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My Great Fortune

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been willing/able/determined to write.  However, something is coming up for me, and I feel so very blessed that I get the opportunity to be involved in it.  I most recently heard from a gentleman who told me a story about his nephew.  Now, this gentleman sent a message to me on Facebook a year ago, but it was hidden with many others.  When I finally saw it, I replied immediately.  I am so glad that I did.  This post will include opportunity, obedience, gratefulness, and I get the privilege of sharing such an amazing story.

Once I replied to the gentleman’s message, he seemed so happy to hear from me.  He wanted to tell me a story about his nephew who, two years ago, had been struggling with depression and did not feel like he wanted to live.  These stories always break my heart.  I know what it is like to not want to live regardless of all the really good people and things in life.  Depression does that to a person.  It sucks every good thing out and self-loathing and doubt ooze in like the hazard materials they are.  This young man, who I will call “C,” was in my hometown one day, August 16th to be exact.  He was attempting to get back home for an event in his hometown.  He had been having thoughts of suicide.  He had full intentions of making it a reality.  Again, heart is always broken when I hear that.  He saw a sign…a literal sign.  That sign had three little words scribbled in permanent marker on it.  I was holding that sign because I felt that it was important to be obedient to God’s will that was put on my heart just a few days before.

God woke me up on August 14th, 2014 and told me to go let people know that they matter.  I had zero idea what that meant.  But, I knew that it was important that I do what I was being so lovingly guided to do.  What it boiled down to was my cousin and I making signs that had encouraging, loving messages on them.  We stood on street corners in some of the busiest parts of town because that’s what I was told we should do.  My cousin never questioned anything I told him, and he didn’t look at me like I had lost my mind.  He knew that when I told him this was from and about God, it was just something that had to be done.  So, it was done.  It was done on a daily basis for a time.  We never knew the impact those signs had until much later.

So, back to this young man.  He saw my sign as he was headed out of town back to his home.  When he got back home, he told people what had happened in seeing my sign and what he had been feeling.  He shared that he was free from those horrible feelings.  While his uncle had told me this over the phone, I had chills, and I had tears.  I was so grateful that this young man was still alive.  I was/am grateful that he listened to God tell him that he was important.  That was the message I had on my sign, “You Are Important.”  No, I am not calling myself God.  But, that WAS God’s message.  C got to share that message with a group of people when he got back home.

Tomorrow evening, April 27, 2016, I get the blessed opportunity to meet C, his uncle, and other family members.  I cannot express the gratitude I feel regarding that.  My heart is full and overflowing with God’s goodness.

None of that happened by chance.  It was supposed to happen just when it did.  I think about what would have been had I not been obedient to God’s will.  That young man could be dead.  Many others could be dead as well.  I give all the glory to God.  I never thought that I’d be anybody saving anybody’s life.  That was just not my plan.  It was God’s plan, however.  Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that I have lost my mind and there is no God.  Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “I have never heard or felt God like that.”  Maybe you’re in full belief of everything I am telling you.  I don’t know.  I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that God would use me like He does.  Who was I that He would choose me??

“Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord.  I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue.’

The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths?  Who makes them deaf or mute?  Who gives them sight or makes them blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’  – Exodus 4:10-13

I was feeling like Moses.  Who am I that He would call on me?  God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.  We, as the called, have to answer.  If we let that call go to voice mail because we are “too busy” or “just being stubborn,” who dies?  Who dies when we refuse to do a simple request from God?  Maybe it’s us who die.  Maybe it’s a teenage kid who has lost all hope.  Maybe nobody dies, but maybe somebody misses out on a really good message because we are drowning in selfishness.  We have to answer that call.  HAVE TO.  God directs my path even today regarding that sign.  He has always told me where to stand and when.  He directs the amount of time I stand on any given corner.  I listen.  I obey like I have never done in my entire life.  I believe like I have never done in my life.  I have faith like I have never had in my life.  That sign didn’t just save C.  It saved me as well on so many levels.

I can’t wait to meet these people and give them the biggest hugs ever.  I know that God will be working in that meeting.  He’s working now.  He’ll be working when it’s over, and I am grateful.  I am blessed, and I get the opportunity to share those given blessings with others!  I am beyond fortunate.  My heart continues to be full.

