United Praise

As I look over my life, I have to give thanks for many things, specifically for friends. I have several good friends with whom I’ve shared various things: school experiences, sorority life, and best of all, faith. I remember attending a Thanksgiving service with my line sisters and was overcome with gratitude for the opportunity to praise God with some of my favorite people. Whether it’s an email, a phone conversation, or a lunch break, I’m so grateful for the many opportunities I have for united praise.

As far as relationships are concerned, I didn’t always understand the importance of this principle. I knew that I was supposed to be “equally yoked” with my mate, but let’s be real. When I was younger, I wasn’t looking for every encounter to end in a long-term relationship. Thus, I ended up being yoked with people who weren’t so equal. They wondered why I had to go to the afternoon service if I already went to church that morning. …or why I had to give 10% of my earnings. Y’all know how it goes. But when I was blessed with my current relationship, I tell you, I began to understand some things. This isn’t to say that relationships where people come from different faiths can’t work. However, it can be a real challenge when it comes to various issues.

So what is this united praise of which I’m speaking? I’m talking about the example of Paul and Silas. I encourage you to read Acts 16 in its entirety because it allows you to understand the full context of the story. However, only in Acts 15:40 had Paul and Silas been paired to go through Syria and Cilicia to strengthen churches. Actually, Paul specifically chose Silas and this choice was monumental.

As Paul and Silas were in Philippi, they cast a spirit out of a slave girl. When her owners learned who was responsible, they brought the duo before the magistrates and both Paul and Silas were severely beaten and thrown in jail. Now let’s think about this. Paul and Silas were paired up in 15:40 and in 16:22-23, stripped and flogged and finally thrown into the inner cell of a prison in verse 24. I wonder what they were thinking. I mean, seriously, I imagine Silas could have been thinking, “What in the world did I get myself in to?” So there they are, in jail, bruised, beaten, battered, and feeling bereft. And they decide to praise.

There’s a song by Luther Vandross that I didn’t fully appreciate when it came out in 2001. His smooth vocals (which I truly miss) would come through singing, “I’d rather have bad times with you than good times with someone else. I’d rather be beside you in a storm than safe and warm by myself. I’d rather have hard times together than to have them easy apart….” And there I am as my 20-year-old self thinking this song doesn’t make any sense. Seriously, how could you rather weather a storm with one person than enjoy safety alone? It just didn’t make ANY sense to me. But I imagine that Paul chose Silas wisely because they knew the danger they would face in spreading the Gospel.

So again, they’re together, hurt and I’m sure discouraged, but at midnight, in their darkest hour, Paul and Silas began to pray and sing hymns to God. The scripture doesn’t specify the subject(s) of their prayers. It just says they prayed and sang songs that glorified God. That, too, is an amazing concept to me, but it’s so important to learn that God still deserves the praise in the midst of our bad circumstances. I’ve heard people say that your situation should not determine your praise. …and instead of halting their praise, Paul and Silas’s situation prompted them to action---not to revolt, but to glorify God.

As we further examine the scripture, we learn that in the midst of their prayers and songs, God moved in the form of an earthquake, which actually freed all that were jailed from their chains and shackles. Being men of integrity, however, they did not flee, but let the guards know they were where they were supposed to be. I think important lessons come from examining two things: partnership and praise.

Relationships are a lot of work. However, I think they work best when both parties view themselves as partners. Both individuals have to come together to do the necessary work of the relationship. If one partner is the only one fully vested, it won’t work. However, when both come together and unite for a common purpose, the relationship can flourish, as it is with praise. I often have the opportunity to lead Praise and Worship and when everyone is on one accord and brings praise with them to church, it makes a huge difference in setting the atmosphere. However, when I’m the only on interested in lifting my hands or celebrating the greatness of God, it’s a whole other story. So how does this relate to relationships? To paraphrase T.D. Jakes, when choosing a mate, you want that person to be the one who will stand beside you and pray with and for you as you’re burying your parents. When you are in the midst of a “midnight situation,” you want to know that person will be united in praise with you, that even though you may be hurting, God is still worthy to praised. You want someone that will share in your pain, empathize with you, but remind you that God is still God.

So what do you think might have happened if Paul and Silas didn’t pray and sing at midnight? Would their chains of physical bondage still have been broken? Perhaps, but one thing is for sure. Their example of united praise speaks to the necessity of having friends and partners who you know have your back no matter what. I encourage you to not only examine your relationships on your own, but speak with your friends and make agreements to stand together at midnight and praise in spite of your circumstances.


Sex Therapist in Training? Who, Me?!

