This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
One-on-One with YourSELF
A. B. Almore
This book is dedicated to my Pastor, John H. Pierce Jr., and Elder, Judy Pierce, of St. John Missionary Baptist Church. Your teachings and lifestyles inspired me to confront my issues within. For that, I’m eternally grateful. God bless you!
I Dare You Nathan New Mind Resolution Yield Facing Your Fears Facing the Familiar Facing Self Facing Your Weight Facing the Numbers Why Face the Numbers Pride Yes You Are! It’s Him but It’s You Two Way Street It’s Me Acknowledgements 9 13 19 27 35 43 51 59 67 75 79 85 93 99 105 113
I Dare You
on’t even think about it. I know when you saw the cover of this book, read the title, and skimmed over the back, immediately somebody
else’s face popped into your mind. “Hmm, this will be a good book for So-and-So to read. This is exactly what they need to get themselves together.” Well, I’ve got news for you. When God placed this book in my spirit, I didn’t have “So-and-So” in mind. I had your face in mind! I had your insecurities, your weaknesses, your internal thoughts and wars in mind—the side of you that nobody knows about. Oh, you know what I’m talking about—the side of you that curses your spouse out in your mind daily. Careful! It’s only a matter of time until it manifests outwardly.
The Other You
I thought about the side of you that you throw into the closet when your Pastor and other tiers of leadership come around. I want to speak to the part of you that’s afraid to do what God is calling you to do. This is for the one who’s behind the mask that you put on before walking out of the house. By the way, you forgot to put your mask on one morning. Everybody knows you’re fronting!
I Dare You It’s OK though—nobody’s around but you and me. Just keep reading. It’s time to address those wounds. It’s time to confront those pains and to bring those disappointments and failures out of the closet.
It’s Now or Never
It’s time for you to get a grip on your emotions and stop passing the blame on to your children, to your spouse, and to your co-workers. It’s time for you to embrace the one thing that you have neglected for years now—the mirror of reality. All these years you have looked in the mirror, but you have looked past yourself. When is the last time you stared into your own eyes and dealt with yourself? Do you even know what you look like anymore? You’re so fierce and quick to jump on others who are on the outside, but cowardly enough to look past the one on the inside.
Deal with Yourself
You, my friend, are your worst enemy. You are the weakest link in your life. You are a walking excuse and a brilliant blamer. You have been delivered from so many things. Now it’s time for the greatest deliverance of all— the deliverance from self! You have been waiting for this moment your whole life, but you didn’t have the heart to deal with yourself.
I Dare You These next couple of pages are going to be brutal yet truthful. I dare you to clear your mind of your spouse, your children, church, friends, family, and co-workers. Politely ask them to exit your mind. This time, it’s personal. This time, your energy, focus, and rage aren’t channeled toward them. They’re channeled toward yourself. I dare you to be real, to be honest, and to be sincere. I dare you to deal with yourself!
I Dare You
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” 2 Samuel 12:7
ook at you! What in the world happened to you? How did you manage to get so far off track? How did you allow yourself to become so negative?
What happened to the boundaries in your life? I don’t see any self-control. Just look at your eating and spending habits. Something has gone terribly wrong! Not only that, but there aren’t any signs of righteousness in your life. You’re full of excuses. You’re shaping the Gospel to fit your lifestyle. You’re depressed. You’re blaming others. You have made a complete mess of your life. But how did it get to this? I know what happened. You never had a true Nathan.
Notice I said “a true Nathan.” There are two types of Nathans. One Nathan tells you, “You are the man!” Then you have the second Nathan that tells you, “You are the man!” You need both, but without the other, your life will be unbalanced. A false balance is an abomination unto the Lord (Proverbs 11:1). You have had the former Nathan but lacked the latter. Allow me to explain.
Nathan The former Nathan smacked you on your back and told you that you were all that. He constantly built your ego up. He constantly encouraged and praised your strong points. As the author of Risk puts it, you had fans, but you never had friends! Fans will tell you what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear.
I remember standing outside at a college football game. The team had just blown a major lead and lost the game. The fans were outside waiting for them to pat them on the back, to tell them “Good job,” to tell them to hang in there and not to worry about it! But that’s what fans do. They often tell you what you want to hear, but you need more than that. That night, that team played horribly. They needed to know where they messed up so that they could correct the issue. What those fans should’ve said was, “Come on, guys; what happened? How in the world did you blow a 17-point lead? You failed to execute; you failed to capitalize. You got tired in the fourth quarter. You’re out of shape; you quit playing. You know you’re better than that. Go back to the drawing board and get it together!” Your life is similar to that team. You were up at one point, but you’ve blown the lead! You have failed to execute and capitalize the blessings of God. You have gotten weary, and you’ve given up too fast. You let go of
Nathan your health. There’s no balance to your diet. You gave up on life, you gave up on your family, but, most of all, you gave up on yourself! But the problem is that—you have fans in your ear and not true friends.
Friends will look you in the eye and tell you everything that I just said. They will let you know when you need a Tic-Tac. They will let you know when your dress is too tight and when you need to lose some weight. They will let you know when you’re out of line. And, most importantly, they will let you know when they see pride kicking in. They will address your fears, your weaknesses, and your insecurities. They will tell you the truth. Even though it hurts, you will thank them later. He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue. Proverbs 28:23 Get away from people that always flatter, and get around somebody that can tell you the truth! You need the latter Nathans in your life—the ones that won’t flatter you but instead tell it like it is. They will be there to tell you that you are the man that you feared to become! They will let you know that the very one that you once despised, you have now become. Real Nathans get in your face when everyone is talking about you behind your
Nathan back. They tell you the truth; they tell you, “Thus says the Lord.” They let you take it however you want.
The Missing Ingredient
This is what’s been missing from your life, the truth—the up-close and personal truth. The real Nathans have been missing, and all you have been receiving is pats on the back, telling you “Good job.” I’m not here for that. Go somewhere else if you’re looking for sympathy because this isn’t the book! Do you not know that open rebukes are better than hidden love? (Proverbs 27:5) David was at a place in life where he was at a standstill. The prophet came and told David a parable about a wealthy man who became greedy and took from one that had less than he. David burned with anger when he heard the parable. David despised the man in the parable and said that he deserved death! Nathan looked him in the eye and said, “It’s you! You are the man that I’m talking about.” Nathan left David with no choice but to deal with himself.
Now, what makes David different from you is that he faced his issues, but you don’t. David didn’t get offended, but you do. David didn’t buck against what he said. He didn’t deny the fact. He didn’t make any excuses. He simply said to Nathan, “I have sinned against
Nathan the Lord.” That one-letter word held the bulk of his deliverance: “I.” David simply said, “It’s me, Lord. It’s me, standing in the need of prayer.” David could’ve easily passed the blame. He could’ve easily had Nathan killed. He was the King, you know. He could’ve gotten defensive and said, “Who do you think you are, getting in my face? I’m the King. I could have you killed!” Instead, David humbled himself, searched his heart, and began to confront his issues.
Of all the great things the Lord did in David’s life, I believe the greatest can be found in 2 Samuel 12:1. It reads, “The Lord sent Nathan to David.” The Lord sent Nathan to help David get back on track. God didn’t send a fan—he sent a friend. David didn’t pick him, but the Lord sent him. Understand this. You will never pick a Nathan. The Lord has to send him. If it was up to you, you would pick someone lesser than you who would never challenge your walk. You would never pick somebody greater than you to challenge your personal space. This is why God sends Nathans your way. He sends Nathans your way for you to get delivered so that you can get to the next level. Don’t despise it. Don’t reject it, and don’t overlook it. This book is serious, and so is your destiny. It’s time for you to face yourself!
Your Latter Will Be Greater
For the next couple of chapters, I would like to be your Nathan. Get somewhere quiet, read this book, and examine yourself. The key to this book is acknowledging the issue. If you have to cry, go ahead and cry. When it’s all said and done, I promise you that you will be a better person. Nathan wasn’t sent to be David’s fan, and I’m not either. I imagine that David was embarrassed, upset, and offended. But he took heed, and from that point on, he became God’s man. So you might be embarrassed, you might get upset and offended. But I really don’t care. As long as I get you to that place in God where you’re latter supersedes your former, then I have done my job. And blessed is he who isn’t offended because of me. Matthew 11:6
New Mind Resolution
Be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Romans 12:2 NIV
oday is December 26 and Christmas has already come and gone. The money has been spent, and the presents have been ripped open. Many parents and
spouses are beating themselves up now for spending more money than they intended. Some spent tithe money, some spent bill money, but to say the least, they spent too much money. Through the rage of that gesture, one still finds hope. The New Year is almost here! “I can put that on my New Year’s Resolution. Save more money next year. Yeah, that’s what I will do. I will save more money next year, plan for Christmas in advance, and stop eating out so much. Speaking of eating out, I will join the gym this year too, again. But this time I’m going to go twice a week—no, three times a week. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go before work. No, I mean after work. Yeah, that’s what I will do!”
New Mind = Change
And with that reasoning, they feel better about themselves. How pathetic. Imagine that—a fresh start, clean slate, all because of a new year. New Year’s resolutions—many make them, but how many keep them?
New Mind Resolution Think about it. After all those New Year’s Resolutions that you have made over the last couple of years, have any of them been resolved? Nah, I didn’t think so! Don’t get mad at me. Get mad at yourself! I have come to the conclusion that New Year’s resolutions are a bunch of bologna. You don’t need a New Year’s resolution. What you need is a new mind resolution! I don’t care what year it is and how many changes you have put down on paper. Until your mind changes, nothing is going to change!
