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What Does Godly Look Like?

I have been criticized for dressing too casually for church at times in my life.  I have been told that “ladies of the church think you’re a lesbian because you wear jeans, don’t wear makeup, don’t do your hair.”  That was told to me by a pastor’s wife.  Yeah, I know.  I was driven away from church at that point.  I didn’t want anymore to do with it.  Was I the most Godly person at that time?  No.  Did that mean I was a lesbian?  No.  It’s a hurtful time when those who, I guess, are supposed to nurture your growth and relationship with God are the ones judging and damaging.  I still wear jeans and t-shirts to church.  I do not curl my hair.  I do not wear makeup.  I am a more Godly person than I was.  I am still not a lesbian.

Does Godly look like a three-piece suit designed by Ralph Lauren?  Does it look like a $500 haircut?  Does it look like A. Testoni shoes?  Does it look like a Vera Wang dress?  Does it look like a nicely done up-do by a premier hair stylists?  Does it look like a $3000 pair of Jimmy Choo shoes?

I don’t think it means any of those things just as much as being ungodly doesn’t look like jeans, t-shirt, Nike sneakers, and a baseball cap.  There is no specific look for a Godly person.  A Godly person could be the homeless person you passed right by and yelled at.  A Godly person could be the CEO of a business.  A Godly person could be any one of us in between there.  Godly is not a look.  It is a behavior.  It is a relationship with God.  It is doing what is good and right.  It is about loving and giving.  It is about 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

That’s my take on it, anyway.

The next time you decide to judge someone’s Godliness based on their clothing, hair, or makeup, you might want to see what you are really wearing beforehand.

P.S.  I’ve never seen Jesus in anything Gucci.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Dragon Breath

Have you ever woken up and thought, “Dang!  My breath could peel paint off the wall!”  Ok, maybe not those exact words, but I’m guessing some of you reading this has had that “uh oh” moment when you just hoped you didn’t have to speak to anyone in that time period.  Rushing to the bathroom, brushing and gargling, flossing, and whatever else can take place so that our breath doesn’t knock someone over and take the hair off his/her head.  Colgate Total had sales at $175,000,000 in 2014.  Now, that’s a lot of funky breath and yucky teeth to be taken care of.

I wonder, however…

Why are we not so aware of the other funk that comes out of our mouths?  Lies, assumptions, abuse, hate, prejudice.  It costs absolutely nothing to clean our mouths from the sludgy disdain that leaks from them at the drop of a hat.  We make things up about people.  We tell others what we assume others mean or think.  We harm others with our words as if we were getting paid to do so.  We call other people names, degrade them, put fear in them by sentences that do more harm than the other bacteria throwing a party in our mouths.  Why are we not more careful about that?  We could buy every tube of toothpaste known to man, , brush three times a day, and the funk in our mouths could still be there.

Moral toothpaste.

It doesn’t take a lot to cleanup our language, change how we speak to, and about, others, ask for forgiveness, and apologize.  Allowing those words constantly will cause such a cavity that no filling could ever fix.  We are fortunate that our languages allow for more than harmful words at every turn.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  Ephesians 4:29

What would it cost to speak favorably about others…ESPECIALLY when we want to be a fire-breathing dragon?  It would cost nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Let the words that fall from our mouths be uplifting and life-changing instead of things that could literally kill someone.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Giving

Giving

I love to give!  Now, there are those in my world who would say that I sometimes do so to a fault.  And, there may be some truth in that.  I just see it to be a great blessing to give when I can and when I cannot, I share information that gets to people worldwide in hopes that they may be able to help even if that means sharing information, as well.  I have one of the most incredible friends in the whole world.  She is a good person, and she only wants to do what is so very good for others.  She volunteers her time and gives financially when possible.  She involves herself in ministry whenever and wherever she can.  Again, she’s just a good person.  One of the things I love most about her is her humble nature.  My friend gives all the glory to God for all things.  I don’t know that I have ever known her to accept any type of kudos without first and foremost thanking God.  That’s just who she is.  I’d like to be her when I grow up.

Now, this blog post will not be as long as some I have posted previously.  But, it’s one of the most important posts I have ever written.  Today/tonight as you read this, please know that you have the ability to change lives if “only” by sharing this information with everyone you know.  I ask that you follow both links below to get an idea of how you can help further if you wish.  My very dear friend is involved in both things listed below.  Thank you for reading and please share in the giving.  Thank you and God bless.

