Just the Lighter Side??

Mmmmm. so I haven’t been here much, I can see this clearly.  I might be my churches “Food Lady”, but I am most certainly not our “Blogging” lady.  That said, my walk, my voice – it is worth hearing.  I have valued opinions, thoughts and feelings, just as you ALL do.

My churches mission statement – “Loving, accepting and RESPECTING the people of Acadiana”.

By ALL, I mean ALL… All people with no exception to race, color, creed or sexual orientation.  Ohhhh, did I say something wrong?  NO exceptions???  Really?  Well, we love ALL people, ALL people are of God, worthy of love and respect, regardless.  Period.

We are in week three of our bible study at church.  Week two I missed due to things that have happened in life, but this week focused on life after Eve ate from the apple – I wish I was there for that part of it – however, God scattered the people across the face of the Earth according to their languages.

8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused[a] the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”  [Genesis 11:8 – 9]

Hmmmm…. my husband and I would argue over this for DECADES I tell you.  Born and raised in California, I have not encountered this depth of racism prior.  Well, maybe my husband is just a putz… lol

At any rate, we are ALL from the same – there is no difference in my neighbor because his language is different from mine, or because his skin is different or because he behaves differently.  Period.  No REAL difference anyway.  God does not view us differently, why should we view each other differently?  We are ALL his sheep, his children.  Would you condone a “man” (of the flesh) that treated a child of his wife from another marriage differently?  No?  Then why is our neighbor who is “different” from us (in our flesh minds mind you) different?  Why?

I welcome discussion, value it, look forward to it.  We CAN make a difference, we CAN be kind, we CAN make a difference.   It only takes a single spark to light the fire.  Want to be a spark with me?  Let’s light a fire of love in God’s name!

Advertisements

Marks of the True Christian…..

Tags

, , , ,

First, let me say that is has been a bit since I have posted.  A job change, some internal struggles with my faith walk and well…. just life… have kept me from being here.  It is not that I do not want to share my story, my walk or my beliefs.  As much as I would like to be the “perfect diligent Christian”, I am flawed, I am of the flesh and I am… me.

There is no song  or video I want to share today, but I do want to share a bit of scripture that I came across while looking for some Bible Study themes to do with my family.

Marks of the True Christian (Romans 12: 9-21)

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.[e] 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;[f] do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God;[g] for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Let me just say that being a “Christian ” is not a good nor a bad thing, but the thing I find most interesting about being one myself is the way that people react to me know.  I don’t intentionally “evangelize” (a word that with the way society has bred its meaning has a negative connotation), but I do talk and if people ask a question I am going to provide a heartfelt, honest and sincere answer.  So… be careful what you ask  😉

Verse 14 is of particular interest to me and given the scripture I shared is, for me, the hardest to live by and wear on my heart.  I, being of flesh, find it difficult to not be angry or resentful of those that blatantly give negative feedback about me and my belief systems.  Which in turn leads me to verse 17…  “Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.”

Hmmm… being of a “Christian” mind and heart I suppose it would be or should be easy to to do this…. BUT being of the flesh?  I beg to differ.  How should I just stand and let someone spew incredible ugliness from their mouths and not want to repay the favor in kind?  I guess that is where the conundrum lies….. “wanting” and “doing”.

While I may WANT to repay the favor in kind and have tons of quick, witty comebacks… if I CHOOSE not to allow my flesh to override the “Christian”-like spirit I try to carry with me and wear on my heart daily, does this weaken my being a Christian?

It’s a question folks…. give some feedback.  This is one of my struggles on my journey.  If I think the though, the phrase, does that deter from my meaning, my heart and my purpose, just by the mere THOUGHT?  Or, is it perhaps, that I have had the thought… considered it flowing from between my lips and chose NOT to let it flow that makes me a Christian?

Did He Leave or Did I?

Tags

, , , ,

Someone said something to me this evening that I had to stop and ponder. Did I leave him or did he leave me?  I have felt for sometime that I left religion…. I didn’t feel that I left him, but I felt that he left me.  Most certainly I did.

Where was he?  He wasn’t in my life.  I didn’t feel him or see him.

I said to someone, “I am so glad that he found.”

He looked at me point blank and stated, “He was always there, you were the one that strayed.”