A new year with the same mind will produce the same results. You have to stop playing games with yourself. If you can’t be real with yourself, you won’t be real with others. Practice integrity with yourself first. Work on keeping your word with yourself, and you will be amazed at what happens. Even if the job is cool, you don’t have to be late. Your boss might not mind, but get back from lunch on time. Clock out when you’re supposed to. If you’re on salary, don’t take advantage of the system. Focus on gaining personal victories in these areas, and they will be sure to usher you into the next level. But it all starts with the mind. I know you think you know this Scripture, but that’s the problem. You don’t
New Mind Resolution know this Scripture until you become this Scripture. Read it slowly, and allow it to sink into your spirit. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind.
That verse is so powerful. I challenge you to chew on that text until you master it. Stop chasing fresh revelation until you put into practice your existing revelation. Let’s pull some highlighted points out of that verse. The first thing I want to bring to your attention is “the pattern of this world.” To get to the next level in life, you must break away from the patterns of this world. I’m not talking about adultery, smoking, drinking, and fornication. You need to break away from those, too. But for the mature crowd, those might not be the issues. The patterns that you must steer away from are blaming others, waiting on others, pity parties, and viewing everybody as a problem except yourself. These patterns have kept you from dealing with the real issue all of these years—you!!! The word patterns can be defined in one single word, “behavior.” The word behavior can singlehandedly be defined by the word response. You must stop behaving and responding like the world does. You are in the world, but not of the world.
New Mind Resolution You have to get to a place where you pull back and analyze yourself. Where did I go wrong? What did I say that triggered the argument? Did I do something to cause me to get fired? Learn to accept responsibility for your actions, words, and thoughts. But in order to do that, you must stop conforming to the patterns of this world. While the world passes the blame, you have to be the one to accept the blame!
The only way that you will not conform is to transform. I challenge you this very instant to transform right where you are: Geographically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. The old you doesn’t exist anymore. Your old ways, your old reasoning, your old responses, and your old behavior are gone! You can transform in an instant, you can transfigure in the twinkling of an eye, but you have to want to! The word transform means “to change, reform, alter, renovate.” I give you permission to redefine yourself. Many of you have been waiting for somebody to release the new you that has been bound for years. There’s a part of you that the world hasn’t seen, heard, or embraced, and that you were afraid to release because of what others may say or think about you. But truth be told, the world isn’t against you. It’s for you. But you are against yourself. The world has seen
New Mind Resolution glimpses of that side of you here and there, but it is you who won’t let that other side of you out. You’re afraid to transform because you’re conditioned to the pattern! But what eagle doesn’t soar, what 747 doesn’t fly, and what child of God doesn’t transform? Changing and shifting are part of your walk with God. It’s exciting, it’s innovating, it’s mind blowing, and it’s obtainable. Break away from those past wounds, shake off those disappointments, and divorce your insecurities instead of your husband or wife. Stand back and watch God blow your mind!
Speaking of the mind, that’s where the transformation must start. The mind is made up of six major components. They are the memory, imagination, perception, thoughts, will, and emotions. The mind is what you must guard with all of your heart. This is the place where you must be sober and vigilant because your adversary is looking for opportunities to place sensors inside your mind. Once he has those sensors inside your mind, he can then control and program you from afar. Through pain, disappointments, and failures, you have given him the remote control to your mind. You might not want to admit it, but I will admit it for you. He has control of your
New Mind Resolution mind. He has altered your joy, your peace, and your outlook on your life. That one situation is first triggered in your memory. Next, your imagination comes on the scene and magnifies it far worse than it is. Thoughts are running rampant through your mind. Your emotions kick in and start to think for you. Your perception is off-balance, causing disarray in the will of God for your life.
Guard Your Mind
You have to break away from the world and stop being controlled by the media and by unmarried friends. Guard yourself from impoverished individuals who are always feeding you negativity. But, most of all, you have to rise above that situation that has implanted that sensor in your mind. You are more than a conqueror! Above all else, guard your heart, guard your mind, take up the helmet of salvation, take up the mind of Christ, get a grip on your life, brush yourself off, get back in the fight, and tell the Devil, “Get out of my mind!” You have the ability to think your way out of your setbacks. Get your mind right, recapture your destiny, and be all that God created you to be. Enough with the pity parties! Just because you lose a round doesn’t mean you have to lose the fight. You’re in the world, but not of the world. While the world quits,
New Mind Resolution while the world is crying, you’re regaining your strength, you’re repositioning yourself. In the face of adversity, you’re redefining yourself!
Break away from the standards of this world and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. “How do I renew my mind?” For every negative thought, counterattack with the Word of God. This counterattacking is vital because what the Devil says you’re not, God says you are. What the Devil says you can’t do, God says you can. You can do all things through Christ that strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13) You will renew your mind by renewing your relationship with the Word of God. Don’t just read to be reading. In whatever area you’re being attacked, find the Scripture to counter attack and speak the Word of God over it. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Declare the Word of God over your life. Believe it and receive it. Begin to transform your thoughts, actions, and conversations according to the Word of God. I promise that you won’t recognize yourself. This might be a good thing since the old you was holding you back. You will transfigure so fast that your spouse won’t recognize the new you but will love the new you. Your children will
New Mind Resolution smile to see you come home instead of going to hide in their rooms.
By the time you put this book down, you will see life differently. Your perception is getting ready to change. Relationships will get better instead of worse. Your praise and worship will be renewed. But, most importantly, you will see yourself in a way that you never have before. Hey, can you keep a secret? Not with me, but with yourself? The secret is that you just changed. Your mind has just been renewed. But nobody knows this except you. When you put this book down, you will be a new individual. By the time you set this book down, all possibilities will have become new! Walk away with a smile. Embrace somebody you love, but shhhh! Don’t tell them your secret. Just show them. Let that secret between you and God burn in your heart. Let that secret be the fuel to your fire. Let that secret be the secret to your success and new life in Christ Jesus. Look in the mirror and embrace the new you. You owe it to yourself.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
s God begins to speak to you in these pages, I have a word of advice for you: yield. Don’t try to deny the facts. Don’t push them to the back of
your mind. Don’t look to your spouse, and don’t look to your neighbor. Simply yield to the voice of God. You could’ve accomplished so much more if you would’ve simply yielded to the voice of God. When the Word of God comes forth, it’s pure, rich, and cutting in every aspect. But too often you pass the blame as if the Word would’ve been good for the one who wasn’t present, or for your neighbor, or maybe even for your spouse, who never attends. You’re in denial that the Word of God is for you.
Apply the Word
Maybe your spouse will begin to accompany you to church when you begin to apply the Word of God to your life-first! You might be the reason why your spouse isn’t coming. Show your spouse results by yielding to the Word of God. Allow God’s Word to take root in your heart.
Yield Lotion does you no good when you leave it on the shelf without applying it to your body. Where there is no application of lotion, the result will be an ashy body with dry skin. The same is with the word of God. You have to apply the word of God to your life in order to yield results. Spiritually, there are too many ashy, dry Christians walking around because they aren’t applying the word of God to their life. Nobody likes being ashy and nobody likes being around a dry, angry depressed Christian. Apply the word!
No Submission, No Flee
How often have you heard people say, “Resist the devil and he shall flee from you?” How true that is. But they often neglect the most important part of that verse. The first part reads, “Submit to God.” People often want the devil to flee from their lives, but they are not willing to submit to the Word of God! They are not willing to yield their will for His will. If the devil hasn’t fled from your life, the first question that you must ask yourself is, “What area haven’t I submitted to God?” Next, look yourself in the eye, and pose this question, “Why not?” Thirdly, answer the question! Why not? Why haven’t you done what God told you to do— yet?!
What’s the Problem?
Why haven’t you gotten that divorce yet if you’ll have been separated for five years? Why haven’t you separated yourself from that one that you know is pulling you down, cheating on you, or abusing you? Why are you still drinking when you know what the doctor said? Why are you still in leadership and openly cheating on your spouse, not willing to change or seek guidance? You have come to the altar, met with the Elders of the church, cornered the Pastor while at Wal-Mart, cried, had people listen to you, and received a corrective directional Word from the Lord. Yet you refused to yield to God’s counsel—and you want the devil out of your life! Many of you want the curse to be removed, and you want the slandering to stop, and you want to stop being hurt. I have a suggestion for you. How about yielding to God? Pay your tithes, stop fornicating, and come out of that adultery. Put the bottle down, and leave the drugs alone: yield!
I promise you that if you submit your desires, weaknesses, and habits to God, the devil will flee from you. The devil will have to flee because he will no longer have anything to identify with inside of you.
Yield This lack of submission explains why the devil hasn’t fled from you yet. It’s because you haven’t submitted everything to God. Some of you haven’t submitted anything to God. That very thing that you haven’t submitted to God is what the devil is controlling you by. You’re his little puppet, and he’s controlling your strings. You’re his remote control car, and he has the remote. It’s pathetic, and everybody sees it and knows it except you—all because you refuse to deal with yourself, and because you refuse to submit to God!
This very principle of submission and identification is what made Jesus so powerful. While speaking with His disciples about the adversary, Jesus declared with boldness and authority, “He has nothing in Me” (John 14:30). Jesus was serving notice to every eavesdropping demon, and to Satan himself, that there was nothing inside of Him that Satan’s army could latch themselves onto. There was nothing inside of Him that they could identify with in conjunction with their sinful ways. Jesus yielded every area to the Word of God, and, in return, Satan had no control over His life. Satan and his imps had no choice but to flee. When it came to Jesus they were wasting their time because they
Yield could find no place to stay. So they moved on to the next contestant that they could dominate because of lack of submission: you!
