Soul Chocolate

giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets…

Moments June 4, 2010

Filed under: white chocolate — beautynobility @ 11:05 am

i want to frolic like this guy.

We should all have moments that make us happy. You know, those special times that remind us that God loves us. Moments that are intensely personal, ones no one else can really understand.  Ones where, if you tried to explain, people would look at you like, “okay, that’s not so special.” Well, here are some of those moments for me.

1. Getting my hair done

I.love.my.hair. Let me say that again. I.love.my.hair. This may be vain, it may be crazy, but hey, it’s me. I will NEVER sing that India Arie song. I am my hair. When my hair looks crazy, my day feels off. When my hair looks good, my day is fabulous. It doesn’t matter what else is happening, what I’m wearing, who likes me. As long as my hair is good, I’m good. Thus, it should not be a surprise that some of my best days are when my hair is done. I will get my hair done and sit at home staring at the wall, just pleased. The best time to ask me for something or tell me something bad is when my hair has just been done. Perpetual good mood.

2. Discovering a great friend

Now, this is closely related to, but distinct from making a new friend.  This is when you have a friend and something happens that shows just how great a friend they are. One of those moments for me was when I was in LJ’s wedding and my bridesmaid dress wouldn’t go on. Every bridesmaid’s nightmare. It just wouldn’t go up, but I still solemnly swear I hadn’t gained weight in the 2 months since I bought it. Well, instead of turning into a bridezilla and cursing my a$$ out like I would have freaking out, LJ looked at me, and in all her bridal glory, helped me turn the dress around, pulled it up, zipped it, and told me to fix my makeup. Classy. And a great friend.

3. Eating shrimp.and Bruschetta. Shrimp Bruschetta.

I love shrimp. Shrimp makes me happy. Take me somewhere with seafood, I’m ordering shrimp. I love bruschetta. Bruschetta is my favourite appetizer. I don’t know when I fell in love with these foods, but I love them. Therefore, shrimp bruschetta makes me doubly happy. Simple but profound. #notreally.

4. Compliments

But not any compliment. Wait, let me clarify before I continue. Yes, I like compliments, they are great, thank you. But there are some that are extra special that no one else would really get. I love the compliments that come out of no where and aren’t about the things I know about myself. I love compliments from children precisely because they’re so random. Example? No problem. The other day one of the kids at church came up to me and said, “Aunty Chocolate, you skip so well. You just skip around the room and it makes me wanna skip too.” Then he walked off. Yes. HE. I was floored, and just smiled all day long. It was so random, it made happy. Because I don’t skip, but I suppose he just saw happiness and wanted to be like that too. Mind you, this was on a day that was not going well (the kind of mood only a man can put you in…). So yeah, random compliments about randomness = happy moments.

5. Chocolate

Any moment that chocolate cannot fix is a moment not worth knowing. God made chocolate for me. Nothing can convince me that I was not on His mind when He created the cocoa bean in the beginning. He could tell me Himself with a parting sky and a dove, and I would rebuke the devil. Chocolate shows His love for me. At every sad moment in my life, I have turned to Jesus and chocolate. Every great moment has been celebrated with chocolate. The in between moments, all receive chocolate too.

So there are 5 of my happy moments. Believe me, I have more. But now Chocolatiers, what makes you happy? What’s the moment no one quite gets for you? Do you understand my moments? Have a White Chocolate Weekend!

 

Sing my heart… June 3, 2010

Filed under: milk chocolate — beautynobility @ 12:10 pm

I’ve spent the past few days listening to Addison Road, partially in anticipation of the release of their newest CD, but also because they just seem to be singing my heart. As Lauryn (and Roberta Flack) would say, they’re strumming my pain with their fingers.  Below are two of the songs that have most struck me:

For some reason, with all the anticipation I have for this summer, and all the expectation I have for greatness, there’s also a dread in my heart. Something telling me that everything I’ve been waiting and hoping for can’t and won’t come. Something that keeps wanting to break me. Then, this song came on, and this line hit me: if everything comes down to love, then just what am I afraid of? When I call out Your name, something inside awakes in my soul. How quickly I forget I’m Your’s – I’m not my own, I’ve been carried by You all my life.

I was driving to church last night, and literally had to pull over when this song came on. I know, that’s strange, it’s not a “worship” song by definition, or the song that should make you cry like that. But I heard this line, and again, it was my heart. I may never be the one that gets a second glance, I may never be the one they call the prettiest. That’s all right with me. I cried because I wasn’t sure if I could say that. My heart’s cry, yesterday, today, and tomorrow will be that I can honestly say: all that matters is I know Your love has set me free. That’s all that matters to me.

*some of you may have popped in earlier and seen another post/series of posts. I’ve decided to take that down for now. It was intensely personal…and I’m not ready to share yet. Read between the lines as you will.
 