Perhaps it is my newness in Christ, perhaps it is the fact that I am focusing on my relationship with Christ rather than the political aspects of “religion”, but it so struck a chord with me. I had to stop and give pause, did HE leave me?  Did HE abandon me?  Just because I did not get the answers I wanted when I wanted and how I thought they should come, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t there all along.

Maybe he was waiting, waiting for me to see him every single day in various aspects of life.  Waiting for me to recognize his love for me.  Waiting for me to open my ears, eyes and heart to him.  Waiting for me to not have to have total control of my life, to surrender to HIS will, not mine.

Irregardless of who left whom, I am there now, in his loving embrace and with full recognition of HIS doing in my life, not mine.

This song, has particular meaning in my life.  I listen to it often.  I WANT to be worthy of HIS blessing in MY life.  I want HIS will in my life.  It helps me.  It helps me get through the tough times, the times where I want to cry, fall top my knees and ask why.  Why me?  Why my family?  Haven’t I worked?  Haven’t I tried?  Don’t I deserve?

I want to be worthy.  I want to be deserving.  I did try, I failed, as we all do.  We are NOT Jesus…. we are NOT living without sin ALWAYS.  Which leads me to my case in point….

“Lord prepare me to be a Sanctuary, pure and Holy, tired and true.  With Thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.”

And with this I pray, “Dear heavenly father, please show me YOUR will and lead me down the path YOU choose me to follow.  Amen.”

I hope to meet all of you on my path, my journey to the Lord as my savior and the deepening of the relationship I have with him and his father, our God.  I will be the one today walking with peace in my heart, on my face and a smile welcoming all who wish to talk, even if not of beliefs that I share.  For I have an unshakable faith, one that I believe I am to share.  I look forward to the smile, the nod of the head and the conversation that I so hope will follow.

If Others Jumped Off A Bridge….

Tags

, , , , ,

Psalm 1

The Two Ways

Happy are those
    who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
    or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
    planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
    and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

Remember when your parents would say “If so and so jumped off a bridge would you jump off too”?

Would you?  Even being wet behind the ears in your faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior?

I have given a lot of thought to the “friends” that I have in my life.  Having use of this term loosely, I ponder who my friends are exactly.  Who do I want to associate myself with?  Who do I choose to call a friend?  I have people in my life that I speak to infrequently, on a “hey how are you?” basis and some that I talk to infrequently, not because of their lack of importance in my life, but more because of lack time, a lack of willingness to go into the what I have been up to explanations.  There are also those that I speak to infrequently because I have leaned on them so much in the past, when my life was not going the way I wanted, that now I find myself in a transition period in my walk with my Lord and Savior.

I have had several things on my mind as of late, one of which is my gratefulness to God and His Son for the blessings they have bestowed on me and my family simply based on my belief (my faith) and willingness to accept them into my life.  My husband has been out of work for three months.  Three long hard months filled with struggles, tears and anger.  Our income cut in half, three children to support and my little church family to support me.  “Friends” that I had turned to, trying to lead me down “wicked” ways…. hence, the bridge.  If they jumped off would I follow?

I am not the smartest woman on Earth, most surely, but I am intuitive and I am strong in my faith, even as a newly found soul.  I believe that we reap what we sow…. I sow good seeds.  I try to sow good seeds anyway.  I have had several pieces of advice and wisdom imparted upon my earthly brain that I have had to filter through my belief in Christ and what I believe is his will.  

Yet I do not steal from my current employer, I refuse to cheat and steal to get my children free lunch, I refuse to lie for anything or anyone.  I have had this philosophy prior to my new found faith in Christ.  However, I had this philosophy prior due to how I practiced and lived the twelve steps from NA…. lying, cheating and stealing will only bring me to fill again and I will most certainly fail and die if I chose incorrectly.  So in short…. no… I would not and will not jump off the bridge. 

I am firm in my faith, loving of all and believe that your faith, your walk is what you make of it.  I have been loyal and faithful and my family and myself have been rewarded.  My husband has a new job (making substantially more than prior) and I have found a more promising position with a firm here making more than prior.  Together, we are better than we have ever been in our married lives.  I owe all of that, WE owe all of that to Jesus and his Father.  