Sleep Out:  Mother’s Edition

Home for Sam:  Make It Rain

May what you give come back to you in abundant blessings.  ❤

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Needy

Needy

Have you been that needy person?  Have you been in a relationship with that needy person?  It’s a tough gig either way.  As the needy one in a relationship, you put your whole trust in another human being to meet every need you have.  As the one who is in the relationship with the needy person, you can never be everything that person needs.  It’s a lose-lose situation in the grand scheme of things.

When we are the needy ones, we are dependent on someone else to pay attention to us, to love us, to give us their time, to listen to us, and we tend to, at times, choose the very wrongest people.  When we are so in need of love and everything else, we are not necessarily picky about who we turn to, either.  The first person to show us the attention we crave is the one with whom we will make that attachment.  Again, that’s not always the safest person.  However, sometimes we don’t care if it’s safe.  We just want and need that attention and love in whatever form.  It’s a sad existence, really.  It’s miserable.  The reason it’s so miserable is because we can never get enough.  We are never satisfied with what we do get.  It’s a nice little recipe for complete and total disaster of one’s heart.  There will always be a level of emptiness.  Disturbing.  Hurtful.  People will disappoint you, hurt you, and not live up to your expectations.  Check your expectations of humans at the door.  High expectations of others is unfair to all involved.  I have been that needy person.  I’m here to tell you that it’s gross, and it’s impossible to get everything I need from another person.

In a relationship with that excessively needy person?  Hold on to your rear end!  The expectations of that needy person will empty you.  That relationship will leave you gasping for air at every turn.  You will be dragged under so many times and feel as though you will never get a full breath of air again.  You sincerely believe you are giving everything you have to give, but that needy individual will have you thinking that you are just not doing enough.  Like, you are not even close to doing enough.  Again, misery ensues.  When you are on empty, there is just nothing more you can do.  Yet, you are expected to run 100% on fumes.  It’s just not possible.  At all.  You are not that strong to hold on to a hand that continues to drag you under!  If you are in a position where you are constantly attempting to give others what they need, what is it you are needing?  To feel needed?  To feel important?  To feel like you have some purpose?  Yes, to all of those, most likely.  It’s a bumpy relationship with potholes and, sometimes, sinkholes!  Supply and demand.  That other person will demand, demand, demand and expect you to constantly supply.  It is just not humanly possible.  The supply runs out and there is no telling when another shipment will be coming through.  And, beware.  When you are unable to give to that other person, they will attempt to prick and prod to find more.  They may not be doing it on purpose.  They just may not know how to give you space and time.  You may not know how to take it.  Understand that you cannot give everything to everyone in need.  I personally understand what it is like to be in relationships where I am expected to give more than I have.  I also am a person who wants to please others.  That’s my neediness.  That leads to unhealthy relationships.

I can say in the utmost certainty that unhealthy relationships happen.  They happen with any given human being on earth.  There are some really healthy ones that happen, as well.  They take work.  They take honesty.  They take time.  They take an equal amount of give and take.  Still, we will feel let down by other people even in the best relationships whether they are marriages, friendships, employee/employer, and any number of other kinds of relationships.  We will feel let down because the human race is imperfect.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

EVERY need!  The most perfect relationship you can have with any ONE is a relationship with God.  He will be consistent in giving you everything you need.  Not everything you want.  Everything you NEED.  This is one relationship that will always be here for you.  Craving a relationship where you will get everything you need?  This is the one to have.  It took me 44 years to learn that lesson.  I become impatient.  I expect instant gratification in all my humanness.  But, in my Father’s time, I will have what I need.  Just because I feel like I want something, it doesn’t mean I need it.  Also, just because I want it, it doesn’t mean it’s good for me.  Trust me on this one.  Trust me.

There is nothing not good about having a relationship with God.  I have to constantly remind myself that this relationship is the only pure, everlasting one I will ever have.  God is always here.  God is always loving.  God always has time.  God will never abuse me.  God will never disappoint me.  He is merciful.  He is forgiving.  He is gracious.  He is so good!  It’s ok to need God.  It’s ok to be needy for God.  You don’t have to do anything but ask and have faith.  Ask and have faith.  Be needy for God and all of His gifts.  God doesn’t run on empty.  God doesn’t get tired.  In fact, He wants you to be dependent on Him.  Be dependent on Him.  Go to Him.  Ready!  Set!  Go!

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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I Must Tell Jesus

“I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.”