Yes, me! It's official. I recently started my training to be certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists as a sex therapist. So, what is that exactly? Check this out:

Sex Therapy is a subspecialty of psychotherapy, focusing on the specific concerns related to human sexuality. People of all ages, creeds, health status, ethnic backgrounds, whether partnered or single, may benefit from working with a psychotherapist who specializes in this area. Certified Sex Therapists use specialized clinical skills and theoretical knowledge to help people solve their sexual concerns.

In most states and provinces, Sex Therapy is not a separately licensed or regulated profession, just as child psychotherapy or geriatric psychotherapy is not government regulated beyond granting the basic license to practice therapy. To assure the public of highly qualified practitioners, AASECT provides voluntary certification to those therapists who have completed the rigorous certification process. Only those therapists who have met these qualifications may designate themselves as “AASECT Certified Sex Therapists.”

Taken from http://www.aasect.org/faqs.asp#What_is_ST, 6/6/2011

I am a licensed clinical social worker and serve a variety of clients. My specific interests (as it relates to sex therapy) include recovering from trauma to have healthy sexual experiences and marital/pre-marital therapy. Not many predominately black denominations have standardized pre-marital counseling courses that are empirically based (researched and "proven" to be effective). Because of this, lots of concerns may not be addressed, including issues of sex and sexuality. If couples don't discuss these issues BEFORE getting to the bedroom, they may encounter several difficulties spurring from issues of past hurt or trauma and unspoken expectations. I believe that sex is an important component in healthy marriages, however it manifests in specific relationships. I just believe that we can no longer be silent about it within our faith communities.

So there you have it. This is how I'm kicking off my summer. I know I've been absent for a while, but I am still writing and new posts are to come, especially with all this fun knowledge I'm gaining. Yes, fun. How can you study sex and sexuality without it being at least interesting? :-)


I Bet My Daughter Knows My Name...

I remember seeing this video a few years ago. I definitely laughed when I saw it. I mean, really, there’s a lot of comedy included in those few minutes of footage. However, after my giggling subsided, I began to wonder about the conversations that ensued when the taping stopped. …or if there actually was a conversation. This then led me to think about sex and sexuality education. There are so many differing opinions about who should teach it and when it should be taught. But while the grownups argue, our kids are left with no information and sometimes, begin to experiment without education or they seek the advice of their equally uneducated peers.

So when should we teach our children? I did a twitter poll and my awesome followers gave me great ideas, most which were similar to my own. While some people gave specific ages (7 or 8 years old), others said we should give information as our children ask questions, of course, on an age-appropriate level. When speaking about sex and sexuality education, I like to use my own experiences to explain my opinions.

I love my mom. I have a great relationship with her and I thank God for choosing her to be my mother. As an educator, she always encouraged me to seek more information. When I would ask her various things, like why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th when the Bible doesn’t exact a date of Jesus’ birth, she’d direct me to the World Book Encyclopedias she spent so much money on. …and now my family calls me “Google” because I’m full of lots of random information I picked up while reading those expensive encyclopedias. When it came to sex, however, Mama didn’t leave me hanging. She used every opportunity as a teachable moment. If we were watching Oprah and the topic was teenage pregnancy or if the news mentioned a report about HIV/AIDS, my mom would turn off the TV and talk with us. She made sure we understood the messages we were receiving and gave us an open forum to discuss our ideas and feelings. I’m certain that I was able to make good sexual decisions because of my mother’s willingness to discuss sex and sexuality with us. And yes, she discussed sexuality in a loving and accepting manner. She made it clear that she would love us no matter who we loved. Now that, friends, is powerful stuff for a kid to hear and retain.

A few nights ago, I watched a documentary on sex and sexuality attitudes among teenagers across the pond. In Great Britain, the legal age to consent to sexual activity is 16. However, the teens they interviewed were as young as 14, explaining they had their first sexual experiences as young as 11 or 12. One interview that stuck with me showed a mother and daughter answering the question of what sex should be. The mother described sex as an expression of love while the 15-year-old daughter shook her head and plainly said that sex is something to do to pass the time that can be pleasurable. The mother didn’t try to correct her daughter’s attitude, but looked kind of sheepishly into the camera as her daughter expounded upon her ideas. Throughout the show, the mother explained that she had not been the best model for her daughter in that she would quickly integrate boyfriends into her family life and this may have shaped her daughters ideas about sex. And there it is: the idea of modeling appropriate behaviors for your children to follow.

Although the Bible does not teach specifically on sex education, the first part of Proverbs 22 delves into the importance of discipline in various areas of life. One of the most quoted is verse 6:

KJV: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

MSG: “Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost.”

