The Season Finale of Preachers of LA brought me to tears. After weeks of blogging about their debauchery and lavish lifestyles, and their greed and questionable acts on the show and in their lives, when all was said and done, at the end of it, I cried. And not because of the reasons listed above. I cried because the show made me reflect upon myself and my own life.
The Lord first introduced me to reality TV programs two years ago when I was hospitalized for 8 days with no food or water--not even so much as an ice chip. He literally shut my world down to get my undivided attention, and it was at that time that I learned of two things: Christian TV programs and reality TV. Shows like Praise the Lord, or channels like The Word Network, and Daystar, fascinated me and kept me "full" because regular TV is full of nothing but real food. People are always eating or cooking or advertising the latest chicken dinners or restaurants or something. I couldn't handle watching any of that. On the other hand, if you're not watching reruns of Martin or Living Single or shows like that, or the drama on talk shows which I don't watch AT ALL, the only other choices are reality TV, and again Christian TV. It was then that I watched the Braxton's for all of ten minutes, and vowed never to watch it again. The same happened when I watched Ice and Coco. I said to myself, never again.
It wasn't that I didn't like the shows or the people, I just kept hearing the same Scripture speak to my heart:
"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." 1 Tim 4: 16 emphasis added
At that time, God didn't want me divulging idle time to watch how other people were living. Toni and her sisters and Ice and Coco's latest furniture additions could not fill me as the Lord was seeking to do at that time. He wanted me to get myself together. I spent years in and out of church and have gone to some of the most prominent churches in Chicago and known the Bishops and the families personally. But at this point of my life, it wasn't about them or my past. God was doing a new thing in me. And that's what has been happening to me since that time, having since learned about Jehovah-m'kaddesh, the Lord God who sanctifies. God has intentionally and deliberately set me apart to see that His kingdom is different than the world and there are different standards. And as one commenter said to me at the end of one my blogs, I need to work on my Pharisaical beliefs. Nothing can be more cutting to say to a believer. Yes, the comment cut, but I didn't bleed, and it's because I know the most divine aspect of God's kingdom are not laws and restrictions, or expectations and judgment. No, the most fascinating, overlooked part about God's character is His enduring and merciful love. And from what I've seen, the Preachers of LA get that and are languishing in His blessings.
That's what this show made me see about myself, and about the Preachers of LA as well.
I still maintain that I thought the show could have had a different story line because I was hoping to see how they study to preach, or what inspires them to teach a certain lesson, or how they shepherd those in ministry, but I guess that's just me and my boring ideals and expectations. The show delivered what people want to see, and that is drama, cars, bling, and family. I can't be mad about that, and I'm not.
But I was really moved to tears by the final episode. You have no idea how much drama goes on in my own family! I mean, as a mom of six daughters, with my first two birthed when I was 17 and 19, really says it all. I need not say more because that's just it. You can relate. We can all relate. Because, as the Preachers and their wives said time and again, "At the end of the day___________",
WE ARE MORE ALIKE THAN WE ARE DIFFERENT.
I thought about my Facebook page, my blog and all of my life's aspects that are public for the world to see. Anybody could judge me and say that I couldn't possibly love God because I'm on FB in a bikini.
To some believers, no true God-fearing woman should be outside of the home or her husband's eyes dressed like that. Never mind the fact that I was in Jamaica, have never taught water fitness back home in Chicago in a bikini, and have a heart to inspire other women to live healthful lives and know that no one defines their beauty. I've had four daughters naturally, the twins were double C-sections, and major abdominal surgery to have a portion of my intestines removed. So for me, a bikini symbolizes triumph. Living, and being healthy, free and healed of Crohn's, able to show all women that it's never too late to create a new body is my purpose and passion. Just as surely as cars, big homes, jewelry, and increase means for the Preachers and their families.
I want to apologize for calling them greedy. It's not my place or my call.
I want to apologize for questioning their integrity. That's not my call either.
If I know anything, I know this:
"For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Rom 3: 23
And not just that, because I'm not saying, I'm a sinner and they're sinners so as to make us less worthy and celebratory of what God has done in all of our lives. I merely point that out because each and every last one of us is a work in progress, and we will do better with our time studying to show ourselves approved than studying to show how somebody else is wrong. That is the distinction I am making. I am continuing to work on the plank in my own eye. God will deal with all others and their specks of sawdust. That's His role, not mine.
For the record I would like to also say this: the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon these men are just that, blessings. So often, as blacks, when we see other successful people, and especially preachers, we liken them to modern day pimps. And then those in darkness justify their actions to stay out of church or trusting of others because they assume preachers to be robbers and scoundrels. And trust me, I understand and can see why people may think this.
But for us as believers, we can do better. We must! We can't just say that because someone is blessed they are greedy. We don't say this about Tyler Perry or Oprah or Michael Jordan or Earvin Johnson and so many other successful black people of influence and power. Why do we tear down our religious leaders?
This may seem a far cry from why I originally published and may even seem hypocritical or two-faced, but it isn't. It's called growth. When we know better, we do better. And I know better than to judge and criticize because with the same measure I use to judge, the same will be judged of me. So if you haven't read any of my other blogs, just know, I am today's modern day woman at the well who met a man that told me all about me. You can read all about me or her in John 4: 1-42.
I look forward to Season 2 should the show continue. I am still hopeful that believers can learn as much of ministry as we do of what their money can buy. But that's my hope. I know not what yours is.
On this day of Thanksgiving, I pray that we can all celebrate the life of love that God has so freely given us, and reflect upon the prayer spoken by Bishop Haddon at the end of the show:
"Families who God has joined together, let no demon put us under."
About me: I'm a wife and mom of six daughters who loves the Lord, loves life, and loves helping others discover that they can experience good life, health, and prosperity. Every week I teach people ways to strengthen and tone their muscles, improve their heart's health, and challenge themselves beyond what they dreamed possible. I do this because I celebrate that our bodies are temples and God's desire is for us to have healthy temples so we can have the stamina to endure, appreciate, and thrive when He releases the weight of His glory. We all want the glory, but are we strong enough to handle the weight of it all, that is the question. I help people prepare and position themselves for prosperity, and I can help you too. Go to my website for information on transforming your temple and I will be in touch! Whether in the US, UK, Canada, or Jamaica, I can help you! God Bless.
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