My friend posted a blog entitled 7 ways Christian women go wrong regarding relationships. It was kinda interesting, and it got me thinking. We always hear about the ratio of men to women in the church, and how the numbers are low yadda yadda.  I’m not intending to blog about the reasons why, or give tips on how we can manage to smuggle in some unsuspecting males into our congregations. Neither am I going to give you tips on how to manage your singleness. I suggest you rent a Tyler Perry film, and click your heels together really fast like Dorothy in an attempt to transport yourself to your ideal life. Sorry, no further advice. (Guys, I’m joking, singleness is not a curse)

No seriously, my main problem with this apparent man shortage isn’t so much that they aren’t around (although obviously that is worrying), it’s that the ones who are left often have egos bigger than the Biblical canon. Now this would be understandable if these men were Denzel Washington lookalikes, with the brains of Stephen Hawkings, the athletic prowess of Usain Bolt, and the spiritual fortitude of Moses… but no,no, not really. The majority of the men I encounter in church are fairly decent individuals. Polite, relatively hardworking, kind to their Mothers (sometimes a little too attached, but that’s another post), can hold a conversation without eliciting sleep, not bad looking – all round good eggs. The kind of men that you don’t daydream about, but you might end up marrying. Cos you realise that they aren’t Prince Charming but then, neither are you a Princess – you’re just two average folk trying to make it through life, right? Wrong. Because some of these church men are as arrogant as Boris Johnson on a good day.

Why arrogant Shade,  you ask? Because I’ve heard shocking stories (thankfully haven’t experienced it), of men playing several different women off each other because they KNOW they have options. Because the sheer length of what they require from a woman is frankly, ridiculous in relation to their own relative mediocrity. Now, on initial meeting, these men may appear humble. “Praise God”, they say, “Not I but Christ”..all that good stuff. Then the topic of relationships comes up..and the everlasting to everlasting list begins.

His future wife must be:

1)Super spiritual (but mate, wasn’t that you at the club on Saturday night?)

2) Exceedingly good looking (now with all due respect, but…really? Should men who are 5’s be reaching for 10’s?)

3)Have chef like cooking abilities. (Says he with the assorted Pot Noodle collection in his cupboard)

4)Have effortlessly long natural hair.. (ummm..how many pots of Dax do you go through weekly to get your ‘waves’?)

5) Be intelligent, well read and able to hold an intellectual conversation. (Yet you spend the majority of your free time playing Grand Theft Auto )

6)Be a Virgin/ or have a looowww number of previous sexual experiences. (LOL. That’s all I’m going to say to that one. LOL)

7) Wear no makeup (Erm..wasn’t that you banging on about how Gabrielle Union or Kim Kardashian are the hottest things going? You DO realise they wear a full face of makeup for every public appearance right?)

I could go on and on. So this post is tongue in cheek, and I’m sure there are lots of super nice Christian guys who aren’t like this. I know some of them personally. Something I always say to myself though, is that I am to never ask of someone else what I do not require of myself. It’s just downright cheeky to expect the opposite sex to exhibit this list of qualities when you fall faar below that list in your own day to day life.Women are guilty of unrealistic expectations too. I might fantasise about an amazingly handsome man with no character flaws to sweep me off my feet, but then I realise that I am not physically flawless, and neither do I have a flawless personality or character. Only God is perfect. And he knows exactly who to put me with so that we can walk this journey with.

Humility isn’t being unnecessarily self deprecating. It’s realising your strengths and your weaknesses and being realistic abut them with the knowledge that God is the giver of your intelligence, good looks, musical talent, whatever. Seek to marry your equal not your daydream.

Peace guys x

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I’ve always been a bit rebellious. My parents told me that from an early age, out of me and my brother, I was the one who just seemed to have a knack for bending, twisting or blatantly disregarding the rules. Apparently, I often took some sort of perverse thrill from doing things that deep down, I knew would gain me nothing but disapproval.

Take the time when I emptied a pot of eczema cream all over my brother’s face… I had just turned 3 and he was barely 18 months, but somehow I managed to climb into his cot, with a full sized tub of cream in my hand, and smear half it’s contents all over his face. My parents materialised to find their supposedly walnut brown son’s face mysteriously white and contorted in distress, and me attempting to climb out of the cot with a slight smirk on my face. When asked why I would do such an awful thing, I simply said “his face was dry”.Smiling the whole time. No apology. No remorse.  Actually, to this day, I don’t feel bad in the slightest. My brother still doesn’t moisturise himself properly, his face probably was dry, I don’t really see what the big deal was. Isn’t that what friends are for?

