Why I Renounced Membership in a Greek Sorority and Why I’m Compelled to Tell Others – Part 1

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This change of heart and mind started with a trip back to the yard with my line sisters for homecoming weekend in 2013*. Friday night, we attended a Greek Show. Afterward, I stood with them watching some fraternity guys do their dance. I watched one guy’s face morph from that of a perfectly normal human being to the exact imitation of a dog—tongue hanging out, neck twitching, panting. I thought, “Wow. That’s amazing how he just did that!”

Something in me said, “That’s not natural.”

But since I’m obviously not in a men’s fraternity, I brushed off the thought.

The next day, there was a meeting of the sorority sisters in the dance hall. There must have been about 150 or so of us in the room. Some of the women were yelling a chant that I never learned, and there was a line in the song about how we would show St. Peter our sorority pins and be admitted into heaven. Mind you, that’s not an official song of the sorority, but again, it gave me pause. It caused a restlessness in my spirit that I couldn’t shake.

So I began to ask Him questions: God, what do You think about sororities and fraternities? Did these organizations exist in biblical times? Would Jesus join a fraternity? Can I imagine Him throwing up the hand signs? What does the Bible say about what I pledged to 21 years ago?

That last question led me to do something that I had not done since…ever! I didn’t actually know what all I had pledged to because, as secret societies go, you can’t completely know what you’re pledging to until you’ve already pledged. You don’t get to read “the books” until you’re already in. It’s like signing a blank check based on the fact that so many other people you admire signed it blind, too.

To be honest, the night I “went over”, I put on my T-shirt, pranced around campus with my new sorority sisters, and rejoiced like crazy. When we finally received our sorority books, I didn’t actually sit down and read them. I put them on a shelf. Admired them. Smiled at them. The only time I pulled them out was when I had to go to a ceremony and read a portion of text. Otherwise, I didn’t read those books any more than I read every single page of my car insurance policy or my student loan papers. In fact, ALL of the sorority members who have sincerely asked me about my renouncement have admitted to me that they’ve NEVER read their books completely, either.

Truth be told: When I really started to think about it in 2013, I didn’t want to read the books. Not prayerfully. Not with my growing knowledge of the Scriptures. Not with the Holy Spirit’s magnifying glass handy. I didn’t want to find out anything that would cause me to lose connection with my line sisters, make me have to renounce, make me have to risk people thinking I’m “too deep” spiritually, or even cause people to stop reading my books if they found out I had renounced. And what was I supposed to do with all that paraphernalia?

Despite the fact that I didn’t want to re-examine what I had pledged to, there was no way I could quench those burning questions without reading “the books”. Even more, I had to question myself: Why am I resisting this? If it’s all good, there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Why am I trusting all these other admirable Christian women’s interpretations rather reading the books for myself?

So I did it. When I returned from my weekend at the yard, I read all three of my little books from cover to cover in one sitting for the very first time ever. The result: I no longer agreed with what I had pledged to.

As I read some of the passages from our intake process again, I remembered how (back in ’92) I’d had an uneasy feeling with some of the vows. I remember thinking, “This kind of sounds like a Scripture…but it’s…different.” Yet, I’d carried on. I wasn’t going to abort the process. Back then, I didn’t recognize the “uneasy feeling” as the Holy Spirit’s check. Secondly, I didn’t want the disgrace of having “dropped” the line. People at my small college would look at me crazy from that day forward. Last but not least, I sure wasn’t going to waste all the hard-earned money I had spent to pledge. No ma’am!

We were in one of the first lines to go through the membership intake process since strict new anti-hazing laws had been passed. We were pretty certain they weren’t going to hit us or make us drink ‘till we passed out or get with some guys we didn’t know. I figured, “If all we have to do is say some words, I’m in there!”

I didn’t understand the power of words.

Needless to say, after reading the books decades later and researching the disturbing history of secret societies, I could no longer remain a member of a Greek letter organization.

I was out.

I was content to leave quietly, like an uncontested divorce. But in recent months, I’ve heard the buzz from my younger cousins and nieces about pledging sororities and I’m cringing because I know what they are about to agree to. They can’t know because no one within the organization will inform them ahead of time. Like me, my sweet relatives probably see the strong women on campus exemplifying sisterhood, doing good things, and they want to be a part of it. They have no concept of how these organizations are inherently bound to Greek gods.

I can’t speak for every fraternity or sorority because, obviously, I haven’t read all their books. But I have Googled and found the official lyrics of the anthems of the “Divine Nine” (isn’t that something to be questioned right there?) and I can tell you that I wouldn’t advise any believer to sing or speak those words. This is why I am compelled to share what I know now.

Thank you so much for reading this post. I welcome any comments/questions. I pray that it will help you make an informed decision about joining, leaving, or staying in a Greek Letter Organization. Please know that I have shared this in Christ’s love and a deep concern for His body. He is Lord!

