This Is Why This Year Will Be the Year of Monae Miller

I am Monae Miller. Most may already know that I am a singer-songwriter, gospel artist, recording artist, music producer, servant leader, and an I Fit spiritual assignments quiz creator.  You will most certainly be surprised to hear how I have helped make a difference in the lives of people exposed to my ministry. I have also already produced and written several musical projects while working on a third project to be released in 2018.

Life Experiences of Monae Miller

As far as life experiences are concerned, I truly am one of the most genuine models of a Christian woman. All my life experiences qualify me to speak, write, and teach others about music ministry and leadership. I also aim to inspire all people around the world to be able to obtain their goals in life through ministry, love, and faith. Many people already have praised me due to my meaningful worship that I am gladly sharing to all.

Monae MillerMy Story

I was hospitalized in the year of 2012 due to unknown psychosis. I was also lost and kept wandering on the campus of The University of Houston. This was also where my brother found me. I was not able to remember who I was and how I was able to get there. Everything just kept on spinning into circles. All I wanted was clear and detailed explanations.

After three years, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder which is also known as a manic depression. For those who are not familiar with such condition, this actually manifests a series of lows and highs. This also emphasizes a time wherein you may feel very energetic. There will also be a time wherein you will be at your low energy. Despite the fact that medication can help regulate some things, there are still instances where you can experience several episodes of the condition.

While I have such a condition, I use it to further inspire and put meanings to the lives of the people that surround me. I was also able to write songs based from my emotions and feelings. I am not doing this for the sake of popularity but for helping to spread the gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Best Year for Monae Miller

The world is full of problems and I hope to inspire those that will listen to dream, have faith, and love with all that is within you. I want to be the agent that motivates and inspires you to fulfill your purpose. I have found my purpose. I have been called to be a minister of music and arts. I use my creative skills to lift Christ. This year I will focus on positioning myself to achieve the things that have been on my heart for some time. Follow me on social media @monaemiller for updates or just send me a word of encouragement to my email contact@monaemiller.com.

Developing Healthy Relationships

How do we form, reform, and end relationships to move forward in our destiny? First let’s talk about the different types of relationships: Family, Friends, Romantic, and Casual. There can be other categories of relationships but these are the most common.

 

Family is usually where you learn about love first. Your first interaction with others is usually within your family. Having a healthy relationship with family members can be a challenge as you feel obligated to get along and operate out of love despite their actions and attitudes. God talks of our relationship with him as a parent-child relationship (2 Cor 6:18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty). Since you cannot pick your family, we were not chosen to be children of God it is just how it is. Which means fellow believers are brothers and sisters in Christ and cannot be chosen. Scripture also shows that the church is the bride and bridegroom is Christ. When you talk about marriage, it is a deeper relationship where you become family and we are the church.

 

Friends usually know each other well and have a mutual trust and respect for each other. Friendships may form naturally and evolve as you get older. Jesus says that a friend must do what he commands and confide in him. You also get to choose your friends and express love towards one another.  (John 15:13-17) This friendship relationship described here is seemingly contradictory than the familial relationship described above but Jesus wants us to be all types of relationships at once because he can be everything to you.

 

Romantic relationships can be intimate and sexual in nature. When you are single, Jesus can fill the void of a companion in a sense that your fleshly desires will be suppressed if you trust in him and have faith that your mate is being prepared for you. Each person in a healthy romantic relationship should have their own identity and mutual respect. The wife was created as a helper to the man (Gen 2:18) and together they are “one flesh” (Gen 2:24). Also, in Ephesians 5 it talks about the relationship in detail between husband and wife. I wondered why in genesis it would make the distinction that once married they are one flesh where the flesh is the root of your sinful nature.

 

Casual relationships are any other relationship you form with a person that is not family, friendship, or romantic. Many relationships start out casual and may move to a more intimate or close relationship. Your relationship with Jesus and his people may be casual at first if you are not sure about accepting Christ as your Lord and savior.

 

What does the bible say about forming relationships?

 

2 Cor 6:14, 17

Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteous be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things and I will welcome you.