And in the words of my infamous pastor, Parson Ashley, time, talents and treasures are all that are required of you.  Time to study and devote to my relationship with Jesus, talents that he has provided me that I return to the congregation and my willingness to speak of my Jesus story in order to help others return to Christ as their savior, and treasures… which I can only assume and believe is my loving nature and advocacy of others right to be treated as equal as I believe firmly that ALL are worthy of God’s love.  

In The End…

Tags

, , , , ,

Membership class today was very interesting and thought provoking.  We discussed our beliefs, our faith and our convictions.  Several things went through my mind as I sat there, but one thing resounded loud and clear, I advocate for women and children.  Always.  Without fail.

I remember one time I was driving down the 167 headed to Maurice, there was a man beating a woman in the truck in front of me.  I dialed 911 and sat on the phone with the operator and explained where we were.  The man, interim, pulled to the side of the road and pulled the blonde haired woman out of the truck and proceeded to kick her, punch her and rolled her into the ditch then went promptly after her.

Without thought and against the advice of the operator on the line I promptly got out of my vehicle and proceeded toward them.  I told him I was on the phone with the police and they were one their way.  I told him he would be well advised to leave her alone, to just get away from her.  He retorted with a series of angry retorts and I listened calmly as the profanity spewed from his lips.

I obviously feel strongly, very strongly about women and children being treated properly and as dignified humans as I believe God intended it to be.  That is not to say that I do not come to aid of men, should that be needed, but from my experience it is typically women and children who are beaten, belittled, demeaned and made to feel unworthy of life, love and God’s love.

I have had many people tell me that I will be shot one day for interfering.  That never even came across my mind that day or any of the other times that I have intervened to take up for the underdog, the mistreated, the abused.  It is not that I have a death wish or that I have some super human bravery that flows through me, it is merely that if I do not stand up and take a stand against what is inhumane and clearly wrong, then what have I done?  Really?

Should I remain silent and watch from the shadows, I have then condoned, permitted and foster the ability for it to happen again.  Most certainly to the same person, but almost certainly to another woman, another child, another victim.

Perhaps it is the fact that I was abused myself, as a child, as a mother and wife and as a human.  I can only attest to the fact that if I am around, I will do or say something.  Something.  Something is better than nothing and a lot of times, it only takes a little something to do a big thing…. to change the circumstance.  To change the way we treat each other.  To change the way we perceive people.

My God is a kind and caring God.  He is loving and fair.  I believe that ALL people deserve to be treated with love and respect, simple human dignity, irregardless of any “earthly” judgments or classifications that humans might impose upon their vision so as to take away from the true clarity, the true sight of God’s vision of us.

Then I had this song come into my head that I had not heard in years.  While I am not sure that the artist meant it in the exact manner or about the exact topic that I am using it in reference here, it is fitting to this, my belief system, my faith, my convictions.  To quote the song I am using in this post, “Hands” as performed by Jewel:

“I won’t be made useless; I won’t be idle with despair; I will gather myself around my faith;  For the light does the darkness most fear; My hands are small I know; But their not yours, they are my own”.

I am not saying that everyone needs to do, have done and will most surely continue to do, but do something.  While walking your walk with Jesus and developing your relationship with Him and your Father, give thought to what your beliefs are, what your statement of faith is, what your convictions are and do SOMETHING about it.  Do something to enact the change, to show others that you truly believe as you say.

One person might not be able to change the world, but all people doing one thing to make a change in themselves and the world, will change everything.

I surely hope to meet some of you on my path.  I love to interact with others and give my Jesus story, that is how I (*gasp*) Evangelize.  I share my Jesus story and hope that others can relate and decide to start their own amazing journey on their walk with Christ.  If you see me today, you will know me by sight, I am the one with my eyes open, my heart on my sleeve and a “Superwoman” cape on.  I jest… there is no cape, just had to lighten it up a little.  Till we meet… I hope (truly) that you have a most blessed day.

ASAP

Tags

, , ,

il_570xN.520315622_7tie

Art found on ETSY

I’m relatively shy, until you get to know me or until I am comfortable in your company.  This can be good or bad, depending on if you like to engage in conversation about things more than just menial day to day happenings.  I can talk about specific things for hours… and hours… and hours.