May God bless you today and always.  Be blessed and be a blessing.

 

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Oh, it IS Jesus!

Ok, so I was on a particular social network just a bit ago listening to this guy speak.  LOVED what I heard!  Seriously, what a great story teller this guy is.  Anywho, he mistakenly saw a profile picture as a woman in a dress.  The icons are really small, so it was hard to tell in all honesty.  I thought it was a woman in a big skirt, also.  The person who has that picture told him, “It’s Jesus, man.”  The guy speaking looked closer, and he stated, “Oh, it is Jesus!”  This one phrase made me decide to write this.  Why?  Because.  Because how many times do we see something, or someone, and not realize that it really is Jesus, so to speak?  A blessing.

I’m not talking about seeing some complete stereotype of what Jesus looks like.  I’m talking about the “smaller” things or events that we see on a daily basis.  I am talking about the sun.  The breeze blowing across your skin.  The delicious taste of that first cup of coffee or that tiny morsel of your favorite food.  The wispy clouds floating past the moon on any given night.  The person who may seem totally insignificant in your life until by some unexpected occurrence they aren’t.

We often take these things and people for granted for one reason or another.  We live in a busy world where we feel the need to hurry and get as much as done in the fastest amount of time possible.  Why?  What is so important that we forget to notice the little things we have been graciously given?  I am reading a book, and have been for a while because I have a hard time with comprehension sometimes, that has kicked me right in the rear.  The last chapter I read has really done me in.  It’s a good “done me in” thing, though.  The whole thing is about being able to practice thanksgiving and just living in the “where you are now” time and place.  I know that I had forgotten, or perhaps had never really know, how to do that.  I do my best on a daily basis to pay closer attention, though.  I fail a lot of the time.  I am okay with that and know that it is up to me to make it better.  I have to work harder at it.  I’m not against hard work and think that I perform better when the work is harder.

I think seeing Jesus, or blessings, or the opportunity to give thanks in everything could scare some folks.  Some folks are just so comfortable in living in the complaint department of life.  I’ve visited that department myself.  Complaining about not enough time to get this or that done when I’m just sitting around complaining about it.  Complaining about the amount of my health insurance deductible when there are others who are absolutely unable to get health insurance.  Complaining about my cluttered house when there are those who have no home to complain about.  Ugh…yes, I do this.  It’s gross.  Vile, even.  What would my life be like if I solely focused on just being thankful?  I think it would allow me to be more giving.  It would allow me to be more loving and kind.  It would definitely allow for me to be more grateful and less judgmental.  I am struggling to see the downside to this thanksgiving stuff.

Being able to hear a crying child can get irritating.  Seeing laundry that needs to be folded and put away is frustrating.  Having to put air in my tire because it went completely flat had me feeling dread.  But the gifts and provision by only Jesus are there.  I can hear!  I can see!  I have transportation!  Who am I to complain about things I have been blessed with?  What the heck?!  It’s mind-boggling if you really think about it.  Why do we complain so much?  Why are we so focused on seeing a lady in a dress or big skirt when really it IS Jesus?  What is it going to take to get us to slow down, breathe, focus on what we really do have?  Hm?

I have gotten a lot better about being thankful, but I can hardly stand myself at other times when I have allowed my humanness to take over.  It takes work, and I know that it is absolutely worth it to be grateful for every little thing.  It lifts a burden.  We are prisoners of ourselves, and we are freed from that when we practice thanksgiving.  Don’t you want to be free?  If so, what are you willing to sacrifice to make that freedom happen?  Pride?  Fear?  Selfishness?  Lay them down.  Slow down, take a step back, and just breathe.  Look for Jesus in the picture.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 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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Discombobulated by Christianity

Just when I believe I am getting the hang of what God wants me to do, I learn that I am totally wrong. Totally wrong. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s pretty close. It’s a case where I believe I understand what the Bible wants me to know. I believe I grasp the idea just to read or be told that is just not the case. Overwhelmed just does not cut it. There is so much information that I need to learn. I want to learn.