In my next post on this topic, I’ll share some of the most frequently asked questions from people who have wanted more information about this decision. I’ve been hit with some hard questions – everything from “Is it really that serious?” to “Why are you trying to break up the black community?” to “You think you’re holier than my Pastor, who is a proud member of…?” I’ll share my answers to those questions and more.

If you’d like to ask something, please feel free to comment, inbox, or email me! Be blessed!

*Note: While I was only privy to one sorority’s information, I think it’s important that every believer in any sorority/fraternity/secret society read their books entirely!

Deacon Brown’s Daughters

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I am sooooo excited about this latest release, Deacon Brown’s Daughters, which was co-authored with CaSandra McLaughlin. This is our 5th book together, and we really put “our feet” in this one!

It’s the story of Stanley David Brown, who used to be a ladies’ man back in the day. Now, he’s God’s man – but will the children he abandoned agree? His quest to become a deacon at his local church will prove to be more of a challenge than he bargained for!

Both CaSandra and I have histories that positioned us to write this book. My natural father and I did have a relationship when I was growing up. He and my mother divorced when I was an infant. My mother moved back to Texas, he stayed in California, and that was pretty much all I knew. My mother re-married when I was three and I got great Dad out of the deal.

CaSandra, on the other hand, always knew her father, but they didn’t form a strong relationship until she was a young adult. In both of our cases, we have learned that our parents were not perfect people. Now that we, too, realize that we were imperfect parents, we are in a better place to process what happened and what didn’t happen when we were children. It’s amazing how perspectives change over time, with experience, and with prayer.

What made Deacon Brown’s Daughters so interesting to me was the opportunity to explore the heart of a man who was trying to right his wrongs. Not because he was dying or because he felt guilty, but because his growing relationship with Christ compelled him to become the upstanding man God had called him to be. But will his adult children allow him to prove himself after all these years? How many times can he apologize before he gives up again? And what do his children’s mothers have to say about his sudden change of heart?

CaSandra and I pray that this book will bring healing and thoughtful reflection to children and parents alike. Just having discussion with people about the book’s topic has already sparked some unexpected reunions and long-overdue family conversations. Truth can help heal broken hearts and restore connections, even when it comes through a fiction book!

Part 1 -A Candid Interview with the Father I Didn’t Know

Hello all!

As you may know, CaSandra McLaughlin and I have a new release coming out in a matter of weeks. The book, Deacon Brown’s Daughters, is about a man who sired four children with four different women but had no relationship with his offspring once the relationship with the mothers ended.

It’s a touchy subject for so many people who didn’t grow up with their natural fathers. It’s also something that hit home for me. My mother and father divorced when I was a toddler. He stayed in California, my mother moved back to Texas. She remarried and I got a wonderful new Dad, who raised me as his own – thank God!

But I did have questions about my biological father. What happened? Why didn’t he try to contact me? Did he miss me all those years?

Well, writing Deacon Brown’s Daughters stirred up some of those questions, and I wanted to get some answers. It was good writing research, of course, but it also gave me a new perspective on my father that also helps me appreciate my Dad and my Heavenly Father even more.

Here’s part 1 of that interview, conducted by fellow author Kendra Holmes. I pray that it will be a blessing to you and give you the courage to ask questions, seek answers, and perhaps gain new perspective on the fact that parents are people, too.

I’ll post part 2 soon and we’ll get the answer to the question of what I knew about my father and more!!!

And be sure you’re on my email list so I can let you know when the book releases! http://bit.ly/2m2OlQF

The Gift of Relaxation for You!

I pray that over the next weeks, you will find (or steal) time to sit down and relax and just be still! Here’s a page from my next coloring book. This design was hand-drawn by your truly.  I haven’t added a Scripture yet, so I figured it might be best to let you write a Scripture in the center – one that speaks to you where you are right now and then color as you meditate on that Word.  Merry Christmas!

(Right click and save or download here)

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War Room Strategies Blogtalk Show

Hello there! If you missed the discussion and walk-through of the War Room Strategies workbook held on LaSheera Lee’s blogtalk show, Read You Later, don’t fret! Here’s the link to both recordings. And if you haven’t printed out or ordered your copy of War Room Strategies: Developing Effectual Prayers for God’s Glory, you can do so here!

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War Room Strategies

Hello, Friends and Family!

I hope that you will…no, I beseech you to check out my latest release – War Room Strategies: Developing Effective Prayers for God’s Glory. 

Hear me: This is a WORKBOOK!

Not just something to read and nod about. Not for entertainment. It is for digging into God’s Kingdom agenda for your life and those you intercede for, digging into the Word, and actually fighting the enemy (offensively & defensively) in a strategic way through word-based, faith-filled, well-planned, effectual & fervent prayer.

This workbook is available as an ebook on just about every ebook platform for FREE (though you will still need the pages to write out your prayers). The download at WarriorWives.Club is also FREE and includes the prayer pages. You can print them for yourself and put the copies in a 3-ring notebook, your journal, or wherever you record your prayers. (If you have never done this before, welcome to a new level of victory!)