I have been attending Bible Study at my church, Jerusalem Christian Church, on Thursday nights.  Last night I felt so at ease I lead the closing prayer (I do not like public speaking).  Through tears and with a spirit filled self, I prayed, hard.  Harder than I was crying.  Giving unwavering love my Lord and Savior. Thanking him for every blessing in my life, asking him to please protect and guide the youth of today, to please open our eyes, ears and hearts so that we may better hear his word.

Then I got to thinking, I pray a lot.  Several times a day, when something troubling is occurring, when something good happens, when I feel stressed or happy or sad.  It seems that I have this ever ongoing and evolving discussion with my Lord all day long.

I sit in awe when I see that prayers are answered, my husbands heart opening and softening, my children’s recognition of a concept that I have been trying to get through,  opportunities that are coming my way, rent that is paid, electric that stays on, etc.  All of these little things that some people take credit for themselves or take for granted I know are small miracles from my Creator as I am the only one working and able to support a family of five on my wee income.

Then it hit me, the more I have been praying, the more he has been working his miracles in my life and the more I recognize them for just that – miracles.  So I say this, prayer ASAP and he will answer ASAP, just be sure you pray for the ability to see his work with your eyes, ears, heart and spirit.

The next time I see ASAP in a work email instructing me to do something, I am sure that I will now say a quick prayer.  It has changed the way I view as soon as possible –  it is always possible and now is as good a time as any.  My challenge, stop what you are doing and say a prayer – to thank him for all of the little blessings and miracles he has bestowed on you.  Prayer works.  God works and my relationship with my Lord and savior is growing stronger every single day.

I hope you have a most blessed day on your walk.

Clap Along…..

Tags

, , , , ,

Clap along if you feel that the Lord’s been good to you!!

*clap*  *clap*  *clap*

I am doing my fair share of clapping today!  After the last two Monday’s (yesterday’s personal insert from my post) it is a pleasure that I finally have a day other than a Monday.

I found myself questioning everything yesterday.  Right down to God and my walk of faith.  I read in someone’s post here that they are open and honest with God – even if it is of a “non-traditional” or accepted verbiage.  I am as well.  He held me all day yesterday while I cried, screamed and pouted.  Then today came along, the interview day, the test.

I decided to take the advice of my church family about praying in the morning to God.  Trying to have an open and honest heart and listen to his words of wisdom that he is trying to impart on me, but that I might be too wrapped up in my own little world to hear.  This morning on the way to work, I prayed, long and hard, for an open heart, a mouth filled with “correct” and honest answers.

Prayers were answered I tell you.  In my interview, about a 1/4 of the way through (never had an interview last an hour) I was asked this:

“What do you do in spare time for fun?”

My answer (without hesitation and without knowing I was speaking it):

“Other than enjoying time with my children, I am involved in a lot of Church activities.  They are fixin’ to send me to classes to teach “Worship and Wonder”.  At that EXACT moment I looked up to the door of the conference room where I sat and low and behold I saw a crucifix upon the door.  On the way out of the interview, I noticed there are crosses or crucifixes upon EVERY door!

Not only did my church family and myself pray for new employment opportunities for me, but we also prayed for a “Godly” place for me to work where I can be my Christian self.  I cannot think of a better opportunity to work for a honest, ethical place to be employed.

I remember just a week ago mentioning  to Parson Ashley that I figured and chose to have the outlook that this opportunity was going to be one of two things, either the opportunity to be whom I wanted and needed with the ability to advance (not the case where I am) or to show me that I have it good where I am.  I think what I meant to say is that everyone is corrupt and there are no “wholesome” place to be employed.

I did not think that the potential to be employed by a company that is both relationship (with Jesus and God) related AND family oriented existed.  I was wrong.  It does exist.  Even if this opportunity does not pan out for me, God’s will prevailing, I know there is hope.  Isn’t’ that what it is all about?

Remember, you are NEVER alone.  God loves you, always has (even before you believed) and always will.  A little prayer, a little love and a lot of faith.  God makes all things possible!!!!

“Clap along if you feel God’s been good to you…” Just LOVE this rendition!

“It’s my pleasure to let you know that my Jesus makes me feel this way, for this I give you praise!

Have a most blessed day and remember, you are never alone!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy… Right?