To get a better understanding, let’s break down the word yield. To yield means to stop opposing or resisting, and to agree to somebody’s demands or requests. I challenge you to stop opposing and resisting the Word of the Lord, even when you don’t understand it, and even when you don’t feel like it. I beseech you to agree with God’s demands and requests that He has placed through His Word. Signify that you agree by simply saying “Amen” when God speaks to you. No more “what-ifs,” and no more “buts.” It’s time for you to get your “buts” out of the way. Your “buts” are what got you in this predicament in the first place. “Buts” never yield; they always oppose and resist. “Buts” always try to justify their sins and make the Word conducive to their lives. Do yourself a favor: Get your “but” out of the way! This revelation is significant because God isn’t through with you yet. You haven’t even scratched the surface of what God has for you. This brings me to my next point. The name of this chapter is Yield, not stop. God wants you to stop doing you, but He doesn’t want you to stop being you: There’s a difference!
Have you ever found yourself saying, “I’m going to keep it real,” and you end up saying something degrading, only to offend someone around you? You’re keeping it real alright—real stupid! You’re showing your ignorance. When someone questions you about why you act the way that you act, you simply blurt out, “Well, that’s just how I am!” No, no, no, no, no! God is saying, “That might be how you are, but that’s not how I am.” In other words, “That might be who you are in the carnal, but that’s not how I made you in the spirit.”
Stop, but Don’t Stop
Stop saying what you want to say, and stop doing what you want to do. It doesn’t work like that with God— maybe in your world, but not in God’s world. So what am I saying? Lose the godliness, but keep your personality. Lose the sin, but keep your style. Lose the profanity, but keep the humor. Lose the pride, but keep the confidence. Stop doing you, but never stop being you. Many times when we are corrected, we shut down and withdraw altogether. We call Pity over to the party and we began to converse with ourselves. “I can’t do anything right! Every time I try to do something, I always mess up. I can’t satisfy anybody. Nobody appreciates me. I might as well stop trying.” When you start thinking like
Yield that, you will stop in your tracks and failure will become inevitable. This is how people are often robbed of their destiny. The adversary gets in their minds, and they become unfruitful. Rather than yielding, they stop in the middle of life with their arms folded, pouting over corrections, disciplines, and chastisements. They are only hurting themselves and their destinies.
Get Back in the Race
Do yourself a favor. Get your mind right! Unfold those arms, crank the car of hope back up, put it in drive, and proceed with your life. In the traffic world, yield doesn’t mean stop. It simply means “proceed with caution.” As you approach the next intersection of life, I urge you to yield to the voice of the Lord. Go where He tells you to go. Do what He tells you to do. Say it how He tells you to say it. But don’t stop. Simply proceed with caution.
We All Have It∙ We All Need It∙ But Few Use It
Albert B. Almore
Published By: Jasher Press & Co. P.O. Box 14520 New Bern NC 28561 www.abalmore.com Copyright 2010 Albert B. Almore Interior Text Design by Pamela S. Almore Cover Design by Pamela S. Almore of Omni Print Co. ISBN: 978-1-4538952-0-7 The Mind of Christ All rights reserved/Except for brief excerpts used in reviews, no portion of this work may be reproduced or published without expressed written permission from the author or the author’s agent. First Edition Printed and bound in the United States of America by Jasher Press & Co.
This book is dedicated to those who know and feel that there is more to life than they’re experiencing. Allow me to introduce to you the Mind of Christ!
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Put Him In Let It Start it Up A Secret Place Thankful Mind God Conscious A Beautiful Mind Mountain Mover The Uncanny 9 13 17 21 29 35 39 43 49 53 57 63 69 73 79 85
10. Supernatural 11. The Unpopular Way 12. Regardless 13. Numbered Day's 14. Job Well Done 15. It's Not About You 16. The Devil Can‟t Stop It
Put Him In
“But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
magine yourself on a nineties basketball team. It’s late in the fourth quarter, two minutes remaining, and you’re down by fifteen. The coach has just called a time out, and God knows you needed it. You grab you a cup of Gatorade, the trainer throws a towel around your neck, and you take your seat. Your heart is racing; the crowd is going crazy. It’s so loud in the stadium that you can hardly hear yourself think. You wipe the sweat off your eyes as you gasp for dear breath. You look to the right—what wait a minute…. This can’t be right! You’re sitting beside Michael Jordan, your teammate! He’s not sweating; he’s fresh as can be. It looks like he hasn’t even entered the game. Ok, so let me get this straight. You’re down by fifteen, two minutes left in the game, but you’ve got Jordan, the all time greatest to ever hit the court! Something is wrong with this picture. Now that you think about it, you remember that you suck at basketball in the first place. You’re not any good at it, let alone to be leading a team during a time such as this. With an inquisitive look on your face, you ask Michael, “Why aren’t you in?” He looks at you with his stern competitive eyes and says, “You won’t put me in. Every time I try to come in, you hit the floor waiving me back saying, “I got it; I got it.” Doesn’t this scenario sound just like our lives? Time is passing us by day by day. Just as that team was down, many of us are down in life. We’re down on our joy and on our peace, and our faith is at an all time low. It’s getting late. Time is ticking away, and you can sense the urgency
of what God is calling you to do. Coach God is signaling for a time out in your life. Similar to the players above, God knows you need it. You’re weary. You’re doing it in your own strength. Burnout and frustration are all too present in your life. Jesus is saying, “Take a seat.” Just as the trainer threw that towel around your neck, allow me to place my yoke on you, “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light!” (Matthew 11:30) You’ve been anxious and stressed for too long. You’re life has been so loud and chaotic that you can’t even hear yourself think. Your thoughts are cluttered, you’re confused, but most importantly, your down when you know you should be up. You’ve been so burdened and distracted that you have forgotten the greatest asset that God has given you, the Mind of Christ! The above scenario made no sense because the team was down, but Jordan wasn’t in. As a matter of fact, Jordan hadn’t been in at all! When asked why he wasn’t in, the answer was simple, “You won’t put me in.” Many of us have been down simply because we won’t put Christ in. He tries to get involved in our situations, and we hit the court of life waving him back with the same comments: “I got it; I got it.” We get a little taste of success, a few pats on the back, or a little education under our belt, and we tell Christ, “I got it from here. Thank you for getting us to the playoffs, Jordan, and thank you for getting me this far, Christ, but I got it from here!” Can I tell you something? No, you don’t! Without Christ, we suck at life. We can’t do anything for ourselves, let alone for others. I further understand Zechariah’s declaration when he said, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, Says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6). Jesus summed it up well too when He said, “For without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It’s not based off our
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accomplishments, strengths, or abilities. It’s all about Christ. And without Him, we’re nothing and won’t be able to achieve anything of eternal value. Many of us are down, living defeated lives when this doesn’t have to be the case. The opening illustration was so ludicrous because one would simply scream, “But you’ve got Jordan! What in the world are you doing down with him not in?” I believe that this is what Paul is trying to convey to us through our opening scripture at the beginning of the chapter. “But you have the Mind of Christ! Why in the world would you not let this mind substitute your old mind?” I believe that many of us understand and know who Michael Jordan is, but many of us are sightless to the Mind of Christ. That’s what these next couple of chapters is all about, to reveal to you the power that is at your disposal. When trouble and uncanny situations come your way, you may get rocked for a second, but then you will remember, “But I have the mind of Christ. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13) Your perception is getting ready to change. Your tenacity is getting ready to increase. God is getting ready to put a new pep into your step. Things are getting ready to change. You’ll never look at life or challenges the same. The good news about the opening story was this: they still had time left to make some adjustments, and so do you. It’s often the smallest adjustments that yield the greatest results! I know you feel as if time is closing in on you, and that you’re not going to achieve what you’re supposed to achieve, but the devil is a liar. Guess what? That team won that game once they put Jordan in, and you will win when you put Christ in too! I know that you’re feeling the pressures of life and you think that you can’t come back. But I have good news for
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you: you have the greatest mind that conquered hell and earth at your disposal. You have the Mind of Christ. You’ve carried the load for long enough now. Take my advice…put Christ in.
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“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
rowing up as a boy, I remember trying to do things in my own strength only to mess things up even worse. My father would look over to me and say, “Let me show you.” Even though he was in authority, my mind had to give him permission in order to receive instructions from him. The opening chapter spoke of a basketball team that had Michael Jordan on it, a team that was down late in the fourth quarter. The reason why they were down was because you were in instead of Jordan. He hadn’t played one minute because you wanted to be in control. But we later learned that the team came back and won when you gave up your rights and allowed Jordan to come in and be Jordan. But the moral of the story is this: you had a choice to make. You could’ve stayed on that court and kept Jordan on the bench, or you could’ve taken a seat and let Jordan in. Parallel to this illustration, you have a choice to make as well. Paul didn’t say that the Mind of Christ would overtake you; he said let it. The choice is yours. As the heavenly Father is over you saying, “Let me show you,” many of us are saying, “Let me do it.” Even though God is in authority over our lives, we have to give Him permission to be God. This is the only way that we can receive instructions from Him. Paul was saying, “Don’t try
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to fight it, don’t try to out talk it, but, rather, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” This is our greatest struggle and our greatest downfall. We don’t like to submit, and we don’t like waiving our rights. We don’t want to sit down and let Christ in. We get caught up in doing it in our own strength, and we have a tendency to mess things up. We get down late in life, and then we want to put Christ in to catch us back up. But Paul urges us not to wait another second, but to put Christ into our equations right now. How do we do this? By letting His mind take over our mind and allowing His ways to become our ways. In other words, we must learn how to respond like Christ: When things aren’t going our way, and when challenges seem to be arising on every side. Let the Mind of Christ take over. God has made it available to you. You just have to let it take residence in your life. You have to learn how to do what Christ would do, or say what He would say when the flesh tells you different. Lot’s of times we make comments like, “That’s just the way that I am.” That’s the problem right there. That may be how you are, but it’s not how Christ is. Let this mind, not your mind, be in you—the mind that’s also in Christ Jesus. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self control are good places to start (Galatians 5:22). These represent the fruit of the spirit, which is also the Mind of Christ. Instead of hating, try loving. Embrace joy versus complaining, kindness instead of being rude. Do the
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opposite of what your flesh and hormones are telling you to say or do. The key is letting it. Let’s all be honest here. We know what we’re about to say before we say it. And we know what we’re about to do before we do it. Lots of times the Holy Spirit will minister to us not to say it that way, but we ignore Him and say it anyway. How many times has He warned you not to do it, but you still did it anyway? The mind and response of Christ were at your disposal, but you simply chose the other way. So the question is this: What’s holding you back from allowing the Mind of Christ in? Is it stubbornness and disobedience? Do you want to be in control? Is it pride that’s holding you back from changing? Are you afraid to admit that you messed up? Are you too ashamed to confess that you have been doing it in your own strength? What’s holding you back from embracing the Mind of Christ? Whoever or whatever it is, it is causing you to miss out on the greatest benefit of Christianity, the Mind of Christ. But you can have this mind. Simply repent, change the way you think, ask God to forgive you, and embrace your new beginning. So what is the Mind of Christ you may be asking? What’s so good about this mind? I will tell you what’s so good about this mind. Christ was an overcomer. He was an achiever that defied every adversity that came His way. He had good days, and He had challenging days. Even in His “defeated” moments, He still came out victorious! He was more than a conqueror. He was the Son of God, yet submissive and bought all glory to the Father. He
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conquered life, He prevailed over death; He sat in eternity, heard the angels sing in heaven, but still made time for the women at the well. With a resume like that, I furthermore understand the words of Paul, “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” The choice is yours. But my advice to you is this…let Him in.
