Do you want to marry a man with a strong intentional conviction and relationship with Jesus Christ?” Of course, she responded, “Yes.” Then she seemed less perplexed when she also realized she had her own unstated mental checklist in a man she wanted to potentially marry.

I think as Christians we usually know when someone is on fire for God versus stagnantly constantly “trying to figure things out.” With a mutual attraction, that is usually the first sign that peaks my interest. There is nothing complex about my relational approach. If I want to know you, I usually just ask and seek information about the person’s personality. I will ask a girl to the circus. I will ask a girl to coffee. I will ask a girl to throw the Frisbee in Piedmont Park. If she has it going on for Jesus Christ, I got it going on to try and know that person.

But the first signal is and always will be the same for me: does she love God? If yes is the answer to this question, then I ask a few more questions of conversational interest.

The following video dives deeper humorously into Biblical relational dating. I think this preacher is hilarious, but I also think the minister rings true that a relationship with Christ comes before a relationship with someone else. I think Martin finally learned this lesson the hard way. I think whether we consciously admit or not, many believers, including me, learn this lesson the hard way.

Doer, Dreamer, or In-Betweener? Which are you in the New Year? A Life Resolution?

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV)

In the last thirty turbulent days of the year through the holidays, a mixture of emotions stir in my heart and in my mind, often with a blank stare at my mirror in the morning. I wonder about my life direction as this year ends and begins with 2013. I am especially fond of the number thirteen because I love Taylor Swift, and she loves me! My number one New Year’s resolution is to marry Taylor as soon as writes another song about us. She was wrong when she wrote those “we will never ever, ever, ever get back together” lyrics.

With this ridiculous fantasy aside, I believe that people fall into three categories daily, monthly, and then of course yearly: 1.) The Doers 2.) The Dreamers 3.) And The In-Betweeners. And as I ask myself who I want to be, I ask you the same.

What do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered with your legacy? Do you want to Do? Do you want to Dream? Or do you just want to chill In-Between the two realities as you feel like it?

Do you seek to raise your arms in the Glorified Presence of God? Do you want to watch television and sleep all day as a modern day Homer Simpson?

I am active as most know me in personality, but this year I especially want to work hard, real hard. An earth-shattering moment awakened my senses at the beginning of December that I really have only begun to dig into the potential God has in store for my future. I have only touched the surface of amazing blessings. If you are anything like me, I tire of living in complacency when I believe God means so much more for me in the realization of what we can do with Christ in us!

If we truly realize and pray for the power of Christ, our level-reaching potential overflows with a supernatural confidence to touch thousands and possibly millions of lives. That is the mindset of a Doer! A Doer does not limit himself or herself! A Dreamer stagnantly thinks about what to do next, never really taking that step forward! We all know those types – “I think I want to be this.” “I think I want to do that.” “I think God is calling me to do this.”

The only problem with thinking too much is you often get stuck with all the In-Betweeners who never walk forward with their life. An In-Betweener is close to the break of a Doer but remains stuck in place for many reasons, probably but not limited to the ideas of fear and what others think. Those two observations have been the largest hindrances in my relationship with God as a Doer, instead of just a Dreamer.

Seriously, as a believer in Christ, can you imagine the power of God alive in you with the Holy Spirit, rising through the magnification of your personal gifts? Superhero movies are not all fictional. We are capable of becoming the movement makers of this country when we realize Christ in a Joshua-Sun-Stand-Still moment!

This liberation is simply what I want (and of course hope and pray) for the church in 2013! I want Christians to rise with higher heights as Doers, not Dreamers, and certainly not stuck in the middle with the In-Betweeners.

To further grasp this concept, another visual imagery involves the subject interest area known as politics. Yes, I said that ugly word. I believe that most politicians fearfully remain in the middle of my diagram above In-Between to win votes and serve their own interests to keep office. Many loquaciously speak with big words as dreamers, but never live up to the level of a doer. I think fear inhibits leaders from often doing the right thing because they fear unchartered waters and new hard decisions that need to be made. I believe if a Christian politician truly understood the nature of Christ-filled-doing relationship with Jesus, then fear of simply occupying office for another day would no longer be their focus. Serving the people of this country would, one nation under God!