My current spate of rebellion involves my new super vegan housemate. It’s supposedly an all vegan household, which is great. I basically kinda got the room on the understanding that I’m vegan. The problem is, I’m what I like to call a flexi-vegan. Meaning that although generally I try to avoid dairy, if a brie sandwich calls my name, who am I to not reply? It’s rude not to answer when someone calls you,  it’s just rude. Anyway, my new housemate/landlord seems very nice. She’s also VERY vegan. She buys shoes from a special shop called ‘Vegetarian Shoes’, and she owns a vegan market stall. And it’s making me want to be rebellious. If I was living in a house of carnivores, I would probably smugly and piously parade my non-cheese macaroni, and my dairy free, gluten free, egg free cupcake, but living with someone who expects it of me makes me want to do the opposite. I want to buy a block of cheddar cheese and secretly eat it in my room under my duvet  while giggling to myself ‘haha, and you thought this was a block of SOYA Mozarella… not even sucker!” Which frankly, is immature and ridiculous, because she probably doesn’t care THAT much. She probably doesn’t care at all in fact. (I really hope she doesn’t read this).

I write all this to say that I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. This isn’t just a Shade thing (although clearly I’m slightly mentally unstable and take it to whole new extreme), it’s a human thing. Human beings are rebellious.

Yesterday, I watched half of a show called Unsafe Sex in the City. It was amusing in parts, but mostly shocking, scary, and made me want to sit with my legs folded for the next..10 years maybe? I’m looking at the general public in a whole new light. As far as I’m concerned, all of y’all have chlamydia. And the rest of you have syphilis. Which is why I love working at a hospital, no one gets offended when I anti-bac my hands after I shake hands with them. It’s ‘routine health and safety’ – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (On a serious note, you can’t get STI’s from shaking hands, and I don’t think you’re a disgusting person if you’ve had one/have one. And I’m aware that not everyone who isn’t a virgin/celibate is sleeping with multiple partners). What struck me, was the fact that in a world where we are the most liberated about sexual behaviour than we ever have been before, we are also the most fearful about sexual behaviour. Our rates of diseases are rising, teenage pregnancies are out of control, and young people are having sex more and earlier. I’m not sure we’re particularly happier though. We seem to have thrown off the prison of Victorian morality but I don’t think we are freer. We’ve just transferred to another jail. There are no rules anymore, and we’re left wandering around trying to make up our own individual guidebooks,  forever out of sync with each other.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry”1 Samuel 15:23.

It’s not popular to talk about God and freedom in the same sentence. Modern society teaches us to be unashamed, to dismiss anyone who tells us that there are rules – that there are standards for sexual behaviour, or pretty much any behaviour outside of don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t lie (depending).

I believe God describes rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft because rebellion against His moral standards makes the statement that your power is greater than God’s. That you, the created being, know more than the Creator. It’s a deceitful spell that charms you into believing that you will find happiness and freedom living your life your own way, but often you are left wondering what has gone wrong, and why something feels like it’s not quite right.

True freedom is not the freedom to do as you want. It’s the freedom to do as you should. Being a slave to whatever takes your fancy isn’t really radical at all, it’s what humans have been doing since we got here. I’m praying that I learn to be a real rebel.

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to be so free, that your very existence is an act of rebellion”. Albert Camus

One of my friends posted a link on Facebook yesterday to an article discussing whether women should go halves on engagement ring. My eyebrows instantly shot up. The top left corner of my lip instantly began to sneer. What a ludicrous idea.  Here are some choice morsels from the article for you to chew on.

‘I think it makes for a better connection between the two people,’ she said, ‘because both the man and woman earn money and contribute to the financials.’ (Samantha Daniels).  Pure folly.

‘We live in a generation where women work and are often breadwinners of the family. So why should the man have to pay for a ring solely?’ Unadulterated tomfoolery. (Say that with me in your best Queen Elizabeth accent, doesn’t it feel good?) 

I’ll tell you why. Everyone is missing a very basic and fundamental point. The reason the man pays for the engagement ring is because he is the one asking the woman to marry him. Duh. Duuuhhh. It’s all about the chase. Like, how are you gonna call me, charm me, persuade me to finally go out on a date with you, and then be like, “So we’re going halves, yeh?” Nah, you’re washing dishes at the restaurant mate. Looks like it’s going to be a looonng evening for you. It’s not sexism, it’s simplicity. Whoever asks, pays. I’m the type of woman who never asks, so I never pay (for first dates at the very least).  If I asked a man to marry me (not that that would ever happen, unless I was 40 and my womb began to blow out dust and ash), then I wouldn’t ask him to go splitsies on the ring! What kind of cheeky cheapskate movement is that? 

