Thursday, December 17, 2009

And then there were these sawdust chips......

Hello my friend, I remember when you were
So alive with your wide eyes to the light
Then the light that you had when your heart was stolen
Now you say that it ain’t worth stayin’
You wanna run but your hesitatin’
I’m talkin’ to me

Don’t let the lights go down
Don’t let the fire burn out
Cause somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe
Why don’t you rise up now?
Don’t be afraid to stand out
That’s how the lost get found
The lost get found

So when you get the chance, Are you gonna take it
There’s a really big world at your fingertips
And you know you have the chance to change it
There’s a girl on the streets, she’s cryin’
There’s a man who faith is dying
Love is calling you

~Britt Nicole, The Lost Get Found

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
~Matthew 7:1-5
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version.

What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself. ~Abraham Lincoln

Now I am one who is really big on being honest and truthful in things - it makes things easier all around, honestly. That being said, it makes one squirm a bit when they take an honest and truthful soul-searching look at themselves and see that while they have been pointing out flaws in others they have had a figurative hole in their drawers. Well maybe not that gaping or embarrassing but still it wasn't until I received a devotional in my email this morning that I realized that I was demanding something from this world and its people that it was not able to give. Granted, it isn't that it CAN'T give it it is just that it is out of practice and a bit spoiled and rotten at the moment. I would like to think we can, as good old Abe so nicely put it, de-skunkdefy it and make it into a glorious country again. Despite what naysayers think, it CAN be done. I mean the Ark wasn't built in a day but it WAS built - and by a really old man no less. There are going to be bumps and bruises, wins and losses and that is all ok it is part of the journey but the end reward is going to be worth the ride. Are we going to enjoy the whole thing? Heck no! There are going to be part we are going to absolutely abhor and want to vomit over but it is all par for the course. Remember folks there were many times that God handed over his chosen people to their enemies because they disobeyed or became frivolous. Do you think you are more deserving then they? Be careful, your plank is showing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Joy to the World? Eh, maybe not

I have been the wayward child, I have acted out
I have questioned Sovereignty, And had my share of doubt
And though sometimes my prayers feel like, They're bouncing off the sky
The hand I hold won't let me go, And is the reason why...

I will stumble, I will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakes, I will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Bitterness has plagued my heart, Many times before
My life has been like broken glass, And I have kept the score
Of all my shattered dreams and though it seemed
That I was far too gone,, My brokenness helped me to see
It's grace I'm standing on
~Natalie Grant, I Will Not Be Moved

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

~Romans 1:18-32 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version.

Whatever we worship, short of God, is sure to be our undoing. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Ah Christmas time in America, such joy and cheer and jubulation. Wait, that ISN'T what you have been getting on your nightly news? Come to think of it, it hasn't been on mine either, hmmm. No, there has been much bickering, finger pointing and hate-mongering going on during the time of the season where love and peace is supposed to reign. And I almost am ashamed to say that a lot of the fear mongering is being promoted by the christian community. I mean, come on, did you forget who your commander in chief was? So what if the gay community "wins" the "right" to be legally married. It is just a piece of paper in this world. Do you really think it is going to bypass God's sovereignty? That they are going to be able to march up to the pearly gates and thumb their nose at him and go "nah nah we got you?" Really? They are saying that it is going to debase the sanctity of marriage. Seriously? Oh I think the cheating, physical, emotional, mental and substance abuse that leads up to the, what 95% divorce rate covers that. Do I think is wrong, heck yes I do! But God granted free will and who am I to try and prevent what he allows? I am not God. And you know what? He allows punishment for going against what is good and just and his will. DUH. So let them have their moment in the sun, let them find out the grass isn't greener. Besides, this all happened before anyway - read your history book, the bible. Everything that has ever happened is in there - it is a great read, you should try it some time. I mean granted, the bad guys keep getting more clever as time goes by but still you learn new stuff every time you read it. Personally I almost wish this world would go to hell in hand basket, it would mean he is coming soon and I could go home and everything would be heavenly - literally.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The World or God - is there really a choice?

Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
~ Proverbs 23:17-18 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version.