I don’t think this verse expects parents or caregivers to be perfect examples. We all make mistakes, which is why Jesus’ sacrifice is so important to the Christian faith. However, even in the shadow of the Cross, we should not use that as an excuse to continually miss the mark. I’m not going to go in depth about sex outside of marriage because I’ve done that in previous posts. Even still, we need to talk to our kids about it. With single parents, that doesn’t mean you can’t date; it does mean your kids shouldn’t meet every person you date. Not every date should have access to your child and their developing ideas about sex. Yep, I said it. Don’t bring everyone home to be “Uncle Charlie” or “Aunt Sally” when you haven’t decided who they are to be in your life. This modeling could be monumental in how they view sex (as seen in the earlier mentioned interview).

So back to the above video: how can they use that as a teachable moment? Since the child looks fairly young, they could just ask her what she thought was going on. She may have thought they were playing a game, who knows? I think they could just meet their daughter where she is and honestly answer questions on a level that’s appropriate for her. Also, they could use this as an opportunity to explain that they sincerely love her and each other and that if she has any questions, she could reach to them for answers. Although embarrassing, it could be a moment of growth for both the parents and the child. However, in just laughing about her imitating the sounds she heard and not addressing the issue, there’s no growth and a learning opportunity has been lost. So friends, what would you do in this situation? How would you address it? And whose name should she know?


When I Started Disliking Steve Harvey...

I’ve only taken two international trips in my life. I made it to Egypt in 2009 with my fabulous rock star cousin who travels all the time. However, I came back disliking Tyra Banks because of an episode where she interviewed T.I. She called him an “idiot savant,” but meant it as a compliment. Obviously she didn’t know the meaning of the term and I was impressed with the way T.I. handled the situation. But yeah, I came back to the States with a decreased fondness of the former supermodel. So in 2010, I again traveled with my uber fab cousin and met her in Shanghai. I didn’t realize that I would again return home disliking another American figure.

While on the 13-hour flight to China, I slept, watched movies, and read magazines. I ended up buying lots of magazines for the flight, including Essence. One fun thing to do in Shanghai is to get clothes made, so I picked up Vogue and In Style to make sure I got plenty of ideas. Anyway, back to Essence. I’m a social worker and therapist, so I always find it interesting to read relationship columns from those not trained in my profession. That’s not to say they don’t give great advice, but sometimes, they can really miss the mark. Well…in my opinion anyway.

Steve Harvey has become a “relationship guru.” With his books “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” and “Straight Talk, No Chaser,” he’s found acclaim with many looking for ways to get and keep men. His advice seems practical and has some validity. However, the problem in giving advice based on your own personal experience is just that; it’s your personal experience. It may not be completely applicable to the situations and lives of others. Anywho, Mr. Harvey has a relationship column in Essence where readers send their questions and he answers them with his sage advice.

So I’m reading his column and a woman asks a valid question. She’s been married for a few years but her husband has recently put on some weight. She’s starting to find him less attractive and asked what she should do to encourage her mate to lose weight. Steve Harvey’s reply: cut him off. Yep, stop having sex with him. He said that sex is that language in which men are fluent and she should cease communication so to speak. …er, act. I immediately put down the magazine and didn’t pick it back up until I packed to leave.

There are a few things that perturbed me about this piece of advice, but let’s go to the biggest thing. YOU SHOULD NEVER USE SEX AS A WEAPON. Yep, caps, bold print, italicized, all o’ dat. YOU SHOULD NEVER USE SEX AS A WEAPON. Never. Why? For starters, because it’s mean. Okay, I’m sure we need something more than my idea of what’s mean, so let’s go to the Word.

I Corinthians 7 gives us some interesting advice on sex in marriage. Paul wrote this letter to a struggling church in Corinth, which was a city not known for its virtue. Let’s just say that Corinth was a like cross between Bourbon Street and Las Vegas. So really, it shouldn’t have been a big surprise that after Paul leaves the church he plants there, news travels about the problems they’re having. This inspires him to write one of his longest letters that’s included in the canonical Bible, which subsequently covers a variety of topics. Anyway, going back to chapter seven. Here he speaks specifically to married folks by giving them instructions about sex. In verses 3-5, Paul explains that husbands and wives should fulfill their marital duties to each other and only abstain from sex when it’s mutually agreed upon and only for the purpose of fasting. He doesn’t say anything about “cutting someone off” to help them lose weight. In fact, in verse 4, he proclaims that a wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband and vice versa. So does that mean no matter how much your husband/wife makes you mad, you can’t just cut ‘em off? Yep. Now don’t misunderstand me. I don’t believe the Father wants you to put yourself in a situation where you’ll be objectified, abused, or used. However, in a generally healthy marriage, this chapter tells us that you shouldn’t withhold sex as a means to control the behavior (or weight) of your spouse.