The most recent lesson I need/want to learn is the “Guard your heart” concept. There is no need for me to pretend that I am even close to understanding and living it the exact way I need to. Feelings of shame for not knowing that concept have crept in. Okay, okay, they drop in like a nuclear bomb and obliterate all things I thought I knew. I would NEVER put that on somebody else who did not know. The best thing to do when you do not know something is to ask someone who does know.

I thought I was doing the best thing for myself, and that tends to be a selfish thing if it is done to cause hurt toward others. I do not ever intend to hurt others, but building a wall around my heart is painful for me and others who maybe are doing the best they can to have a relationship with me. I am working on trying to understand that others loving me in their own ways may not be the way I want. Ugh. Growing as a person feels like major suckage, sometimes. Growth is necessary, but it can be painful.

I am to love others as Christ has loved me. Blinders lead me to believe that I have not treated God as poorly as others have treated me. Blinders lead me to believe that others are just trying to manipulate me into getting what they want. My blinders are victim blinders. I would rather eat the stuff stuck to the bottom of my shoes than say that, again. It’s true, however. Victims become self-seeking. Blah! Self-seeking.

1 Corinthians 13:5 Love’s ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself

“EVER FAIR…NO THOUGHT FOR ITSELF”

GAH! I know I am not the only person struggling with this, but I do feel like it, sometimes. I want to be a loving and fair person. I want to not be so stuck on being a victim that I forget others have been victimized, also. So much to learn, and I have a lifetime to learn whatever it is. I do not know how long that lifetime will be, so I probably shouldn’t wait to try to learn them. I am fortunate I have people I can ask. People who are loving and gentle.

I totally do not understand everything in the Bible. It baffles my mind, really. I just want to love God and love others, as I have been loved.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. — 1 Corinthians 13:3

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. — Luke 6:35-36

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. — Proverbs 4:23

Guarding against a rebellious spirit and cultivating a spirit of submissive obedience to God’s Word, therefore, is the first step in guarding the heart.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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FML!

I see “FML” so much, and it makes me nauseated.  One event in a person’s day, and the next thing one will see on Facebook or Twitter is “FML!”  It is so disheartening that this is common usage in today’s society.    In the past couple of years, I have exhibited FML myself.  Read ahead for further explanation:

Following things, or people, that are no good for me?  That used to be me.  I used to change who I was to blend in with others.  I was quite unhappy with that.  However, it was all I knew to do.   I find myself being a stronger person, but I sometimes have flashes of the person I used to be.  I have followed others and ideas that I thought would be the most “popular.”  I have followed others and ideas that I thought would make me more loved (or loved at all).  I have followed others and ideas that have led me to do everything pleasing to Satan himself.  Poor self-esteem.  Poor social skills.  Poor coping skills.  I was drowning in a sea of “poors.”  I could blame everyone in my past, but I do not blame anyone.  I accept my behaviors and flaws as my own.  I was obeying and following Earthly things.  Multiple things had become my gods.   I hit rock bottom, and I will never forget what that felt like.   Money, alcohol, food, and a myriad of other things.  This is what the Bible says about that:

“If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.”  Deuteronomy 8:19

My purpose in life has changed.  When I was little, my purpose was to survive all that was going on in my house.  When I was a teenager, my purpose was to find someone I trust and just scream and cry about what had happened, and what was continuing to happen with me.  My purpose after the teenager years was to simply be noticed and loved.  Keep in mind, I had no idea about real love.  I had synthetic love.  That, I knew.  It is like when I hear adolescents speaking about “fake marijuana” (K2).  The words I hear about K2 are, “scary,” “dangerous,” “deadly,” and “crazy.”  The “fake love” I was seeking was not any different.  K2 can kill a person.  “Fake love” can, too.  It almost killed me.  Fake, or false, love can devour you, regurgitate you, and leave you in a puddle and never think about you again.  Love to me was like a magic show.  I knew people were telling me, or showing me, what it was, but I just felt i

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but
inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”  Matthew 7:15