As I was sitting in my office yesterday, I found some music files from my dearest friend on an older phone that I have.  Finding them made my heart so happy!  I listened to the two that I had, and my eyes filled with tears because 1.)  My dearest friend was singing them, 2.)  They spoke about Jesus, and I needed that extra comfort.  I have had to make a significant change in my life regarding work.  It hit me most recently that I had to leave one of my jobs.  I knew that I just had to pray that through.  I had to make sure that it wasn’t just my thought.  For those who have a relationship with Jesus, I know you understand those times where you are not sure if the thoughts and directions in your heart and head are yours or are from Jesus.  I prayed and prayed hard about the decision that has been made.  I do know that the steps I am taking are led by Jesus and not by me, my pride, or my own selfishness.  That’d be gross.  The passion that I had to have my own practice was so good.  I prayed to Jesus, told Jesus, about those ambitions and dreams.  He directed me to take steps to make that dream come true.  Now, I’ve prayed to Jesus, told Jesus, about other ambitions and dreams.  He is now directing my steps in a different direction.  I do not know what He was in store for me, but I know it’s going to be so very good.

You see, when we let go of our pride, our human nature to do all things on our own, and our selfish ideas and ideals, we can have a great amount of relief and joy.  I always want to do what is right by God.  I lived my life for so long only listening to myself and others.  I cannot even begin to tell you how miserable I was at that point in my life.  I would act solely on impulse, out of pure, from-the-flesh needs and wants.  Boy, I cannot explain how much trouble that got me into.  I was lied to by Satan and believed that I could do whatever I wanted and have no real consequences.  And, if I did have consequences, and I did not like them, I could just move on to some other dark situation.  I do not have the words to tell you how joyful I am that I do not live in that place anymore!  I behaved as I believed others wanted me to.  Whatever situation I found myself to be in, I conformed to that situation, healthy or not.  I carried so much of the world on my shoulders believing that if I just do whatever everyone else wants me to do, I can make everyone happy.  Yeah, I know.  That didn’t work so great in my favor.

It wasn’t until I learned that I could absolutely go to Jesus with everything I had and lay my troubles at His feet, that I could feel joy.  That my load could be lighter.  Not everything that I feel is right for me, is right for me.  Oh boy, that’s a whole other blog post!  I’m so relieved that I do not have to live my life without the One who gave His life for me.  I am SO happy that I can give my burdens to Jesus, and He will take them from me, when I actually let them go completely, and guide me where He would like for me to go.  I have great faith that wherever it is I end up in this life, it will be because I trusted God with my whole heart.

“The body of flesh is a heavy burden, the calamities of life are a heavy load…Faith is for this world, and sight is for the other world. It is our duty, and it will be our interest, to walk by faith, till we live by sight. This shows clearly the happiness to be enjoyed by the souls of believers when absent from the body, and where Jesus makes known his glorious presence.”  Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

2 Corinthians 5:1-8

I hope that I can remember this feeling of joy as I move into the next phase of my life.  I hope that I can remember that Jesus is always there to take my burdens as I lay them down.  I hope that I can always have the faith it takes to actually lay those burdens and down and not pick them up again.

Hopeful.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Silence is Golden

Have you ever wondered why people share things that were asked to never be shared? Have you ever thought that the things you do not know are probably for your spirit’s best? Now, let me get one thing straight before I continue. I have been guilty of sharing something with someone when asked to not share it at all. So, this is not written in judgment but more in bringing awareness to how words can truly harm…and heal if used appropriately. I am the type of person who wants to trust every single person I come in contact with. I will trust until I have a reason not to.

I am sometimes unfair in my expectations of people. I expect them to be honest with me. I expect them to not tell untruths about me. I expect them to have a mature conversation with me when they feel I have wronged them. (That’s a mouthful in and of itself) In the past, I have expected that more from those in churches. There have been times where I believed that Christians were not harmful. Yeah, I know. Not unlike other people in general, Christians royally screw up. I think I just heard the frightful “GASP!” from the self-righteous as I type. I found out the hard way multiple times. Due to words of those “in charge” in churches I have gone to in my life, I found myself disenchanted with God and Christianity. I allowed hurtful words to become a driving force in my opposition of God and the Christian faith.

Now, I am not saying that all Christians are hurtful. In fact, when I was brought back to God by such a loving, caring Christian woman, I was sort of in shock when it happened. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t suspicious of her caring nature. I was. I had been conditioned to not trust Christians. Unfair to lump all Christians in a big batch of the few that have hurt me before? Yes. I am not doing that, but after being hurt by someone involved in the last church where I was a member, I was very aware of what I did not want to happen again. Men were on the top of my “Poop list” for a very long time. All men. Again, that was unfair considering not ALL men did me harm. Not all Christians have done me harm. However, I am most devastated when a “good Christian” ends up being completely human and does or says something harmful to me. I am learning, however, to understand more and more about what I believe is true and what is reality. Sometimes those variables are congruent. Sometimes, yikes!