So what are our options? I believe that women have a special anointing, the power of persuasion (I elaborated about this in The Power of the Nag in the Samson series). But seriously, what are some things she could do encourage weight loss? What about talking to him? Yep, the direct approach. Kinda different, huh? I tell you, though, it works. It’s not necessary to be abrasive, but you can be lovingly honest. What about suggesting that you work out together? Hey, what about cooking healthy meals together? Cooking together might prompt…cooking together. So could working out. When you spend time with each other, you have the opportunity to reignite those sparks that started the fire in the first place. However, if either mate decides to cease sexual communication, you decrease the opportunities for oxytocin and other love brain chemicals to flow and attraction may continue to wane.

Really, I think the advice given in Essence was irresponsible. But then again, it’s advice. It’s not therapy. It’s not theology. It’s one man’s opinion on what a woman should do to spur the weight loss of her husband. Will his advice work? I highly doubt it. Actually, I think it’s a recipe for disaster. I just hope that the woman who sought the advice is lead to read I Corinthians 7 and decides to follow that instead of Mr. Steve Harvey.

Scriptural Reference:
I Corinthians 7: 1-6 (MSG) Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations? Certainly—but only within a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.


The Anointing: Do I still have it? Can I lose it? (Part 2)

So what separates us from the presence of God? Romans 8 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. But what about the Spirit? Is there anything that can separate us from that person? I’ve spoken to friends about what they felt drove a wedge between them and the Spirit of God. What kept them from entering into the presence of God? What made them almost embarrassed to lift hands during praise and worship? Most of them said it was their own pride, desires, and sin that caused a dissention between their spirit and THE Spirit. Let’s go back to Samson and see what we can learn from him.

As we discussed earlier, Samson received his power from the Holy Spirit. Although he thought it was from his hair because that was his only consistency, we learned that his power was only present when the Spirit of the Lord was upon him. However, when he laid his head in Delilah’s lap, Samson didn’t realize the Spirit left him and when he went to escape his captors, he just didn’t have the same strength as before. …but his hair did begin to grow back a little later (along with his connection to the Spirit).

Now lets go to I Samuel and look at Saul. In chapter 16, verse 14, we see that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and in its stead, an evil spirit settled on him. We see here that the Spirit of the Lord cannot occupy the same space as a spirit of darkness.

So how does this relate to sex? Well, as we’ve examined in other entries, you share more than your bodies during sexual intercourse. There’s the whole oxytocin thing, in addition to the actual physical exchange. However, the most powerful of these is the spiritual exchange that can occur. They don’t make condoms that block spiritual transference…sorry. We can work to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STIs by barrier methods, but there is nothing that can block a spirit from entering a vessel if it’s not filled with the Holy Spirit. So what causes the Holy Spirit to leave? You guessed it: sin. Yep, when we do things that are against the Will of God, the Holy Spirit chucks the deuces, leaving you vacant for a new tenant.

Check this out:
I Corinthians 6:16-20 (MSG): There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-molded love, for “becoming one” within another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

Then you have Romans 12:1 that instructs us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing unto God as a spiritual act of worship. You see, our bodies/vessels are a place for the Holy Spirit to dwell. When we do things that grieve the spirit, such as sex outside of marriage, the Spirit departs and our vessels are open for another indwelling. Have you ever noticed that after being in a relationship with someone (and being intimate with them), you start doing things alike? Heck, even if you’re not intimate, as with friends, you might complete each other’s sentences or have entire conversations with glances and no words exchanged. What happens is that your spirits start to enmesh. You might incorporate their catch phrases into your vocabulary or find yourself even shaking your foot like they do, even though you used to find it annoying. Like the saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” I think you might start “flocking” after being together. To copy another saying, “eagles don’t fly with pigeons.” So if you’re planning to soar, why are you hanging in the park looking for breadcrumbs?

Genesis 2:24 instructs us to leave our family of origin and become one flesh with our mates. This is so much more than a physical union, but the physical accurately depicts the spiritual (and chemical). By nature, women are receptors and men are depositors. Semen is deposited in the vagina and travels to the uterus to unite with the egg and create life. However, what about the spirit of deceit that may be left behind? Selfishness? Lust? Irresponsibility? You get the idea. Fellas aren’t left off the hook though. Just as a man can contract a sexually transmitted infection, he can also take with him a spirit of insecurity, greed, or conceit, among others. Get it? With the physical comes the spiritual, but once you do things that evict the Holy Spirit, you’re open for all these other things to set up camp (see Isaiah 63:10).