If you would rather order a bound copy that is ready to use, you can get it HERE.

I’m starting to get the texts and inboxes about how this book is changing people’s prayer lives, bringing wisdom, causing major spiritual breakthrough – I am honored and amazed myself that He used me to write it!

Now I’m about to go in, in love – you ready? Here it goes: I just can’t stand by any more and watch believers pray amiss (if we are praying at all). God is gracious and merciful to forgive what we don’t know, obviously, but there is hardly an excuse for us to not know in a world filled with so many resources. I mean, if you are reading this right now, you are on the Internet and have the ability to find out what you need to know. Wisdom screams in the streets (Proverbs 1:20)!

And since the Lord has allowed the technology for such a time as this and led so many teachers and pastors to make information and resources available for FREE, there is no reason for anyone to not get an understanding of what is happening in the spiritual realm and what our place is in it. Quiet as it’s kept: What’s happening all around is us part 2. We need to get involved at part 1 – on the spiritual level!

I love you. I NEED you. The Kingdom NEEDS us all in our places doing what we have been called to do, not distracted by all these other things that keep pressing in on us. A lot of the stuff we’re dealing with would cower if we offered it even the slightest bit of resistance in the spiritual realm. So if your marriage is facing attack, if your kids are facing attack (can I get an amen?), if your mind is facing attack with memory problems, depressive episodes, addiction to entertainment, issues you thought you had dealt with a long time ago–WHATEVER! Don’t just sit back and let it happen. Speaking to you and myself: Turn on The Light and end the pity party (Psalm 119:130). Stop looking for other “transparent” believers to show their “struggles” so we can bond in the frailty of human existence. Find some people who are free and bond in the Victory of Life in Christ! 

And don’t keep praying that same old, “God, if you could just do something about this,” prayer. First of all, God doesn’t “just” do anything. When He does something, it’s done to the utmost. Like the time He left much power in the hands of believers after Jesus died and rose from cross. There is no need to beg God to do what He has already given us the power to accomplish by Christ through faith.

Our God is Greater. He is Stronger. And He has given us everything we need in His word. Christ is the Living Word, and He already lives in you. Let Him shine!

In His Love,

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#FightForYours

 

 

Priscilla Shirer and Shundria Riddick Discuss “Married for 5 Minutes”

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Hey all! Just wanted to share this interview with Priscilla Shirer about my latest release, Married for Five Minutes, co-authored with Shundria Riddick. Enjoy! Check out the video here!

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Trying New Stuff

There comes a time in every productive artist’s life when he/she sits down and goes, “Hmmm…what other creative things can I do?”

[As a side note to fellow authors, many of us who were publishing on KDP before 2014 have seen a sharp decline in income after Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited. That’s got us asking the hmmm…question for real!]

After writing 40+ books, I’ve come to that same question and the answers have been quite surprising! After attending several webinars, I’ve dabbled in a few projects over the past couple of months that have opened my eyes to so many possibilities with technology, print, and online learning. I’m trying to stop my brain from going into creative ADD-mode, where I get so excited about one project that I neglect the one I started before it.

That’s bad…in a good way. The possibilities cause me to jump out of bed every day ready to roll! At this point, my prayer is that I don’t get myself off track by chasing down all these opportunities. I have to admit, though, I’d rather be too excited about life than bored to tears.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, in case you missed it, I created a coloring book with scriptures.

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This has been a game-changer for me at face-to-face events. I usually bring 5-7 books with me when I go places to sell books. Often, these events have tons of authors present but not many book-buying readers. Having something at the table for other authors (like my 21-Day Publishing Plan) as well as something for anyone who needs relaxation has proven profitable. Yes, people still buy my fiction, but that coloring book will pull almost anyone to my table.

 

I’ve also created a few journals.  Sermon journals help connect the message to “real life”,

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and Reader’s journals help readers keep track of what they’ve read and reflect on the characters/lessons in every book.

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 So far, I’ve just been sharing these with friends/family. I’ve got an order from a local church and they are on sale on Amazon, but I’m not sure how much time/energy I want to put into the marketing. They were just really fun to make!

MFFMFinalCover.pngFinally, I’ve got a new non-fiction book for wives that just released! It’s a hybrid-book: part fiction, part professional commentary. It’s like watching a reality show with a counselor to help you understand what just happened and how you can address the issues if they’re happening in your life.

And, of course, I’m working on webinars. Over the past eight months or so, I conducted several in-person workshops but there’s only so much I can do in person in my sweet little corner of the state of Texas. So, I’m branching out into webinars and online courses. Hopefully and prayerfully, I’ll be able to teach other artists how to expand their creativity and create multiple streams of income. I’d also like to use the web-based classes to minister to women who were never taught how to wives. (It does need to be taught, by the way, according to Titus 2.)

So now I’ll got to ask you: What ideas are you working on? What’s got you super-excited about your life right now?