“Indiscretions” By Church Leadership (Pt 4) June 2, 2010

Filed under: 100% Cocoa — beautynobility @ 8:03 am

This is the final post in this series.  I hope you’ve enjoyed – though this is heavy, a bit heavier than I’ll (always) be, it was good for me to think through. I also hope it was enlightening, encouraging, but most of all thought-provoking for you.

Perhaps, more important than the response given by the church community, is the leader’s response to the response.  Is the leader just going through the motions, waiting to get back to their* position/ministry?  Are they apologizing for the sake of apologizing?  Taking the break because they were forced to?  Or can it be seen that their heart is truly repentant and changed?  Can it be seen that they have grown and matured through the process?  Are they crying out, “I have sinned against God and man?”  But how?  How would this be determined?  By their fruits.  As it says, “by their fruits you shall know them.”  What is the fruit of the apology?  The fruit of the break?  Have they encouraged (vocally or non-verbally) dissention or bitterness within the body, or brought everyone together in searching for a deeper relationship?  Have they criticized the leadership for the mandated response, or have they pointed back to the redemptive work of Christ, in humble submission to authority?  Are they pretending it never happened, or perhaps, referencing it only in criticism of the leadership, or are they willing to speak about it to keep others from falling into the same dangers?

The heart of the leader, coming out of sin, is most important.  Because, at the end of the day, that individual will still be viewed as a leader.  Their life, for better or for worse, will impact multiple lives, and can either lead others to Christ or push them away.  Let’s come together, not to put our leaders on a pedestal, but to help them point the way to the only perfect leader: Jesus, the Christ.

Let’s discuss, chocolatiers. What do you think is the appropriate response? How do you measure your leaders? What do you think of this series overall?

*I take issue with the idea that any individual “owns” a ministry, thereby making it “their’s.” To me, all ministry is God’s and we are honored to be included in His work on earth (see, eg,  2 Corinthians 4, 5, and 6).

 

“Indiscretions” by Church Leadership (Pt 3) June 1, 2010

Filed under: 100% Cocoa — beautynobility @ 9:28 am

So today, in continuing this topic, I want to look at the two main responses called for: apologies and stepping down.  But please, Chocolatiers, weigh in. What are your experiences? Christian or not, what do you think when you see these indiscretions? Do you think I’ve been on point or off base with the previous posts?

Based on this great weight of leadership, and the baseness of the sin, many argue that there should be an apology, and it should be public.  That by sinning in such a way, it is not only against God and their personal families, but against their church and the general body.  And, if this apology is not public, there is not acknowledgement that the sin had consequences beyond their individual selves.  And there’s the other side, the one that says that sin is private, and an apology does not extend.  That this public apology can lead to a double standard, legalism, and condemnation.  That Jesus never required anyone to apologize when found in sin, but forgave and told them to “go and sin no more.”  That all He required was a repentant heart.  These all have merit, great merit.  But again, these were individual people.  And who is to say that the sign of the repentant heart isn’t a public apology?  Perhaps the problem is the requirement.  Shouldn’t this type of repentance be voluntary?  While I tend to agree that a public apology is necessary, I think it should come from a heart that acknowledges the greater consequences of sins from someone in leadership.  I think of Zachariah, the tax collector, who voluntarily made public restitution for his sins because of his encounter with Christ.  What if he had just repented, and gone in private?  Sure, he would still be saved, but the general public, the ones who were harmed by his sin, they wouldn’t have the benefit of that witness, that testimony.

And what of the words, the great admonishment, that we overcome not just by the blood of the Lamb, but also by the word of our testimony?  If our leadership keep their indiscretions private, what are they saying about their testimony and the redeeming blood of Christ?

And then there’s the argument that the leaders should step down from their position for a time.  (Full Disclosure: I have a very close friend who was forced to step down from their position, and my views are probably tinged by walking through that experience with him.)  The argument: having betrayed both God and their congregation with such a sin, they are not fit to continue in the position.  Or, they need a time where they are just focused on repentance, redemption, and reconciliation.  They need a time to be accountable, and discover what went wrong, why, and how to avoid that (newsflash, to those wondering: Jesus is the only way to avoid sin).  On the other side, the argument is that stepping down from a position is just a legalistic response, it doesn’t go to the root of the problem.  Moreover, it doesn’t acknowledge that the individual may have already repented and experienced the redemptive work of Christ.  It can leave a ministry in a lurch, and if not properly facilitated, confuse the congregation.  I don’t know about this one.  Yes, the individual may have repented, they may have dealt with it privately, but that doesn’t mean losing “their”* ministry isn’t a necessary consequence for sin.  However, the scripture most quoted, that an individual committing such a sin should be removed from the church, also states that this drastic step is to be taken after the individual has been given multiple opportunities for repentance.  Honestly, I think that this practice needs to be extremely led by the Spirit.  It can’t be a one size fits all response.  Is it sometimes appropriate?  Yes.  Can it be detrimental?  Yes.