Let’s use an analogy. My womb is like a room. Men  clearly, cannot procreate without my womb, just like people cannot live without a house or room. Effectively the my future husband will be renting my womb (room) from me on a long term basis. Every sensible landlord (every sensible woman), requires a deposit on the room (womb). The deposit in this case, is 1 maybe 2 years of dating, culminating in an engagement. The contract is the marriage/wedding. Once bound to the contract, the landlord is bound to allow the tenant to use the room (womb) under whatever terms and conditions are stipulated in the contract until the contract ends, or the tenant breaks his side of the contract (till death do us part, unless you cheat one me – well that’s the Christian terms and conditions anyway). If the contract is broken by the landlord, then presumably the tenant gets their deposit back (the ring).

Ok, so I’m kidding. Well, not really….any potential long term tenants out there? My deposit may be expensive but I can assure you the room is well worth the price. Please email me to discuss the finer details of the contract.

On a serious note, I don’t want an engagement ring. I think they’re a waste of money personally, and I would MUCH rather he bought me £1000 worth of Marks and Spencer’s vouchers so that I could eat posh food for a whole year, or bought me a new wardrobe, or less selfishly spent the money on building our lives together. The mere fact that people are considering going halves shows that whole charade is silly. If a man can’t afford an expensive ring, he should by a cheaper one. Sorted. And the woman he’s with should be proud that she’s with someone who’s financially sensible.

Side note: I was really not up for going into hospital to examine patients and stuff today because I’ve been off with the flu/cold, and I’m generally bored with medicine. But I had a lovely patient who made me cry and it reminded me why I’m doing this. It’s so much better to look  for the good in each day – cynicism is only good for blog posts 🙂

Peace guys xx

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2439331/Couples-going-Dutch-engagement-rings-makes-sense-financially.html#ixzz2gakYy3pQ 

michael jackson

 

 

This is all said in good humour folk 🙂

1) Miley Cyrus

Now, I don’t think anyone really rates her as a musician, but she’s overrated enough to be getting media attention for doing a poor impersonation of the ghetto black woman she has concocted in her imagination. Please, Miley, go back to Disney. I secretly used to occasionally watch Hannah Montana when the only other option was Jeremy Kyle, it was a cool show if you’re into that kinda thing. The ratchet shop called and they want their hoodrat back.

2)Chicken.

This has to be the most overrated animal on planet earth. Now, as a vegetarian who also happens to be curious, I have tried a fairly wide selection of meats just to see what the fuss was about. Once when I was 7, I went crazy at a birthday party and ate 14 ham sandwiches in one sitting (they were the little kiddie size ones). I also drank 7 cups of Coca Cola, cos I wasn’t allowed to drink that either.The pastor preached a sermon about lying that week and I broke down and confessed to my parents (they’re veggie too). But that Ham was good. Chicken though, nah. It’s just an average meat. And yes, I’ve tried someone’s Mum’s chicken that was apparently supposed to be the best chicken in the world. I’ve tasted it 4 times in my life and every time it’s been a complete anti-climax.

3)Richard Dawkins.

I was scared to read the God Delusion because I thought it might cause me to lose my faith. However, it was a refreshingly mediocre work of philosophy, with arguments similar to the ones that used to circulate in GCSE R.E. “Well who created God then?”..and “Religion causes wars” etc. And it won a book award. As a scientist, there’s no doubt that Richard Dawkins is brilliant. As a pop culture philosopher, overrated. I was confused – this man is cleverer than most people, well he’s definitely clever than me, and this was the best he could come up with? If I wanted to dwell in the valley of doubt, I would read Bertrand Russell instead.

4) Chanel no 5.

This perfume is apparently the epitome of elegance, refinery and exudes French chic or whatever. I kinda think it smells like Glade air freshener mingled with eau de nursing home. I really wanted to like it because of the hype generated around it.  It’s classic, it’s timeless bla bla. Nope, instead I went for Jimmy Choo Flash. Which is apparently a lot more tacky and chavvy (not that there’s anything wrong with being a chav, just other people think there is), but in my opinion smells nicer. I would have bought the Chanel Allure, but then I decided ain’t nobody got money fo’ that anyway.

5) Expensive face creams.

There’s some doo-doo cream called Creme de La Mer.Now, I haven’t tried it, but I’m telling you it’s doo-doo. Why? Because it’s just straight up crazy to pay £120 for a pot of snail slime mixed with chemicals. Jesus is looking down at you buying that when there are children in Sudan who don’t have a rice grain to boil or a bean to toot. (Im aware of the hyprocrisy seeing that I spent money on Jimmy Choo perfume, but aaall perfume is expensive, and it came with a free handbag). I was buying moisturiser from Lush for £11 pounds a pot when I suddenly came to my senses and thought “Do I even have a job? Do I not owe David Cameron over £30,000 pound in student loans? Am I not, at this very moment buying Sainsbury’s basics honey with some one colour bees on the front because I cannot afford to buy a pot that has bees with both black and yellow stripes? So why am I spending £11 on a 0.2 mg pot of cream?”