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Start it Up
“Jesus came…and saying, „The time is fulfilled…” Mark 1:14-15
he above excerpt was observed by the disciple Mark. Mark observed that Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15). In other words Jesus was simply saying, “It’s my season.” But what I love about the Mind of Christ is that He didn’t just sit around and say, “It’s my season” and do nothing. Mark noted that Christ partnered with His season and started preaching the gospel. Christ had a mind to start what God was calling him to do. The Mind of Christ understood the significance of embracing seasons, maximizing time, and pursuing His purpose. He understood that there is a time and a season for everything under the sun, and when that time comes, you must maximize it! How do you maximize it? You maximize it by starting. Have you ever been in a place where you didn’t know how to start, or where to start? I know I have. I have learned as an author that the key to starting is actually starting. By this I mean to start where you are, with what you have. Everything else will fall into place. In order for you to get somewhere in your car, the first thing you have to do is to start it. There is no need to worry about anything else until it’s started. Then and only
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then can you go on to your destination. It is the same with life and with embracing your gifts and talents. All you have to do is start by doing little by little, and you will eventually grow into who you are called to be. There’s something about starting: when you begin to start, it seems that all the pieces begin to come together. But the key is starting so that you can see the other pieces. At every checkpoint is another set of instructions. At every mark there are more clues, pieces to the puzzle per say. I don’t know about you, but starting is addictive, meaning once you start, you can’t stop. This was Jesus perception as well. Jesus stated, “No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). In all actuality, the Mind of Christ is saying that once we start, we’re not supposed to stop in the first place. But we’ll talk about finishing later, but for now let’s talk about starting: Because if you never start, you won’t have anything to finish. We talked about embracing seasons earlier in this chapter. In order for you to embrace your season, you must acknowledge who you are and the problem that you were sent to earth to solve. You have to find your place in history and in your surroundings. Luke recorded, “And when he had opened the book, He found the place where it was written” (Luke 4:18).
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Christ found His place in history. He found Himself in the will of God. He began to embrace His season by saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…” (Luke 1:18). Christ had the mind to identify what He was here for. And since He found His place, and identified what He was here for, He was now ready to start His ministry. He later said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). In other words, “I know who I am and whose I am, and I’m getting ready to start my ministry…today! I’m getting ready to embrace my season, I’m getting ready to maximize my time, and I’m getting ready to pursue my purpose because I know who I am.” You’re able to start, when you can clearly see where you fit in at life. You can start when you know what problem you’re geared to solve. Christ was wired to help the brokenhearted, the poor, the blind, and the bruised. But you’re really ready to start when you know who’s backing you up! Christ had an understanding that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him. He understood that it wouldn’t be by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord (Zechariah 4:6). Christ knew that if God be for Him who could be against Him? (Romans 8:31) And there, my
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friends, are three keys to a successful start! Knowing your place, knowing who you’re called to help, but, most importantly, knowing who’s got your back! When you embrace these three principles, you will be ready to embrace the three keys to life: Embracing your season, maximizing your time, and pursuing your purpose. In a nutshell, you will be ready to begin what God is calling you to do. You will be able to stand up like Christ and say, “Today my destiny is being fulfilled right before your very eyes. I’m ready to pursue my purpose!” So let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. You now have the keys, but it’s up to you start it up!
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A Secret Place
“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Luke 5:16
hrist understood something that we understand little about, the power of prayer. Christ had something that we don’t have, a mind to pray. We’re too busy, too lazy, too distracted to pray. I don’t believe anybody was more busy and important than Christ was. We have meetings on our calendar, conferences to attend, and jobs to work, but Christ had a lot on His plate as well. “Hey, Jesus, what you been up to these days?” “Oh, nothing much, just embracing my destiny to save the world!” In spite of His significant schedule, Jesus still had a mind to pray. Interesting. I wonder: Were we supposed to learn something from that? His disciples took special notice of Jesus’ prayer life: “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when the evening came, He was alone there” (Matthew 14:23). “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).
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“Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place” (Luke 4:42). “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16). “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12). “And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him…” (Luke 9:18). “Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray” (Luke 9:29). “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1). Has conviction set in yet? I don’t know about you, but for me it has. As I look at the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I see the dilemma that we are facing at hand. I see why the church is powerless. I now understand why we’re weary, why we’re burnt out and are so ineffective. We pray so little, but want so much. Lord, forgive us for not embracing the Mind of Christ. Lord, forgive us for not having the mind to pray. We talk about people more than we pray. We make excuses and find reasons why we can’t get into the
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presence of God. We spend more time talking on the phone than we do talking to God. But let us lean on God’s grace and mercy, humble ourselves like the disciples did, come as little children before His presence with one request and one request only, “Lord, teach us how to pray.” This is what God wants us to do. This is why He said, “If my people who are called by name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face…” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Christ had a mind to pray, and so can we. We have to humble ourselves and confess our unfaithfulness and inability to pray without Him. If it’s one thing that the adversary doesn’t want us to do, it is to pray. Christ had a mind to pray because He was fulfilled by the communion, and He also understood the significance of it. It took a while, but His disciples later grasped the concept and beseeched Him by saying, “Lord teach us how to pray.” Time after time, they watched Christ spend countless time in prayer, and then they witnessed Him heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. They realized the connection between the two. Prayer caused the effects of the miracles. They understood that it was in prayer that Jesus received the power to carry out His mission. Could this be why the church today has a form of Godliness but is denying its power? (2 Timothy 3:5) A Bishop from Africa once told me that the amount of time
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that you spend in prayer will be reflected in your anointing as you minister: Two-minute prayer life, two minute anointing. We want the anointing but we don’t want to labor in prayer. Christ labored before God all night long in prayer. Christ rose early in the morning while it was yet still dark. David tapped into the Mind of Christ when he said, “Early will I seek you” (Psalms 63:1). Your “early” might not be my “early.” But you have to make sure that you seek God “early” before your problems seek you. Seek God early to receive wisdom and strategy to gain the victory for that day. Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus. Christ had the mind to pray, and so can you. I noted that Christ understood the significance of prayer, and I would like to highlight a couple of key points. Christ often sent the multitudes away and got into the presence of God. (See Matthew 14:23 and Luke 5:16.) Sometime you have to unplug yourself from everything and everybody and get into the presence of God. You have to do this regularly so that you can keep everything in perspective and separate people’s opinions, advice, and things of that nature from God’s will. You receive so much information from others by dialogue, television, magazines, and Internet. People and things are always throwing their opinions and morals and plans on you, but you
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have to take time to separate yourself from society and plug into eternity and hear from the Father. There are two types of prayers: prayers on the go, and praying on purpose. Prayers on the go are the ones we do while in the shower, while getting dressed, and while driving in the car—things of that nature. There is nothing wrong with those. I believe that God hears and answers those prayers as well. We have to have those prayers to keep us aligned with 1 Thessalonians 5:17, where we’re instructed to pray without ceasing. Partner those prayers with praying on purpose. Praying on purpose consists of particular times and particular places that you have set aside and designated just for God. This is praying on purpose. The disciple records that Jesus was praying in a particular place in Luke 11:1. I believe that it’s when you pray on purpose that you receive your purpose like never before. Prayer orders your steps and makes things clear. Mark 1:35 records that Jesus was praying in a solitary place. Then in verse 38 we see Him moving on His marching orders when He says, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth” (Mark 1:38).
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We see here evidence of the power of praying on purpose. Not only did He receive clear direction for His next move, but He was also reminded and strengthened in His purpose. Take notice of Luke 6:12, where He spent all night in prayer and in the very next verse He chose His twelve disciples. It is here that we can see another principle of prayer. When you have a big decision to make, go in prayer and receive from God. Lastly, I would like to point out that prayer is contagious. Once people see you doing it, and see the results of God’s answer to your prayers, they’re going to want to get involved. At first, Jesus was praying by Himself, but later we saw the disciples getting closer and closer to the fire until they popped the question on Him, “Lord, can you teach us how to pray?” This must be evident that they were around it because Luke 9:28 records that He took them up a mountain to pray, but in Luke 11:1, they made the request to pray. They weren’t satisfied with just being around the fire; they wanted to be in the fire! It’s a beautiful thing that Christ had a mind to pray. But what’s even more amazing is that God had a mind to
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answer them. God is no respecter of persons. When you embrace the mind to pray, God will release the heart to answer. So what are you waiting for? Seek God while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6). Receive the Mind of Christ…the mind to pray.