If you are going to form an intimate relationship with someone then you will need to know their belief system to determine if they are unbelievers. Teaming up can be family, friends, and romantic relationships. This scripture can be exclusionary because it can be misunderstood as disassociating yourself with unbelievers but we are called to interact with them in some way as to witness to them. We can be friends and not be “yoked” where I go wherever you go and think whatever you think. In marriage, it is another story because you form a bond with your spouse to the point that your decisions affect them and vice versa.

 

What does the bible say about your relationship with Christ? Should you have a “personal” relationship with him?

 

The scripture does not mention a personal relationship in those words; it mentions a student-teacher or sheep-shepherd relationship as you become a disciple of Christ which means student of his teachings. We, as the church, are to become one body of disciples as Christ and God are one. Christ is in us and God is in him. We are called to express love or a deep feeling of affection for others. Jesus wants us to love others to show that we are his disciples. The only personal experience that is mentioned is that God sent the Spirit of his Son to live in our hearts. One could argue that in John 10 it mentions the intimacy that we should have with Christ as we should recognize his voice and he knows each one of our names.

 

Additional References

John 17:20-23

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

 

Gal 4:6

And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”

 

John 13:34-35

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

My Spiritual Addiction

Certain “human tendencies” tend to interfere with spiritual growth and healthy relationships making for unhealthy behaviors and habits. We discussed the importance of distinguishing between God’s instruction and man-made religion last week but I want to explore the reasoning behind the formation of religious behavior and the effects of religious addiction. Personally, I have found that when you are a babe in Christ, it is necessary to acquire the habit of performing rituals in order to learn the best practices. You should be able to grow and progress from just being able to follow, to comprehend, and then to apply. Soon, you will be able to formulate your own theories and ideas concerning the best Christian walk for yourself. See the table below based on Bloom’s Taxonomy to learn about the natural progression from being a student to an expert.

 

Role

 

Student Experienced Administrator Logistics Visionary Expert
Tasks Locate

Define

Recall

Observe

List

Apply

Summarize

Demonstrate

Discuss

Problem Solving

Manipulating

Designing

Experimenting

 

Organize

Compare

Experiment

Question

Test

Argue

Critique

Support

Select

Defend

Design

Develop

Author

Investigate

Goal Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create

 

Why do individuals form habits or follow religious practices? What do they have to gain?

First, let’s look at the definition of addiction. Addiction is the continued use of a mood-altering substance or behavior despite adverse dependency consequences, or a neurological impairment leading to such kind of a behavior. Religious addiction would include obsession with spirituality to the point of neglecting family or other relationships, causing financial burden, or diminished mental health. As with any addiction, recovery is possible.

Pastors and other religious leaders may form an addiction to “serving” to the extent of damaging relationships, engaging in solitude, and carrying financial burdens. I would like to study the psychological and physical effects of religion and how one can be addicted to the personal satisfaction of volunteering time, money, and energy to religious efforts while neglecting personal needs.

Do your habits limit free will?

Religious addiction is a behavioral disorder and can destroy lives just as substance addictions do. Religion or rituals can provide an escape from painful realities or feelings. The characteristics in this regard include a daily need for the behavior and the inability to stop. Despite health or financial issues, the addict continues to perform rituals. This kind of a behavior triggers the release of dopamine. Continued practice makes the process more prominent and engrained into memories. Religious addiction forbids questioning any belief or practice. Religion is an organized belief system that consists of human rules about God. Spirituality, on the other hand, is the process of becoming a well-rounded person. It gives people the ability to discover their own uniqueness. People believe that following rules will bring them back into the graces of God. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end stage of religious addiction. A primary symptom is the inability to question. Then you have the intense need to follow rules and unrealistic financial contributions.

Treatment Steps

  1. Confront thinking in extremes
  2. Remember that a sin is an act and it does not make you a failure
  3. Do not be so critical of yourself and others; we are perfect by design
  4. Accept your humanity
  5. Be merciful to yourself and others

What does the Bible say about spirituality?

Gal 5:22-23 NLT

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

The fruit you produce will determine if you are on the right path. Do a self-evaluation of the love you give and receive, the joy you have, your peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. If you feel you are not receiving these things in return for your actions, you may need to change.