6) Michael Jackson.

Yeh, I said it. Although his untimely death was really sad, I have to admit, I just don’t the hype generated around his music. Now, growing up in a fairly strict Christian home, MJ wasn’t part of my childhood music diet. So when I was first introduced to him, I was waiting with bated breath for my musical tastebuds to be tantalised. Nah, fell flat. I mean there are some cool upbeat tunes I guess, but if I’m on a desert island, Michael Jackson isn’t in my top 10 albums. Not even my top 50. I would honestly rather listen to Kirk Franklin (the Michael Jackson of the gospel world) than MJ all day any day, and I’m not even a massive Kirk fan. In fact, I would even rather listen to Adele. And I think she’s overrated too.

Peace guys! x

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Yesterday,  one of my friends celebrated their birthday so we drove up to Birmingham to eat out at a restaurant. It was a fun evening, we had a lot of laughs, and on the drive back down we began talking about why so many young people who are Christians end up having sex before marriage. So apparently, everyone’s singing the Hallelujah chorus in church on Saturday morning’s, and then grabbing their significant others and getting their groove on on Saturday night. Houston, we have a problem. The big deal is that… everyone pretends that they don’t. Or at least I’m not hearing about it from them.

Now, these people aren’t necessarily the dubious church goers who sit at the back playing Temple Run during the sermon, or who take two trips to the front at Communion so that they can get extra bread – nope, they’re people who seem to be generally committed to their faith, engage with church activities and are presumably genuine. Seeing as lots of people are doing it, why is no one really talking about it?

I think it might be because as a church or a faith in general, we’ve put far too high a value on virginity, and people are scared of how much they will be judged.This might sound crazy, but I genuinely feel that if I went out getting drunk every Saturday night, or was a pathological liar, I would probably feel a lot more ‘holy’ than if I lost my virginity once and then never had sex again. Now, my relationship with God would still be damaged by lying, or shoplifting, etc, but I think the rest of Christendom see pathological lying as a fairly minor misdemeanour in comparison to me losing my virginity. That scares me that I even think that could possibly be true, even it’s not the actual reality.

Not only that, but I think if I was a guy, it honestly wouldn’t be that much of a big deal. Many Christian men say they want to marry a virgin, but when I say it, I know deep down in my heart that the chances are pretty slim. It’s just not as important for men to be pure as it is women. Theoretically, we know that God requires it equally of men and women, but practically that’s not what we insinuate to young men and women. We expect men to struggle sexually and eventually give in, and if they hold out till 24 they’ll probably get an extra dollop of stew at church potluck.

I distinctly remember being told somewhere by someone that the most precious gift I can give my husband is my virginity. What? Not my glowing personality or sparkling wit and intelligence?  Nope, the fact that I haven’t had penetrative sex. Oh ok, thanks for that. Not only is this deeply sexist, it’s also slightly dehumanising. Not to mention the fact that it’s not biblical. Put it this way – I’m fooling around with a guy, we almost reach the point of no return, but thankfully someone opens the front door and we do the embarrassing scramble for shirts, re arranging sofa cushions etc. Am I still a virgin? Yeh, technically I guess.

Does God place value on virginity? Yes, in the sense that God values obedience to the biblical teaching of abstinence. Is it a beautiful thing to be able to marry someone and both be able to learn together sexually without comparisons of other people invading that space? Certainly. God places a far higher value on purity though. A non-virgin who has a character that seeks to serve others, to be honest, to be kind, to be courageous, to deal with lust that threatens to taint her mind and not just his/her body has more than a virgin who spends the whole day lusting after other people or watching porn, screwing his/her face at the general public, and knocking over little old ladies in Tescos.

The greatest gift I can give to my future husband isn’t my virginity, although that would be ideal and I’m aiming for that. (not sure about the terminology of ‘give’ and ‘take’, but that’s another post). It’s the fact that I’m generally a pretty cool person, with (I hope), a pretty cool personality, and I love God. And I can climb trees, even in a skirt. And I have a secret love for Country and Western music. And I cook a good chickpea curry. And have this little clicky thing I can do with my pinky fingers…. Ok, so I do definitely do value purity over strange party tricks, climbing trees and curry – but you get my point. We value technical virginity too much and don’t value sexual purity enough. I’m trying to get to the point where I’m just as concerned about what goes on inside my mind as in my body.