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Young Love 101
The Young Person’s Guide to Having a Relationship The Master’s Way
Published By: Jasher Press & Co. P.O. Box 14520 New Bern, NC 28561 Copyright© 2010 Albert B. Almore Interior Text Design by Pamela S. Almore Cover Design by Pamela S. Almore Title Inspired by Larry Mckinley Hilton Jr. ISBN: 978-1-4538096-5-5 Young Love 101 All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts used in reviews, no portion of this work may be reproduced or published without expressed written permission from the author of the author’s agent. First Edition Printed and bound in the United States of America
Table of Contents
Introduction 11 I’ve Been Expecting You 13 God’s Way 17 That ―C‖ Word 21 Please 25 Timeout 29 Commercial Break Born Again
Say it With Me 39 The Real Thing 43 Worth the Wait 47 Something to Think About 51 Priceless 55 Not At All 59 ―U‖ 63 Pursue 65 Case Closed Acknowledgements 73
Dedication This book is dedicated to my youth/young adult family at St. John Missionary Baptist Church. Big shout out to Teen City and Friends for your discussions during our relationship series. Thank you for allowing me to see Young Love through your eyes. And big shout out to my man Larry, A.K.A. Smooth Black, for the title. I owe you for this one! God bless you.
Young Love 101
y wife and I are a product of young love. I first laid my eyes on her as I was coming downstairs at Grover C. Fields. We were in the sixth grade. She had on some green pants; I don’t recall the shirt, but I can recall her beauty. I saw her, but she didn’t see me. I wasn’t embracing God the way that I am now, but deep down inside I knew that she was the one. I don’t recall all the details of how we hooked up. I don’t recall my first words to her, but I do recall my first time seeing her and feeling what I felt. While we were still in the sixth grade, I looked her in the eyes one day and told her that she was going to be my wife. We were young, unlearned, and untaught. Nobody would ever have imagined that from that sixth grade ―puppy love‖ would come a beautiful, loving, God-fearing marriage. Throughout the course of time, we had our ups and downs, times of separation. But it was during those times of separation that God was trying to reveal to us who He was and who we were as individuals. And at the appointed time, God brought us back together, and the rest is history. We have been married for going on six years. And what God has joined together, we will let no man separate. I shared that brief story to let you know that I’m not against young love but that I’m a product of it. I’m a living witness that you can meet someone at a young age, know in your heart that he or she is the one, and be absolutely right. Young love is real, it’s relevant, but it’s tricky. You have to be able to discern love from lust, and right from wrong. Young love is full of ups, but it can also be full of downs.
Young Love My wife and I could’ve saved ourselves some heartaches and pain if we would’ve done it God’s way first. So this is what this book is all about. It’s about what I have observed and experienced from young love first hand. But this time I added God’s way so that you wouldn’t have to take my way. God’s way is easier. It’s shorter and less painful. So, in a nutshell, know that I’m not against it. I’m all for it, and I’m all for you–as long as you’re doing it God’s way. So open your heart and open your mind and come journey with me as we get ready to enter into the world of young love!
I’ve Been Expecting You
hat’s going on, young people? I want you to pull up a chair, put on some soothing music, and relax. You can let your guard down; this isn’t one of those, ―Thus sayeth the Lord‖ books (LOL). This book is going to be fun, truthful, and on your level, because as bad as your parents and guardians hate to admit it, you’re growing up. Whoa, slow down now. I didn’t say that you were grown; I said you’re growing up. There’s a difference, you know (LOL). And with growing up, comes changes. What type of changes you may be asking? There’re going to be changes in your attitudes, changes in your appearance, and changes in your preferences. Before, you used to hug and kiss mommy in public, and hold daddy’s hand through the mall, but now that’s not ―cool‖ anymore (LOL). Before, you used to play with Johnny and sit beside Suzie on the bus, and you were ―besties‖ even though you were of the opposite sex. But one day you went to go play with Johnny, and you noticed that he was kind of cute. Or one day you sat beside Suzie on the bus, and she brushed against your arm, and something began to come over you. Your feelings are changing, your emotions are changing, your thoughts are changing, but even scarier than that, your body is changing. One night you went to bed as a boy, and the next morning you woke up as a man. That night you had a ―special‖ dream. Now your voice is changing, and so are your desires. You don’t want little action figures for Christmas anymore. Nickelodeon is OK, but you’re feeling BET and 106 & Park a little bit more. You don’t want to go to the movies in the daytime; now
Young Love: I’ve Been Expecting You you’re trying to catch the nine o’clock show with the big dogs! (LOL) Or you went to bed as daddy’s dream girl, his little princess, and came out the next morning as daddy’s nightmare. Not that you did anything to hurt your parents, but the fact of the matter is you’re growing up, and that scares parents. Now your hormones are kicking in, your body is changing, and certain areas are beginning to fill out. Mommy has to take you to the store to purchase certain young lady’s personals, but while in the store, you notice the young man who just had his ―special dream‖ last night, and he’s noticing how you’ve ―grown‖ in certain areas over night. Something inside of you tells you that he’s the one, and something inside of him says…Well, something inside of him says something that he can’t quite express, but he can feel (LOL). You go home thinking about him, and he go’s home thinking about you. Lo and behold on the first day of school you go to homeroom, and there he or she is. Yep, the lust—uh-oh, excuse me—I meant to say the love of your life! So he finds the courage to ask you for your cell number. You tell him that you don’t have any minutes on your phone, but your Momma will be putting some up there this weekend, but you can still receive text. And from texts, to little letters, to silent late night phone calls just breathing on the phone asking each other if the other one is sleep or not, you find yourself in some type of-relationship. (If that’s what you want to call it. LOL) But what if I told you that everything that you’re experiencing is absolutely normal, from the young man’s ―special dream‖ to the young lady’s overnight growth, even down to the new desires that you feel. What if I told you that God created you to feel and express those feelings? And what if I told you that one of the main reasons why you were created was to experience relationships. 14
Young Love: I’ve Been Expecting You I want to speak the truth to you about relationships, love, and sex. I have come to grips with the fact that in spite of all that we say and tell you not to do, you’re going to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. If you have to do it behind your parents’ back, for example, stay overnight with your friend just so that you can go to the movies and meet your partner, or use somebody else’s phone to call and text since your parents won’t get you your own, somehow, someway, you’re going to find a way to have a relationship. So my job isn’t to be against the relationship, but to teach you how to manage your relationship God’s way. This book isn’t out to rob you of your fun, or to try to put restraints on your love life. This book is meant to save you some time, pain, and tears. This book will help you to be able to handle your changes. Lots of times parents want to live in a fantasy world and think that you will always be daddy’s little girl or mama’s baby. They deny the fact that you’re growing up. And then when the changes come, you don’t know how to handle them because all somebody told you was, ―You better not get pregnant or get nobody pregnant.‖ Nobody ever taught you how to manage your relationships or your body. You didn’t even know if you had any business liking someone of the opposite sex. I respect your feelings, I respect your emotions, and I respect your changes. I want to teach you how to control them so that they won’t control you. By the time you finish reading this book, your heart and mind will look at relationships totally differently. Many adult lives have been ruined from choices that they made at the age you’re at right now. Everybody scolded them but never taught them about young love. Young love is real, it’s relevant, and it’s heading your way. And when that knock comes to your door, you will be able to open it and say, ―Hey, Young Love, I’ve been expecting you!‖ 15
Aaaahhhh. Relationships ,relationships, relationships.
elationships will either make you or break you. They will either be a blessing or a curse. They will either leave you smiling as you lie down in the presence of love, or they will leave you bitter and depressed as you cry yourself to sleep. I’ve experienced both sides, and my desire is that you won’t have to experience the latter. When you think about relationships, what do you think about? Do you think about holding hands as you walk to class? Or maybe you fantasize of him holding you during the movie that you snuck out to see. There are other things, too: Late night phone calls, text messages, Facebook hits, walks in the park, and sweet whispers of those three words, ―I-Love-You.‖ All of these are things that you will experience in relationships through the course of years. A relationship is simply defined as a connection between two people. This is where relationships get tricky and painful. You have to be careful who you connect with. If you connect with the wrong individual, he or she can turn your life into a living hell. Over the next couple of chapters, I want to show you how to connect with the one whom God will have you connect with. Now, young people, I’m going to give you some life-changing, simple advice right here. In a relationship, there has to be some type of connection. If there is no connection, then don’t connect with them. I know he may be on the football team, have a six pack, and be a tall, fly guy with huge biceps. I know she may be well-shaped with breasts and thighs from KFC, but where is the connection? There has to be a spiritual connection, not just a flesh connection. What do I mean by a flesh connection? I simply mean that your only desire should not be that you want to
Young Love: God’s Way have sex with each other. That isn’t a real relationship. If your relationship is solely built on that, then you have nothing at all. If that flesh connection ever stops, then so will your relationship. I will assume that most of you reading this are church-going youth and young adults. You don’t need somebody over you with a flashlight telling you that the person you’ve chosen is not the one. You already have somebody living inside of you that warns you that this isn’t the relationship for you: ―Nope, not yet, and nope, definitely not this one!‖ But you know how we do. We go and try to make it work anyway. We completely ignore all the signs, try to change the person, and end up connecting with someone we shouldn’t have been with in the first place. Stop trying to make relationships fit that aren’t fitting. If you wear a size seven and you keep trying to put your foot into a size five, it’s not going to work. You may get your foot in there temporarily, but it won’t last long. On top of that, you’re going to mess up your feet by trying to make something fit that isn’t meant to fit. The same goes for relationships. If you’re trying to make a relationship fit that isn’t fitting, similar to how you couldn’t wear those shoes long, you won’t be able to stay in that relationship long either because you’re trying to make something fit that isn’t fitting. This explains why you keep jumping from relationship to relationship. Secondly, the same way you come out with jacked up feet is the same way you come out with jacked up lives. These are two things you don’t need in life: corns on your feet, and relationships with corny people! (Oh that’s a fbook status right there! LOL) If there isn’t a connection, then don’t try to force one. You’re only going to mess your life and somebody else’s life up in the process. 18
Young Love: God’s Way Concerning that young man or that young lady that you’re madly in love with, I have some questions for you: Did God send him into your life or did the devil? What is she always talking about? What are they always trying to do? Do they only come around when nobody is home or late nights? Are they Christians? What are their morals? What are their values? What are their convictions? Do they respect your values, or do they try to talk you out of them? What type of people do they hang around with? Are their friends saved? Are their friends partying, drinking, cursing, and having sex? There’s a good chance that if their friends roll like that, then they do too! If Jesus were to interview you with any of those questions, and if one of your answers would trip you up, then that individual isn’t for you. I didn’t tell you not to be in a relationship. I simply said you don’t need to be in a relationship with that person. Why? Because of the connection. If you connect with that person, he or she will disconnect you from God. No amount of good looks, lust, or sex is worth disconnecting you from God. If the person isn’t pushing you closer to God, then he or she is pushing you further away, and they’re not the one. I want you to remember this. Proverbs 10:22 says that what God blesses you with will add no sorrow to your life. If you’re in a relationship with someone that you can’t trust, then you have connected with the wrong person. If you find yourself being pressured to do things that you know are wrong, only to leave you feeling condemned when you’re finished, then you’ve connected with the wrong person. You shouldn’t be stressed about where the person is, why he or she isn’t answering the phone, or feelings of guilt when you go to church about what you did last night. When God blesses you with that special someone, it won’t come with any sorrow. It won’t come with distrust and condemnation. But it will come with true love and 19
Young Love: God’s Way happiness. God loves you, and He wants the best for you. Think about it, why connect with young pain when you can connect with young love by doing it God’s way!