Whenever we are told to not say anything to anyone, it is not that someone is trying to be mean or whatever other negative connotation comes along with that. There are reasons that folks say, “Do not say a word about this to anyone.” It really is just for our own good sometimes (Most times). For the good of others, as well. If someone tells you that they should not tell you something, believe it. There is good reason! What we must learn as individuals is that we do NOT have to be privy to everything said about us. Most of the time, it’s just better that we do not know. Ignorance can be bliss. And, if someone tells us something in confidence, let us know better than to repeat it even if someone is beating us about the head to want to know. Words can be dangerous and damaging. They can break a heart. They can scar a soul. They can weaken a spirit. We have to be wise about the words we use. More specifically, we have to be wise about the words we use about others.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

I wonder what this world would look like, sound like, if we all would abide by, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” How silenced would your tongue be if you lived your life by this notion? Sometimes, it’s just better to not say a word about another person. Sometimes, it’s just better to leave your curiosity about what others are saying about you alone. All the time, it’s better to forgive and lay down your burdens at the feet of Jesus Christ. All the time, it’s better to love one another regardless of someone else’s brokenness. Regardless of your own brokenness.

Build each other up with your words.

God Bless.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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My Coach

My high school coach, Rennaye O’Hair, went to Heaven on February 18, 2015. My heart is heavy, but it really shouldn’t be. She was a strong Christian. She gets to be pain free, cancer free, and death free. She gets to live eternally where the Lord has prepared her a place.

I first met her when I was 12 years old and in 7th grade at Travis Jr. High. She was my art teacher. At twelve, I knew she was a special lady. I learned that more every day once I got into high school (Palo Duro High). She was my physical education teacher and coached me for three years in soccer.

I am finding it difficult to type this up. My throat tightens with sadness, and I’m afraid to swallow because I’ll cry. Again. More.

Coach and I had our moments. She was always on my side when appropriate, and she was always not when I wasn’t appropriate. It took me a very long time to understand that she was trying to build me up into a responsible, functioning adult. I’m grateful for that, now. She was for all of her “kids,” and all of her “kids” were for her. Some of my fondest memories of Coach were spending time with her after school doing Jane Fonda workouts. She would have everyone there rolling with laughter. I spent many days with her during the summer as she worked at school gyms. We would sit and talk, crack open sunflower seeds, do word puzzles, quizzes, and games together, and she would encourage me as I would workout on exercise equipment.

I would see her every now and then once I graduated from high school. That would make my day. More recently, I had seen her at Lowe’s working. She had retired from teaching many years ago. She was her upbeat, joke-making self. It did my heart good to see her and briefly chat. Most recently, I was made aware that this strong, vibrant woman was lying in hospice due to a vicious, unrelenting monster with sharpened fangs and claws. Stage-four cancer.

Some friends and I went to visit her together. She had fallen asleep but woke up while we were there. My friends and I cried as coach spoke to us. She was positive about her prognosis. She KNEW God would heal her. I didn’t have that same faith. We talked to her a little. I related a message from another friend who couldn’t make it to her bedside. I told her that my friend said, “Tell her I love her.” She faintly spoke that she loved her, too. We held hands, and she told me that she loved me, too. ……… Through tears, I told her, “I love you, too.” My friends and I left, each of us kissing her forehead as we walked out.

I visited her solo several days later. She hugged me multiple times. I got to meet her son and his very sweet girlfriend. That would be the last time I saw her and spoke to her face-to-face.

I was able to tell her some things through a Facebook message a couple of days before she passed. Things I believed I needed her to know before she passed. So, three days ago, I received a text telling me the inevitable, heartbreaking news. I cried and cried. Then, I cried some more. She was right about God healing her. She is completely healed. I cannot imagine the celebration as she entered Heaven.

I am so grateful I was blessed with those last conversations with her. Those last hugs. I will see her, again. Until then, the selfish part of me will mourn her departure from this earth. The knowing Christian part of me will continue to smile because I know the truth. And The Truth. I’m so grateful that we all have that opportunity to have eternal life. I hope that those I love will open their hearts and accept Christ as their Savior. I just want to bug all of you in Heaven when it is time. 😉

So, Coach, I will attend your funeral today to celebrate your life. It’s been one of my greatest blessings knowing you. Thank you for growing me up. Thank you for the proverbial swift kicks to the butt when I needed them. Thank you for the laughter and hugs when I needed them, too.

See ya later.

P.S. Save me some sunflower seeds.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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