Lord knows that I have done my share of shameful things.  I have done my share of embarrassing things.  But, the Lord knows that I have made a commitment to Him.  I have made up my mind to not follow or lend myself to Earthly things as they only push me down.  I have made up my mind to seek only real Love.  I know where that is.  I know that I am worth that kind of Love.  The world still feels like it is squarely upon my shoulders, at times.  I know that feeling does not have to last if I choose wisely.  God, my Father, is my provider.  God, my Father, is my redeemer.  God, my Father, is my life.  I fully understand that urge to throw my hands up in the air and just give up.  Where would that get me, though?  I know that I never have to face one second of my life alone as long as I depend on God to give me what I need.  Everyone I know could walk out of my life, and as much as that would be severely painful, I know that I would still have my God to hold me, love me, and keep each one of my tears in a bottle.  I have had multiple FML events and moments in forty-four years, but in the last two years, I have had different kinds of FML events and moments.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”  James 1:5

The different kind of FML events and moments for me?  Read the first word in each of the three paragraphs that use regular font after the underlined beginning.

God bless you.  Be mindful of those blessings given to you and be willing to share them with others.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Feeling Scattered

Ever had to pick up and move somewhere new?  Ever been placed somewhere where you know nobody?  How would you react if you were placed in the most awful place imaginable and told to rebuild and settle down?  In Acts 8, Saul started to demolish the church.  People were scattered all over the place.  If I had to pick up and move to the most horrible place I can imagine, and told to rebuild and settle down, I think I would be rather fussy.  However, Acts 8:4 says “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”  They had been uprooted and placed elsewhere, yet they spoke the word.   They continued to spread God’s word, and they continued to spread it to anyone who would listen…not just to “church people”.

Could you be exiled into your own brand of Babylon and still proclaim the name of Jesus?  If you knew you had to be there for seventy years, could you realistically be ready to just go out and spread the word of God?  Jeremiah 29: 4 – 7 says this:

4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried  into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build  houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek  the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

 I don’t know that I could be that scattered and still feel that faithful.  The Lord said, though, that if the city to which you have been exiled prospers, you will also prosper.  If we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, or maybe all too familiar territory that is so uncomfortable, we need to remember that as we continue to spread God’s word, as we continue to be giving of others, God will also continue to give to us.  No matter our circumstances, we should spread the word of God to all who are willing to listen.  I’m not saying to preach to, or at, them.  I am saying to tell them about the most loving Father and His works…and His word.

We all have those moments when we feel like we have been uprooted from our comfort zone and placed in our own form of hell.  That does not give us the right to look at Jesus and scream or cry, “Why?!”  We can scream and cry all we want.  God’s will be done…on Earth as it is in Heaven.  His will!  His will be done..not ours.  The Lord places us where we can do the most good.  I do believe that.  I did not believe that for a very, very long time.  That place may not feel okay to us, but the Lord knows better than we.  He wants us to talk to others about His work, His word, His love.  He wants us to tell believers and non-believers all the same.   I cursed God and was always asking “Why?!”  I have asked,  “Why, God, did you put me in that place?  Why, God, did you allow me to have to go through that?  Why, God, did I have suffer through this or that?”

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

He is always working for our good.  He has a purpose for each and every single one of us.  He wants us to remain faithful regardless if we feel safe, or if we feel scattered.  Feeling scattered?  Do not curse God about it.  Instead, thank Him for the experiences that are leading you to fulfill your purpose on this Earth, and then spread this love with others.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Forgive me, Father

I spend so much time trying to make myself right with God.  Sometimes I get lost in what others are doing.  I get lost in their judgments and mistakes while losing focus of my own.

Forgive me , Father!

I have not always done right by God.  For this, I feel shame.  I am not perfect.  God knows this and loves and accepts me anyway.

Forgive me, Father!

If I fell down to my knees and had my face on the floor for the rest of my life, it would never be enough to get me into Heaven.  I can’t DO anything that will ever be enough.  God finds me enough, anyway. I am grateful for that.

Forgive me, Father!

I tend to sometimes live by “Fleshy” thoughts and behaviors.  I want to live by Godly thoughts and behaviors.

Forgive me, Father!

Hey you!  Yes, you!  Stop being hateful!  Stop being ignorant!  Stop being unloving!  Stop being selfish!  Stop being judgmental!  Father, let me stop these things as well.

Forgive me, Father!

I pray that, today, I can refocus on my own sinful ways and use Godly love and grace toward others.

Forgive me, Father!

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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