Eph 3:17-19

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

I interpret this scripture this way that you must focus your energies in expressing the love of Christ rather than the knowledge of Him. So, religion can be used to know Christ more but your relationship is what you must cultivate to show love and experience the fullness of God.

1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

Children need structure and order when they are developing their moral character. The same can be true for those who desire to follow the faith of Christianity. When you are a child in Christ, you need religion and rituals to learn the practices and teachings of Christ. But, just as you mature in life, you must also mature in your Christian walk where pointless religion is put away and the focus is on your unique Christian walk.

Other References

Religious Addiction: Obsession with Spirituality, Cheryl Zerbe Taylor

The Ideal Exchange

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

~ Philippians 4:6 NLT

 

My Needs

I need love. I need freedom. I need rules. I need boundaries. I need to feel useful. I need to feel sexy. I need to feel wanted. I have a purpose. I am unique. I am beautiful. I need to feel safe. I have a voice. I need to speak. I need someone to listen to. I need someone to read to. I need to be read to. I need love. A godly love. An unconditional love.

 

Communication Theory

In the classic study of communication theory, there is a sender, a message, a receiver, noise, and feedback. An ideal exchange would show the sender sending a clear message to the receiver despite the noise and receive the intended feedback. How will the same look if you are to receive a message from God?

 

God has a message for you and he will send it either through you reading His word, your fellowship with other Christians, through prayer, through preaching and teaching, and through meditation. He expects you to react with feedback of praise and worship, the conviction to flee from sins, and encouragement to minister to others and create disciples. What is preventing us from hearing and acting on God’s message? Noise.

 

Anything that prevents you from receiving God’s message clearly and reverting with the desired response is considered noise. Let’s break it down. The definition of noise is a sound that is loud or not harmonious. This means noise is not pleasing to hear and is unwanted. The world is filled with all types of noise but I want to focus on a particular type of noise: Religious Noise.

Too much of religious preaching can cloud the true message of God and prevent you from giving the Almighty the glory he deserves. Traditional church is based on antiquated religion that is misunderstood by its followers. Very few question the elders or other religious authorities because they believe in the idea of church and they have been taught that “obedience is better than sacrifice.” Many mindlessly obey religious views in search of a hope that they believe can only obtained by a true relationship with God. How can you have a healthy relationship with God when there is so much noise that you cannot even communicate with him?

 

God’s Desires

Building a relationship with God takes time and effort just as it takes time to develop a relationship with another person. You need to talk to God regularly and listen for guidance. Spend time reading and hearing his word so that you can apply it to your daily walk with Christ. I would be surprised if God did not want you to practice what you have learned in his word and share it with others so that they may experience the relationship you have with God. God’s desires should be your desires. If religious practices are robbing you of an intimate time with God, then what is the purpose of following them? I truly believe that religion was initially formed to promote a Christian and blameless life while ensuring order amongst saints. With all the interpretations and passing over of traditions from generation to generation, religion has gotten even further away from this goal. In some cases, religion can bring disorder and dissension among those trying to do right in the eyes of God.

 

Man-Made Religion

Religion is a system of beliefs with origins in spirituality and theology. When God spoke in the bible, he did not speak of a system of beliefs but of creation or transformation. In Genesis chapter one, God spoke of the existence of all the things on earth, including light and darkness. In Genesis chapter three, Eve created religion by telling the serpent in the garden what God had told them about they could and could not do. God gave them the free will to do but man created religion to ensure that humans did not experience the consequences of their sin. As you can see, religion originally had good intentions but in this contemporary world filled with more contemporary circumstances, you need something more than religion to prevent yourself from committing sins. Eve’s belief system was based on the fear of death that she would die if she ate from the tree of knowledge. God gave instructions but it was her religion or belief system that evoked the fear. When she overcame this fear, she sinned in spite of God’s instructions; so her religion became useless as it was meant to prevent an action that could be displeasing to God – sin. Since the penalty for sin is death, Eve created religion to avoid sinning in fear of death.