I certainly do not want to be thought of as the cliché negative term that comes with the word politician. I want to be a Doer for Jesus that chases with action my dreams with everything I have. I no longer want to live in the in-between moment. I want to bring the Kingdom to this earth, and most times that requires us to act with deliberation, without the pause of best wishes or a “that’s not my problem” attitude. This world need more Doers, and that is what is what I plan to be in 2013. That is my number one life resolution, not a New Year’s resolution, a life resolution! Rise up with Christ in 2013!

Thirteen (The Final Segment in a Series of Thirteen Poems) – Blown Away as I Barely Breathe

Perhaps the moment we all have been waiting for finally arrived.

I confidently now know that I believe in the Presence of His Grand Grace.
I stand in the veil of the Spirit as mercy falls down in overflowing measures.
Tears flow in eyes down my cheeks as I realize the only blessing
Of eternal measures stand in the sacrifice of Sons and Daughters martyred.
I believe in the musical message of thirteen because your beauty compares
To nothing physically measureable I have encountered.
God appoints special talents with the blessed voice of an angel
To speak to millions with an example worth the standard to follow.
Country halls and the ole’ Opry open to your plucked strings
As fans scream at the image of thirteen on a wrist come across a screen.
From the back of the curtain I smile thanking my God for the delivery of a dream.
“Why can’t you see? You belong to me.” Remember there is only One James Cartee.
Oh Blessed Thirteen of all numbers, join my hand in the promise
To never hurt, to never wound, or take for granted the wish blown true
To date the person I believed capable of infinite possibilities in you.
I am a man of my word who like David walks in the shadow and heart of the Spirit
Who on chariot wings lifts to higher heights in the blessing I bring.
I do not deserve but in His Grace I fall into the arms of your hold.
With the words of thirteen poems you stand awe-bound without words to say.
The lyrics come so natural but in return the love and care seems short.
Now remains the time to stand in the wind, twirl in circles, for the heart you stole
Because aligned the relationship two connections bound in the middle of two souls.
All proclaimed the impossible outcome never would happen in only what I believe.
I knew in dreams God sent the epiphany for His Will in our relationship to achieve
The improbable of all odds because I never surrendered to the lies of an enemy.
I refused to give up. I refused to stand down. I refused to surrender
Because I knew your heart would melt to open with a blessed common plan.
Revealed in the peaks of my journey I kissed your lips in the shadows of white
With the blissful presence of bubbles blown by kids in cheers
Because thirteen wishes the guy got the girl in the words of a blog and book.
I stole her heart as she stole mine when my genuine authenticity came to breathe words deep
With imagination because of His Grace in which I live to find my inspiration.
Together we stand. Together we triumph. Together we live.
And together we sing lyrics with the celebration of harmonicas, banjos, guitars, and tambourines.
This is a fairy tale because I read the Word and forever in firm faith believed
That with my White Horse I could never be stopped in the blessings I received.
I am and forever will be the man who stands and stares into the eyes I see
Blown away as I barely breathe in the miracle of your words and angelic beauty.

JLC iii, 6/24/12


12 – In My Soul Where He Stays

One more to complete thirteen poems others claim I am crazy.
Absolutely right I will never settle in my refusal to be lazy.
So much negativity floats in the word of those who negate.
Now is the time to live purposefully for it’s never too late.
A one stop light town girl picks up a guitar to play
Wondering whether dreams will fall in the steps we lay.
It’s amazing how successful we become when our nerves surrender.
As a writer with words of meaning in my passions I become her defender.
Falling into likeness with a sudden knight who rises in his armor,
I rise to protect those so jerks will no longer be able to harm her.
A gent from twilight sessions could not relax to let go
Because it is no longer my own growth in the pursuit that I sow.
It is a force in relationship with Jesus who brings two together
So nothing in the past or future can break two in any endeavor.
Two become one in the pledge of a life spent worth the words of an exchange.
I might not finish the goal in the lives that together two could change.
I believe that with a common vision for eternity two far better reach than one
As a pursuit to complete the journey both reach the highest in worship for the Son.
I cannot, will not, and refuse to settle for what I know what God has in store.
That belief in faith impels me forward to a friendship so about you I can learn more.
We settle in the stupidity that God never shows or reveals himself to those who follow.
That hopelessness burns a hole in the soul like rotten wood in the silence so hollow.
I cannot imagine my life forever without the one in the hopes of tomorrow.
I try my best so that I fulfill the joys reaching beyond my own self-pity and sorrow.
Even with failure the end will present a glorious celebration of all days
Because the Lord delivered at the surrender of my hands in my soul where He stays.