Be careful little eyes what you see, It's the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings

Be careful little feet where you go, For it's the little feet behind you
That are sure to follow

Be careful little ears what you hear, When flattering leads to compromises
The end is always near

Be careful little lips what you say, For empty words and promises
Leave broken hearts astray

The journey from your mind to your hands, Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand, You just might be sinking

And thoughts invade, choices are made
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away, People never crumble in a day

It's a slow fade, When you give yourself away
It's a slow fade, When black and white are turned to gray

~ Casting Crowns - Slow Fade

We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. ~Felix Frankfurter

I used to joke that I was "banned" from watching news because it would drive me nuts. The onslaught of negativity that vomits continualy from the boob tube was disgusting. It got even worse during the election year with the adoration of Obama and I am not even going to say how it has been since he has been president - and no, I am not a fan. I am proud to say I voted for the other guy and that I CHOOSE to turn the channel when the news comes on and they continually spout negativity and drone on about information that is not uplifting or encouraging. I don't care about Tiger Wood's problems and I have already heard the weather report so I can change the channel now, thank you very much.

I can't say that my religious devotionals are all that much more uplifting at times either - everyone seems to be in panic mode that we are going to collapse and fall into ruin and be the devil's playthings. This brings me to a bit of eye rolling because I go to my bible and check my facts and it says right there in black and white that Satan can't touch me because God protects me. I mean, yeah, I could die and that would suck but in a way it wouldn't because then I would be with God and that would rock. I wouldn't hurt anymore, my suffering would be over, the mental torture that I go through almost daily would be gone. I don't know about you but that would be a blessing. If a civil war broke out tomorrow and my family perished and we went to be with God do you really think I would complain? Not likely. And those who have been saved shouldn't worry about themselves either because they are covered and they should know that and not fear but they are acting like scared rabbits.

I have found that I have found that a lot of my mental grief has dropped away as I stopped worrying about what the world worries about and looked at God. This world can go away, He has me and it is all good. I mean yes, I love my husband and my kids, I am not selfish like that. But if God called me home I am not stupid enough to say no. I will know that my purpose here was done and it was time to go home. So as the Christmas season starts to ramp up lets try to remember the words the angels told the shepherds that blessed night and the same words Jesus said many times to his disciples when they showed fear in troubled times.

Do not Fear, I am With You.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Biblical Heroes

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes
~ Psalms 37:7 The Holy Bible: New International Version

I love the way that your heart breaks with every injustice and deadly fate
Praying it all be new and living like it all depends on you

Here you are down on your knees again, trying to find air to breathe again
Only surrender will help you now, I love you please see and believe again

I love that you’re never satisfied with face value wisdom and happy lies
you take what they say and go back and cry you’re so close to me that you nearly died

they don’t have to understand you, be still
wait and know I understand you, be still be still

~ Flyleaf - Again ~

"You know how some doctors have the Messiah complex - they need to save the world? You've got the Rubik's complex; you need to solve the puzzle" ~Wilson to House on House MD

I have always said that my two favorite people in the bible are John the Baptist and Apostle Paul. Now John the Baptist has been a favorite for some time, Paul not so much. Both are brash and vocal about their beliefs - much like House on House MD though maybe not so vulgar. I think we need more Pauls and Johns in today's world but sad but true they would more than likely not put butts in seats in the churches. More than likely they would offend and upset people. People today don't want to hear that they are sinners - in fact many churches don't even say the "S" word anymore. I mean, really? I have to be honest with you but I don't go to church to show off how perfect I am or how perfect my life is. I DO go to church to be with other broken, sinful people who know and love Christ and worship him. We raise him up and glorify what he does in our lives and how he saves us from ourselves. See church is where you learn about God and celebrate what his grace and mercy does in your life.

John the Baptist was the herald of the coming of Christ. He was also his cousin. He understood his purpose as herald and lived it to its full extent. We look up to him for his dedication but I am sure if we ever had actually met him many of us would have thought he was a bit nuts. He lived in the wilderness and shouted at people about the coming of the Messiah - the only way to equate this to something now would be a homeless preacher on a busy street corner shouting at the people passing by. And he is not uneducated at all he knows his stuff, he draws people to him even religious scholars. But he offends with his blunt speech. Many people will ask "Just who does he think HE is?" and such. They don't want to look at their own hearts and purposes they don't want to look at their own ugliness.