Question of the day: Am I connected to the wrong individual?
That “C” Word
hether it’s basketball, football or baseball, every sport has something called boundaries. Plays are either made in bounds or out of bounds: there is no in between. In order to keep the game going, all plays must be made in bounds. Any time a play is made out of bounds, the game stops and everybody takes a moment to regroup before resuming the game. All players go into the game knowing what’s in bounds and what’s out of bounds before the game starts. The same goes for this sport we call love. There is something called boundaries (supposed to be, anyway). Either you’re playing in bounds or out of bounds; there is no in between! Your boyfriend or girlfriend needs to know that to keep a relationship going with you; all plays must be made in bounds! He or she needs to know that anytime a play is attempted out of bounds, this relationship will come to a screeching halt; and we will have to take some time to regroup. Isn’t it something how athletes go into games knowing what’s in bounds and out of bounds, but many of you go into relationships with no boundaries? Now that right there is the downfall to most of your relationships. You have no boundaries. And since you have no boundaries, many of you are playing out of bounds. You are allowing anything to go on in your relationships, and this shouldn’t be. Boundaries are set to keep the game in order. The same goes for relationships. Boundaries are set to keep the order of God. So the question that you must ask yourself is this, ―In my relationship, am I playing in bounds or out of bounds?‖ Remember, now, there is no in between. Either you’re doing what’s right, or you’re doing what’s wrong. You have to make up in your mind that in order to keep
Young Love: That “C” Word your relationship with God, and with your boyfriend or girlfriend, some boundaries must be established. When football players hit the field, boundary lines are already marked off, and they know beforehand what’s in bounds and out of bounds. When those of the opposite sex enter your life, the first thing that you need to plainly make known to them is the boundaries that are marked off in your life. Inform them of the consequences of attempting to make any plays out of bounds. They need to know where you stand and who you stand for! That way there won’t be any misunderstanding down the road. I know he’s got it going on, and she may be fine as wine, but what’s marked off is marked off! I have watched and played a lot of football in my life. Not once have I ever seen a football player erase a sideline boundary to make it fit what he desired to do. Never allow people to come into your life and erase boundaries that have been set by your parents, pastor, youth leaders, and those in authority over you. These boundaries have been set by God, but they are instructed by them. Some people will come into your life and try to erase those God-given boundaries, and shape you the way that they want to shape you. There is no such thing as pressure when the boundaries have been set from the beginning. When you let them know where you stand from day one, they will have a choice to make. They will have to decide whether they want to be in a relationship with you or not. If they feel that they can’t get down with your boundaries, then they need to move on. Don’t try to make it work if it’s not meant to work. You may be disappointed, but you won’t be as hurt since you never allowed yourself to get attached to them in the first place. Before the attachment should always 22
Young Love: That “C” Word come the boundaries. This will save you a lot of heartache in the long run. The pressure in relationships comes when you don’t clearly lay down the boundaries from day one. Then you find yourself in a heated moment and try to push them off by saying, ―Oh, I forgot to tell you, I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe in sex before marriage.‖ Now you have put unnecessary pressure on yourself as well as the other individual. In your mind you don’t want to tell him or her ―No‖ and make the person angry, or turn him or her away. And, truth be told, he or she didn’t know how far to go or how far not to go since you never clearly explained in the first place. So don’t expect them to say, ―Oh, OK; that’s cool. I understand.‖ Oh, no! That’s not how it’s going to go. Most of the time they’re going to say, ―Come on, baby. Why not? I thought you loved me. What’s the big deal?‖ The big deal is the boundary that you’re getting ready to cross that God has clearly marked off. At this point, you’re in a mess. The boundaries were never clarified, you crossed the line, and now you have a choice, whether to come back or keep playing out of bounds, not to mention that your hormones aren’t making the situation any better! That’s where that ―C‖ word comes in, and you compromise everything that you know is right. You didn’t cross the line; you erased it and made your own set of rules. You justify your actions by telling yourself, “God will forgive me. God will understand; He knows my heart. I will do it just this one time.” All of this could’ve been avoided if boundaries were set in the beginning of your relationship. It gets real challenging when you go to church and hear the truth next Sunday. You know beyond a shadow of doubt that the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and challenging you to make some changes before it’s too late. But it’s a challenging thing to cross the line, and to try to come back over it after experiencing what you’ve 23
Young Love: That “C” Word experienced. Maybe you can meet the challenge, but perhaps your partner cannot. Now you find yourself in a valley trying to please God and please your partner at the same time. This could’ve been avoided if you would’ve clearly stated your boundaries, but you didn’t, so there’s no need to dwell on that. Your only option left is to redefine your relationship before it redefines you.
know some of y’all wish u never picked dis book up (LOL). Just hang in there, young people, ur going to be ight. I know many of y’all r being challenged right now. As bad u hate 2 admit it, u know everything u just read in da previous chapter iz whatz real. As a matter of fact, if ur feeling dat previous chapter, holla at me @ www.abalmore.com (under contact info) and let me know what’s good! Ight, enough slain for ya’ll, let me get back 2 our talk (LOL). Now, when you find yourself in a valley trying to please God and trying to please your boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re going to have something on your hands. As much as I would like to think that the young person on the other side of this book is saved, blood-washed filled, fire baptized, and a saint of the Most High, this just might not be the case. Many of you know right from wrong, but just haven’t come to that place yet of using what you know. Where am I going with this? What I’m trying to say is that many of you who just read the previous chapter are already in a relationship. The boundary has been crossed, the line has been moved. ―Man, please! What are you talking about, Elder? My boundaries have been completely erased. They have been destroyed, totally removed. Never there in the first place!‖ That’s what many of you would say if I could personally talk to you and if you would get real with me. And since this is the case, there is a problem, and a serious problem at that. You know the truth, heard the truth, but now it’s being presented more on your level through our discussions, so now you have a choice to make. The God that you have in you will not allow you to be comfortable anymore doing the things that you are doing. As stated
Young Love: Please earlier, your boyfriend/girlfriend might be comfortable with it, but you won’t. But it gets tricky when you’re already emotionally, sexually and psychologically attached to them. ―So what do I do?‖ I’m glad you asked! You’re simply going to have to redefine your relationship. ―Oh, ok. That sounds good. I will just redefine my relationship...uh, what does that mean?‖ LOL. I got your back. Let me tell you what I mean by redefine. The prefix re means ―again.‖ Define means ―to explain something’s meaning.‖ Even though you’ll never defined your relationship per se, your relationship is already defined by something, meaning that your relationship is about ―this,‖ or it’s about ―that.‖ There are some things in your relationship that are acceptable and expected from each other. Even though you’ll never sat down and actually discussed them, let’s just say that ―nature‖ and you’ll past activities has done that for you. Now you have to come back to the drawing board and let your boyfriend/girlfriend no what you are all about. As you’re letting them know what you’re all about, basically you’re telling them in a nutshell what this relationship is getting ready to be about. You will have to let them know that even though you two already did ―this,‖ ―this,‖ and ―this,‖ from this point on, you are making some changes in your life. And from here on out, this is the type of person that you are becoming, and this is what you desire your relationship to be: Starting now, these are the boundaries that you’ll will ―play‖ within. That’s how you redefine a relationship: Looking at where your relationship has been, but clearly stating where it’s going. So my advice to you would be to keep the relationship that you’re in, but simply to add those Godly boundaries to it. Some boundaries that you need to have involve touching, time management, conversations, and supervision. You have to monitor the amount of time you 26
Young Love: Please spend together and what times you spend it together. You don’t want to be together all the time especially if you have plans for getting married in the future. You will need your space and so will your boyfriend/girlfriend. I will teach you why a little bit later. The time that you spend together needs to be supervised. Any time you spend a lot of time with someone in an unsupervised place, you’re setting yourself up—big time! Why place yourself in that situation if you know you’re going to fall into temptation? Nine times out of ten, you’ll have already had conversations about who’s scared and who isn’t scared. You will already have talked about what you’re going to do to the other person, and how the other person can’t handle you this, that, and the other. So if you keep talking about it and keep spending unsupervised time together and messing around and get to touching each other, nine months down the road you’re going to have something on your hands—literally—because the condom broke and birth control failed! But all of this can be avoided if you simply redefine your relationship. But who am I fooling? Many of you are so disappointed with life, looking for attention and in desperate need of love and affection, that you will do anything to keep that individual in your life—and I mean anything! In fear of losing that person, you want take courage to redefine your relationship, but the partner ends up redefining you. Instead of you pulling your partner into your world, your partner will pull you into his or her world. Instead of your values becoming his or her values, your partner’s values become yours. The only thing wrong with that is…they have no values! In your heart, you know this is wrong. You know you’re going against 27
Young Love: Please everything that you have been taught. So why are you doing it? ―I don’t know, Elder Almore; I don’t know!‖ That’s what many of your hearts are crying out. You’re doing it because you’re afraid to redefine your relationship in fear of losing your partner and in fear of what others are going to say to your commitment to holiness. They might call you a holy roller. They may say some things about you, but who are they? The question is, What is God saying about you? How does God feel about your relationship, your compromise, and your actions? You don’t want to redefine your relationship in fear of hurting the other one’s feelings. But what if I told you that since you don’t want to redefine your relationship, you’re really hurting God’s feelings? Did you know that you can break God’s heart? Deep down inside, behind the smile, behind the thrills and ―good times,‖ when you get alone and if there is grief deep down in the bottom of your heart, then nine times out of ten you’re grieving God as well. Can I tell you something? He or she isn’t worth your salvation. I’m begging you, while there’s still time; please redefine your relationships before they permanently redefine you…please.