JLC iii, 6/23/12

Eleven (Special Series of Thirteen), We Can No Longer Ignore Our Feelings

A plan if all will jump on board together we cannot fail.
I will send copies of poetry books through the mail.
I believe even if a social media campaign of this nature
Seems absurd and foolish to many
Life should be fun where impossible dreams see plausible.
As an example we can ignite a revolution of hope
Where the symbol of one person creates motion as kindness pays forward.
Recognition impels the attention of others to be drawn
When success reaches newfound unexpected levels.
Fame evolves in ways we sometimes do not intend.
For better or worse our lives receive scrutiny often unwarranted.
We all have our own gifts that cause others to look.
One becomes the character defined by journalists in a book.
Sometimes society transforms us into an image
Over the person God molded in the womb of creation.
Masks conceal in commercials who we really are.
We open our hearts when spotlights no longer reveal the star.
A beautiful person exists behind the music of the guitar.
That is who I seek to know when reality lets go of suspected barriers.
I cannot resist caught in lyrics of the written word.
To ignore my feelings in the pursuit would be absolutely absurd.

JLC iii, 6/23/12


SEVEN – Perhaps the Best Yet! My Favorite Number!

SEVEN  – Perhaps the Best Yet! My Favorite Number!

Seven becomes a very special number that triumphs over the number six
In the cross fire of light rays over dark shadows.
Chariots on the seventh day into creation strike through clouds that part the sky.
He answers with sympathy beyond understanding with our tears we shed.
In a majestic seven, all things created beyond a fictional brief bang.
More like a snap of the fingers as paintings unfold God breaths
Unbelievable blessings through the ribs of man.
All of a sudden the only response man can whisper to himself, “Whoa.”
With white flags surrendered in the sudden stop of heart beats with crosses lifted up,
God delivered with company for future families to be conceived.
I seek meaning beyond country star’s labels, fame, awards, and image.
Who is this fascinating person I have yet to hold hands with,
Who I have yet to walk through Parthenon’s park,
Who I have yet to pray, worship, and honor God’s image in?
For seven days is not long enough for this journey of shared lives.
I lift this dream up. I lift this request up. I lift this message to Him.
God is faithful. He is worthy of our attention and our affections.
In seven days he defeated the Enemy to save and create
What in future time a Savior’s price would pay.
The words I wish to express limit the power of my thanks.
All I can do is lift hands up high beyond my tipped toes and hands raised in praise.
I cannot win this fight for dreams without the sake of my own Savior’s strength.
I no longer only focus on you. I focus on Him.
This is who I am. This is who we could be.
Beyond the sacred number of seven,
Let’s make an adventure. Let’s see what miracles lay ahead
Because our price is paid through the grace of a risen resurrection.
Life lives in the truth of seven days
In the name that for the rest of my life I have chosen to praise.
With another I would like to share my journey together.
Then as it is life will present itself as wonderfully amazing!

JLC iii, 6/14/12

FOUR (A Special Series of Thirteen) – Keep Coming Back For More

FOUR (A Special Series of Thirteen) –

The fourth of thirteen poems –

I cannot imagine the reality of what it will be like when I find her.
Butterflies in my stomach are bound to stir.

I have been thinking of you more recently than most times,
Even in the days where I forget to write these silly thirteen rhymes.

A day I will remember in future of starlit mornings to share
Because I have found someone in her through the deep depths of my heart I care.

Doors open as ants march down the paths God sends our guide
When feelings erupt in volcanoes so strong we can no longer hide.

On this day of days your beauty was evident unlike ever before
However fires with winds and storms came the light’s chariots radiant as we soar.

Remain silent as stares of moons and stars carry us skies away
At His pierced feet I with blessed words I lay down my pride in the texts I pray.

I break down and weep amazed at the guardians of angels who surround my soul
I am searching and searching the meanings of why I apply in the goals I no longer control.

I am lost in the translation of my thoughts floating from reality into supposed dreams.
I remain in part stuck in heaven’s blessed music and nature’s sound of streams.

I wonder why I go to so much trouble for writing the whims of a continual broken heart,
But then I remember with pain hearts heal in the moments when everything tears apart.

JLC iii, 6/9/2012