Apostle Paul ended up being a great man but he didn't start that way. In fact he persecuted and hunted down Christians. Really, you say? Oh yeah, and he was terribly good at his job and his name was Saul at that time too. Then one day an angel of the Lord came upon him and his life got changed big time. He converted to Christianity and his name changed to Paul. He started teaching Christ's ways and boy did he teach! He became one of the greatest teachers and one of the most controversial - in fact when people start debating about Christianity, Paul and his teachings are a big part of it. He wasn't afraid of stirring the pot. He was determined to have an audience with Ceasar himself and by cracky he did - after many years of being in jail and persecuted himself.

I would love to be the voice in the wilderness - such as this world has become. I would love to become the voice that rings out the name of Jesus Christ and God from the highest mountains. I am not sure that is what God has planned for me but I think the job is not up to just one person but to all peoples who believe in Jesus Christ - Cry out in the Wilderness and let his name be known. Don't worry if you offend, don't worry if you look "crazy". The reward in the end is a glorious shining crown!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Discouragement Battle

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
~ Hebrews 10:35-36 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version.

Oh what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant, with just a Sling and a stone.
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors shaking in their armor, wishing they'd have had the strength to stand.

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed.
The giant keeps on telling me time and time again "Boy, you'll never win! You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory" Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

But the stone was just the right size to put the giant on the ground.
And the waves they don't seem so high from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me.

~ Casting Crowns, Voice of Truth

When Jesus comes, the shadows depart. ~Author unknown, inscription on a Scottish castle

So I am going to try and start a new format that has been buzzing in my head the last couple of days. I have had the idea of pairing scripture with lyrics and a quote on a subject that is current with daily life or events. And here is what is going on with my corner of my world and why I am battling my mind and discouragement.

When I was 23 I was pregnant with my 2nd child, not married - it wasn't even in smelling distance with my son's father. I honestly thought I never was going to BE married, I mean here I was, 23, going to have another child - what man in his right mind would want that? And I was easily influenced though really can't pin my decision on anyone but me. I made the decision to have a tubal ligation or have my tubes "tied". This way I could be free to do what I wanted without worrying about bringing in more babies. Even though there was a voice in the back of my head that kept questioning the idea I was stubborn and kept telling it that I had already said I was going to do it and to back out would be looked at as wishy-washy. I had already been called naive and stupid by my family and had been trying to look independent and smart so I went ahead with the surgery the day after my son was born.

It hurt worse than giving birth.

But when I healed and moved on I felt I had made the right decision especially when the relationship with my son's father crashed and burned. I never connected the nastier periods with the surgery or anything like that and not even sure I am now. Personally I don't think I can until I have surgery to "untie" my tubes and see if it fixes the problem. Which is the issue of discouragement that I am running into, because wouldn't you know......

About 5 years ago I met this amazing guy who, crazy enough, doesn't mind I have two kids that have different dads and I was never married. He likes my quirks and nuttiness for the most part and you know the most mindblowing part? He married me! Yup, crazy me. So here I am, married - who woulda thunk it? Certainly not me and now I am kicking myself because now guess what I want more than anything? Yup, a baby with him - actually I want lots of babies with him. Now this can be accomplished and I did research and found the perfect Dr and clinic - Dr Berger and now Dr Montieth in Chapel Hill at the Chapel Hill Tubal Reveral Clinic. And low and behold I can get surgery done I just have to come up with $4800 by February 2010.

Here is the discouraging part. I have no job. Arik does but not me. Right now we are staying with friends as the owner of the house we were renting wanted to put the house on the market and it was easier to sell it with us not in it. Our friends (God love and bless them) are supportive of us trying to raise money for the surgery and are willing for us to stay with them just a wee bit more. I am trying to find the strength and courage to persevere through all of this. Winter is never my most joyous time, I tend to have seasonal depression - what can I say, I am a flower child and need my sunshine. I just see us with limited money already, holidays coming up, trying to save for surgery AND a home, no job for me though I am searching everyday. Now the holidays are not an issue really because we implemented a tradition a couple of years ago to curb spending and keep the meaning of christmas real. We each only get 3 gifts from each other - hey if it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for my family.

Please just pray for my family and maybe an extra little prayer for me, to help me with my patience. I know I have an amazing God that works the impossible - and this seems pretty impossible.