don’t know how in the world I started comparing sports to relationships, but it’s working, so let’s stay right here (LOL). Anyway, have you ever noticed that in football, when players don’t follow the rules, they are penalized? The same should go for your relationship with your boyfriend/girlfriend. When you don’t follow the rules, those boundaries that have been marked off in your relationship, then somebody has to throw the flag. Just in case you don’t watch football, what I mean by that is there has to be some type of consequences. Before I go there, let me go here. If you are afraid to set boundaries in fear of losing him or her, then that person is not the one for you. When football players enter the arena, they know the rules, and they have three things they have to do. Whether they like the rules or not, they have to respect them. They may not agree with them, but if they want to participate in the NFL, they have to accept them. And if they want to stay in the game and on the field, they have to keep them. Now, you know if it’s like that in the arena of sports, it certainly has to be like this in the arena of love. Young people, your boyfriend/girlfriend must respect the boundaries that you place in your relationship. If your partner can’t respect those boundaries, please don’t hook up with that person: just because he is cute or she has a nice body. Your boyfriend/girlfriend must respect those boundaries, respect your God, respect your feelings, and respect your comfort zones. Whether he or she likes them or not, these fundamentals must be respected. And if they can’t be respected…then you gotta throw those deuces up. Holla! (For any adults that may be reading this that means bye, get out my face or I’m out of here! LOL)
Young Love: Timeout The football players may not agree with all the rules, but if they want to play in the NFL, they have to accept them. And if your boyfriend/girlfriend wants to ―play‖ in your world, your rules must be respected. You can’t be accepted unless your boundaries are accepted. You come as a package deal. It’s you, God, and His boundaries, all as one package. We will discuss later how you come up with the boundaries in the game of love. Now this is an important point: the boundaries must be consistently kept. They can’t be respected today and disrespected tomorrow. They can’t be agreed to today and denied tomorrow. They have to be kept. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Those are the ones that will study you, act like you, and even go to church with you. They will do what you ask for a little while just to get close to your heart. They will respect you and accept your boundaries long enough just to get ―what they want‖ and then leave you hanging! This goes for young men and young ladies. It’s a nasty game out there these days and some young ladies are just as scandalous as some young men. (Notice I said some.) So you need someone that has self control that can hold to your boundaries. I’m talking one week down the road, one month, six months, even one year later, still loving and dating you ―in bounds,‖ not even attempting to go ―out of bounds.‖ Even though he or she may seem innocent, the Bible says above all else, guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Never let your guard down. They will laugh and smile in your face, meet your parents, gain the respect of your friends, and be plotting on your ―goods‖ the whole time. They may not be concerned as of right now if you’re giving it to them or not, because nine times out of ten, 30
Young Love: Timeout they’re getting it from somewhere else. Find it not strange if it’s from your best friend! When you play in the world, with the world, you get burned like the world! Anything is liable to happen if you’re in the world, and I mean anything! In the world of sports, no matter what you watch, there’s something called penalties. When things are done out of order, when rules are broken, somebody is going to get penalized. Once you set the boundaries for your relationship, when things seem to be getting out of hand at the slightest point, you have to throw the flag. If you’re always arguing, or finding yourself in compromising situations, something needs to change immediately. Let’s look at it from this angle. When things seem to get really out of hand during a game, that’s when teams call a timeout. You have to know when it’s time to call a timeout in your relationship. It’s during this timeout that teams refocus. Not only do teams refocus, but they also come up with a strategy. Teams use this time to calm down and get themselves back together. Maybe you need to take a timeout from seeing each other. You know it’s time to take a timeout from seeing each other if you went from talking, to holding hands, to first base, second base… If you can’t keep your hands and lips off each other, you might need to take a timeout. Go back to conversations on the phone (talking all night long till the other person falls asleep) and texting each other till things cool down. And while you’re talking and texting each other, keep it clean. Don’t be talking about what you’re going to do to each other the next time you get together. Use that time to redefine your relationship. Talk about what’s right in your relationship, and talk about what’s wrong. There comes a time in relationships when you might need to take a timeout from each other all together. A good sign of this is when you have already covered first, second, 31
Young Love: Timeout and third base over and over again. Or maybe they’re distracting you from God or from school. It could be that they’re robbing you of family time that you will never get again. Constant arguments are another sign that you’ll might need to take a chill pill. Please do so before your love turns into hate. Whatever the case may be, sometimes it’s good to call a timeout from seeing and talking to each other for a short while. Use that time to get your priorities back, strengthen your faith, and gain some self control. The last option could be the hardest route to take, depending on how close you have gotten to your partner. And that option is to go your separate ways for good. It won’t be easy, and it won’t feel good. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do. This is especially true if your relationship is coming before God. If you ever find yourself in that predicament, my advice to you is simple— choose God. Now some of you are looking at me like I’m crazy (LOL). I never said that you had to break up with them. I never said that it wasn’t going to work. And, please, calm down because I never said you were going to hell. All I said was that when boundaries are crossed, and when rules are broken, something has to change. For some of you, going your separate ways will be a little too difficult. But let’s be real with each other. Somewhere in your relationship you need to call some type of timeout. Young love is complicated, but it’s possible. Every team gets them, every relationship needs them, and this might be a good time for you to use one: Call a timeout.
Now a Word From Our Sponsors:
How to Know When Something Isn’t Right
*( 1) Not answering your call—There’s a good chance they are with somebody else. Sorry. *(2) Going into the other room to answer the phone—There’s a good chance they are on the phone with the person in scenario (1). *(3) Always texting somebody while with you—More than likely they are texting the person in scenario (1). *(4) Always hitting the ignore button when someone calls— The person in scenario (1) is getting impatient now and blowing up their phone! *(5) Never go anywhere in public with you—You guessed it. They don’t want the person in scenario (1) to see them with you. Sorry. *(6) Always taking you out of town—This isn’t because you’re “special.” This is because the person in scenario( 1) never goes out of town. They can spend time with you and make you feel special and not get caught. It’s a good chance that scenario (4) will be happening a lot more frequently. *(7) Only coming over late nights or when your parents aren’t home—We call that a b@%@y call! (Don’t be ignorant). My name is Elder Albert Brooks Almore and I approve this message. We now resume our regularly scheduled reading of Young Love.
We Interrupt This Program
A New Generation Rising
Exposing the devil for what he is, a Liar, a Thief, and a Murderer!
Published by: AB Publishing P.O. Box 14520 New Bern North Carolina 28561 In conjunction with: Old Mountain Press, Inc. 2542 S. Edgewater Dr. Fayetteville, NC 28303 www.oldmountainpress.com Copyright © 2009 A. B. Almore www.abalmore.com Interior text design by Tom Davis Cover Design by Pamela S. Almore of Omni Print Co. ISBN: 9781453668016 We Interrupt This Program: A New Generation Rising. All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts used in reviews, no portion of this work may be reproduced or published without expressed written permission from the author or the author’s agent. Second Edition Printed and bound in the United States of America by AB Publishing• www.abalmore.com 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Turn To Jesus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Dedication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Can I Talk To You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Give Me My Space! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 I’m Changing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 No Reputation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 I Ain’t Nothing Like Ya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Jesus Was a Virgin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Sex Is a Weapon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Exposing The Enemy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Something Is In The Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Watch What You Say . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 The Devil Wants Worship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 The Club Vs. The Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 I Lust You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Unfading Beauty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 This chapter is dedicated to my sisters in Christ. You Need the Holy Ghost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Reverse The Curse! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Understanding The Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 A word to the youth leaders/parents Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Turn To Jesus
“Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends…” John 15:13-14 NIV o matter where you may turn to in life, you will never be able to find a love quite like Jesus. Many of you are searching for answers, and searching for your identity. You don’t know who you really are. Some of you have turned to homosexuality, lesbianism, gangs, sex, and drugs in search for your identity, and in search for answers. I was once like you as well. I went through a time in my life where I was searching for answers. I turned here, I turned there, but nothing was quite like turning to Jesus. No greater love have I experienced than the love of Jesus Christ. I know where you are. You’re lost, confused, and feeling the pressures of life. You’re young, beautiful, handsome, strong, and confident. Here you are in a busy world, full of questions, problems, and concerns with nobody to turn to. It seems as if life is just passing you by. Can I tell you who to turn to? Jesus. Give Jesus all of your problems, all of your fears, and concerns. Many of you are carrying pain that words can’t express. The world and your family have misunderstood you. Little did they know; that your actions were your way of crying out for help. I’m here because your inner tears have reached the heavens. Those days are coming to an end. 7
To my Lord, and my savior Jesus Christ. I give you my all. All that I am is yours. Thank you for choosing me to work through to help set a generation free. To God be the glory, now and forever. Amen To the youth, truly the next generation. I believe in you more than words can express. I pray that you will not have to experience the pain, bumps, and bruises from life that I experienced. This book is for you. Not only do I dedicate this book to you, but I dedicate my heart to you as well. I love you. To the young adults, who are often overlooked and lost between the age groups. This book is dedicated to you as well. Even though you are an adult, that youthfulness is still harboring in you. You often face some of the same struggles and issues of the youth if not worse. May God be with you, as he was and is with me. He will see you through. . To the youth ministers, leaders, parents, and guardians. I salute you for taking the time out to pour into this generation. I pray that God will reveal truths, and words of wisdom to you through this book to help those around you, whom you love.