So to answer the question, can you lose the anointing, I still have to give my “I’m not quite sure.” I think you can do things that grieve the Holy Spirit and allow other spirits to dwell within you. However, it’s Yeshua/Jesus/Christ that’s the Anointed One. I just read a beautiful description of how Jesus’ love is like someone relentlessly chasing you. And if the anointing is tied to Him, I don’t think you’ll be able to shake Him loose. His love will NEVER give up on you and no matter how much we mess up, how many people we have sex with, how many times we’ve fallen, we can’t go anywhere where His love can’t find us. It is, however, still our choice if we want to be found.

In short: be found, get connected, and the anointing will flow.

Scriptures referenced:
Romans 8:35-39 NIV 2010: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I Samuel 16:14 The Message: At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.

Romans 12:1 AMP: I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.

Genesis 2:24 The Message: Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh.

Isaiah 63:10 AMP: But they reveled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned to become their enemy and Himself fought against them.


The Anointing: Do I still have it? Can I lose it? (Part 1)

1. to rub or sprinkle on; apply an unguent, ointment, or oily liquid to.
2. to smear with any liquid.
3. to consecrate or make sacred in a ceremony that includes the token applying of oil: He anointed the new high priest.
4. to dedicate to the service of god.
Taken from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anoint 1/2/2011

I remember watching one of Tye Tribbett’s DVDs, the Victory concert to be exact, and they were singing “Sinking.” He said that even though he was playing the organ in church, he was still sinking. He thought that as long as he was under the anointing, he was okay. And there’s that word: anointing.

I was born and raised United Methodist. Anyone familiar with that denomination knows that it is similar to Catholicism in many ways, but the methods of worship are different. At my church (and I still love that church, even though I’m no longer a member) we were baptized as children and confirmed at 12 or 13…I can’t remember. Anywho, while in that church, I didn’t really hear certain phrases that have become part of my current vocabulary, such as saved, sanctified, or anointed. In no way does that mean these things weren’t taught (or that their teachings lacked anything for that matter), but the phrasing was different. I, in fact, was “saved” before I heard anyone call it that. I accepted Christ as my Savior and asked him to come into my heart during my first trip to Camp Penuel (insert lots of smiles and happy memories---GO BLUE TEAM!). But I didn’t hear the term until maybe my junior year of high school. …Same thing with “the anointing.” As I began to fellowship with believers in different denominations, I kept hearing about this thing and just wanted to know what it was. Was it a special feeling? Was it like when people “caught” the Holy Spirit? And was it available to me?

So y’all know me by now and y’all know what I did…I studied and found as much information as I possibly could.

You see the dictionary definition above, but let’s put it in spiritual terms. When Jesus ascended to Heaven, he didn’t leave us alone. We have a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who is someone through whom God works to make things happen for us. Those little everyday miracles? That whisper that told you to make a right turn instead of a left and you avoided an accident? That bad relationship you avoided because you actually listened to that still, small voice? Yep, that’s our Comforter and through Jesus, who works through the Holy Spirit on earth, we are anointed.

Psalm 23 paints a beautiful picture of a God who loves us and wants us to be well. Shoot, he even anoints our head with oil! So what’s the big deal? Well, shepherds anoint or rub oil on their sheep to keep harm and infection away from them. Insects would settle into their little noses, strange things would grow on their coats, etc. Without the oil, the sheep would be in some seriously nasty situations. And so, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can be clothed in the oil of Christ---not oil from olives, but the oil that flows through him and to us by way of the Holy Spirit. Get it? Even though the oil comes from Jesus, we have to have a connection to the Holy Spirit to get it. Moving on….

So how do we get connected to the Holy Spirit? We have to be connected to Christ. Yes, you accepted Jesus as your Savior and go to church Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter. …and the first Sunday of the year because you decided that you’re going to start the year off right. Yes, you have a spot in Heaven, but in not being totally committed to Christ, you won’t have access to the many promises of God.

So there you have it. To have access to the anointing, you have to be connected to Christ so the Holy Spirit can be there for you. In order to ensure the Holy Spirit’s presence, however, you have to make sure you don’t do things that will separate you from the presence of God….

Random thoughts:
Christ—from the Greek “Christos”—the anointed one—closest to God (if anoint means to rub against, then anointed would be almost being, if not being one with, so Christ is the one who is closest to/enmeshed with God). Our anointing comes from him through the Holy Spirit, so we need to be close to the Holy Spirit to have access to the Anointed One.