Tags

, , , ,

7875bd21d88663e42d8b1cfa399e1b44

I am a self proclaimed worry wart.  I worry about everything all the time.  I have become very adept at not sweating the small stuff anymore, but things like rent, car notes, insurance payments, etc…. I worry all the time about those.  Along with my relationship with Jesus and God, I find myself sitting and pondering why it is so difficult for me to not worry about tomorrow.  Today is Tuesday and yet, it is another Monday in the sense of Monday’s usually stink kind of Monday.

I try to remind myself that it could be worse, but surely it must get better as I walk with God now, he holds me when things are tough and boy, has he ever been holding me as of late.  I strive to become a better person, a better Christian.  I study the word, I pray daily – today I have actually found myself in prayer a lot, for strength and guidance, patience and understanding, a loving and forgiving heart.  I have also found myself praying for tomorrow, to come, to be better, to just be something other than a darn Monday.

This verse just stuck out at me today given the situations I find myself in, work-wise and personally.  I have it printed and hanging up next to me as I type.  I think I should pray just a little more for the ability to be open and receptive to the guidance he is trying to give me, the path he is trying to lead me on and the ability to not worry.  I only know that as I sit, I cannot handle the situations around me on my own.  I need God to help me, I need my dear savior to assist me with my heavy heart.  For this I pray.

If you are out there, reading this, know that you are NOT alone in your struggle.  He is with you every step of the way.  I can relate to your troubles, you are never alone.  Ever.  Perhaps one day we might meet, you (the reader) and myself – I will be the woman walking along the sidewalk with a pep in my step and a smile on my face because I have mastered the art of not worrying.  May God be with you and have a most blessed day!

Prayer or talk?

Tags

, , , ,

c0d1bbb99a9179523b3b496498024e3c

Item found on ESTY.com

I talk.  A lot.  I mean a whole lot.  I could talk for hours and hours for days and days about the same thing.  I like to talk, perhaps that is why I am blogging.  However, my talking has taken on a new purpose now, hence the birth of my blog.

I talk about the weather, I talk about my problems, I talk about work, I talk about my family, my grandchildren, my dreams, my hopes and aspirations.  Now I find I talk a lot about another subject, my church family, my faith, my new found (or re-found as it may be) love of Christ.  I LOVE talking.

I find in these days that a lot of people “talk” a lot.  They talk about their problems, they talk about their families, they talk about their work… they talk a lot.  Something that has changed for me over the past three or so months is what I talk about and how long I talk about it for.  I’m more of an action gal now… I talk about my problems, cry about them and then I do something that I hadn’t done in a long time, I PRAY about them.

Which was part of my post from the other day, Letting go and Letting God.  I am good at prayer now, I thank the Lord for the things that I have, the love of my new family, the fact that I was brought to a wonderful place that I fit (which by the way I still treat in a school like manner – Bible Study).  I also ask for help.  Help for others, continuously lift people up in prayer.  I also ask for help for myself, not for a desired outcome that I wish, but rather for His wish for me…. guidance.

This is my challenge to all of you.  Don’t just talk about your problems, pray about them.  Hand them over and try to let go and let Him guide you.  There is an important trick though that I want to share.  In order to receive His help, you need to open your heart to his guidance, you need to listen and see with not your ears, but your heart.

Letting Go…

Tags

,

image

Letting go… this is always so difficult for me, even in recovery and prior to my finding Jesus again.  I’m always amazed at how difficult this is for me and so many others to do.

With prayer, several times a day, I am slowly (ever so slowly) doing this.

I am just in awe at how many times situations come up that I find myself repeating over and over… “Just let go and let God”. To no avail I might add. However, I find myself in a situation where I cannot comment on circumstances that are beyond my control, yet directly affect me and I am struggling to keep opinions to myself. I find myself immersed in prayer and repeating “Let go and let God”.

Letting go is hard, the hardest thing I have ever done in fact. I’m not sure if it is the loss of control that disturbs me or the the fact that I have to have faith in God, whom I cannot see, touch or feel to solve a problem and give resolution to a situation that I am unable to comment on myself.

Perhaps I have control issues. Given the nature of my past and the experiences I have lived through I will not and cannot blame myself. I have determined that the best course of action is to relinquish my control, steadily and surely and deepen my relationship with Christ all the while reminding myself that with him, all things are possible.