Introduction You Are That Generation
“I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Romans 11:4-5 KJV re you the generation to come, or are we to look for another? God has a generation set aside just for him. Right now as I speak, they are probably covered in sin, not knowing who they are. Those are the one’s that God wants to use. They are not perfect, but they are called by God. God is going to take what was once dirty, make it clean, and use them to war against the enemy that once had them bound. God has his own X Generation. A generation that’s going to X out everything the devil thought he was going to do to them. Can I tell you something? You are that generation! Many people say that this generation is like no other. Truth be told, no generation is ever like the previous generation. But this generation is special. I can measure the power of this generation, based on the test, trials, and temptations that are in this present time. The devil wants to destroy you before you get a chance to destroy him. This is why he has kept you in darkness; he didn’t want you to find out who you really were!
A. B. ALMORE
The Battle Has Already Begun The devils time is up in your life. You’ll never be the same after reading this book. God is getting ready to expose the devil for what he is in your life; a liar! Not only is he a liar, but he’s a thief and a murderer. He’s out to steal, kill, and destroy your future. It’s up to you to interrupt his program. You have to draw the line, and say enough is enough; not my generation! Believe it or not, the world is depending on you. Somebody has to take a stand. Somebody has to make a difference. Will you be that one, or are you too weak to accept the challenge. In this walk only the strong survive. That’s why many don’t choose it. Sin is played out. That style has come and gone. It’s a new style out called Holiness, Righteousness, and Salvation! Which one are you repping? The battle for souls is taking place day and night. Whose side are you on? God is looking for some young soldiers with energy, strength, and power! God sent me in your life to recruit you from the hand of the enemy. It’s time for you to join the army of the Lord. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of a disciplined mind. It’s time to take a stand for what’s right, even if you have to stand alone. It’s Our Time! This isn’t just a book. What you’re holding is a strategy. This manual will teach you how to war against your opponent. This manual exposes his tricks, his specialties, and his schemes. I stand here today to take a stand with you, but the question is will you take a stand with me? The devil is out to destroy you. He isn’t doing it openly; he’s killing a generation softly. Trust me; he has a plan for you. Don’t take these 14
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words lightly. Your soul is at stake. Heaven and Hell is on the line. Where will you spend eternity? Choose this day who you will serve! I pray that when its all said and done, that you will make the right choice and join me and thousands of others who have made up in their minds that they want better, and that they want change. Many youth just like you are living under great distress; single parent homes, peer pressure, suicide running through their minds. Confused, don’t know whether they like boys or whether they like girls. This generation is under attack, and God needs you to take a stand. I’m not here to judge you; I’m here to help you. So…… Can I talk to you?
Can I Talk To You
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7 NKJV ’m a sinner, saved by grace. Can I talk to you? I’m not without sin, I’m not perfect, and I’m not here to cast stones at you. I’m not writing this book to condemn you, or to judge you. Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it. (John 3:17) NKJV If Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn it, then who am I? I’m not here to preach at you, I’m here to help you. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and I’m here to save you some time. I’m here to save you some tears, and some heartbreak if you will allow me. So can I talk to you? Let me start off by telling you a little about me. I was just like you. Let me take that back, I was worst than you. I can’t share everything in this book about myself. I’m not sure if you can handle it without judging me. God saved me at the age of twenty-one. (He really called me earlier than that but I was running.) Before that I was on my way to hell first class. I was to the point where I was smoking an ounce of weed a day with my “boyz”. I was drinking alcohol from sun up to sun down. I partied Wednesday through Sunday night like it was no tomorrow. I drove a fresh Lexus with the hottest Ashanti Zebra rims to hit the market. My gear stayed fresh, I had the grill in my mouth, and I kept a fresh edge up. I 17
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hustled hear and there, my pockets stayed phat but my heart was still empty. Give me time to explain, I told you I wanted to talk to you. Popular But Empty I found myself trying to fill that void with more Jordans, more Air Force One’s, more money, more clothes, more fitted caps. I tried to fill that emptiness with sex. Oh, let me back up while I’m on that. I was introduced to pornography, (porn/flicks as you call it) at a very young age by some of my “boyz”. These images released a strong sexual desire in me. Some of you feel what I’m talking about, but let me get back to my story. I was the “man” around town and high school. I was athletic, strong, and popular. Other words, I was a prime candidate to be used by the devil and that’s exactly what happened. Without knowing it I was leading as many people to hell as I possibly could. I didn’t know who I was, so I was being used by the devil. Fast forward to my college years; where I resided in Fayetteville still doing my thing to the fullest. Similar to some of you, I knew better. I grew up with both parents in the house, God in the house, but I chose to go the other way on my own. The choices that I made were not because I wasn’t raised any better, I rebelled against God. Have you ever been there before? The Struggle Within I was happy, but I wasn’t happy you know. I was looking for “love” so I thought, but I was really looking for God. I was in and out of relationships and I was in and out of trouble 18
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as well. God was trying to get my attention, but I kept swatting him away as if he was a fly. I wasn’t through doing “my thing”. I still wanted to do “me”. I found myself in a relationship with a young lady for a couple of years. Things were going good; I was quote unquote in “love”. I gave her my heart, which was my first mistake. I made her my god, and God wasn’t feeling that. Little did I know; that God will have no other God’s before Him. This is the first commandment. (Exodus 20:3) KJV I gave her my heart, and in exchange she gave me pain. Things began to go down hill fast, let me explain. God began to deal with me about doing things I didn’t need to do sense I wasn’t married. (Pre-marital sex / fornication) Instead of listening to the voice of God, I listened to my girlfriends’ voice. Since I listened to her instead of God, she became my god. I wasn’t happy on the inside though. My parents were praying for me, but I was running. Slowly but surely, my world began to fall apart. God was trying to get my attention, and man does He know how to push the right buttons. The Wake Up Call I can still recall that night as if it were yesterday. I was in New Bern for the weekend at my parent’s house. I received a phone call that changed my entire life. One of my “boyz” got fed up, and began to tell me the truth. Actually when I look back I see that it was God. God used my friend to tell me the truth so that I could see and feel for myself how cold the world really is. He couldn’t hold it in anymore. He began to share with me how a couple of my “boyz” were coming through the back door, as I would leave out of the front. In other words, I wasn’t the only one that she was loving. She 19
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was also sleeping with my “boyz” while laughing behind my back. No! Not me! I had shorty on lock down so I thought. In my mind I thought I controlled her. In my mind I thought that I was too cool for this to happen to me. Even though I was playing her, I didn’t want her to play me. Besides, she told me that she loved me and a piece of me “loved” her. Worldly love and Godly love are two totally different things. I quickly found out what the world had to offer me was ... lies, hurt, and pain. I found out I was not in control as much as I thought I was. I began to understand that the world had no love for me. Reality Check “Is it true?! Is it true?!” I began to yell over the phone to her. (I quickly made a phone call to my “love” when I heard the news.) “Is it true?!” She began to break down and cry, and one of my other “boyz” was on three way pressuring her to tell the truth. He told her that the secret was out, and that it was too late… I already knew. But a piece of me didn’t believe it. I had to hear it from her. “It’s true” she managed to slip out between a sob. It’s like I wanted to know, but then I didn’t want to know. They began to go into details about how and why things went down, and about who else was going behind my back. Mission accomplished. I was hurt; I was broken, and confused. Believe it or not, for a second there I didn’t want to live anymore. I wanted to be loved and missed that much. I was in a daze. I didn’t know whether I was going, or coming. My life began to go downhill fast. Everything and everybody that I had once put my trust in had failed me. I cried from anger, and I cried from the pain. But God! 20
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I now realize that it wasn’t about none of them, but it was about God. God was after something inside of me. He knew that you needed to hear something from me and I had what it takes to reach you. He knew that He would allow me to stay in the world only so long before He would pull me out. If it wasn’t for the world, and if it wasn’t for my experiences whether good or bad I would never have been able to reach you. God used the closest people in my life to interrupt the devils program. From Me To You The pain that I felt drew me right into God’s arms. I shared a piece of my life with you so that you could see my flaws, my lifestyle, and my mistakes. I wanted you to know that I have been there, and done that. Can I tell you what you’re looking for? God. I don’t care how young you are, how popular you are or none of that stuff. There is an emptiness inside of you that only God can fill. Will you allow God to fill you with his love? You have tried every other relationship. It’s time for you to get into a relationship with God. He wants to fill you with his purpose, power, and potential. He wants to use you to interrupt the devils program. I understand where you are, and what you’re going through. The devil wants you to think that you’re the only one going through this, and that you’re all alone, and that no body understands you. I’m here to help you if you’re willing to let me. The question is are you willing to let me into your space!
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?