Thursday, November 10, 2011

SHHHHH I’m talking.

Ever had one of those friends that when you get together you can’t get a word in edgewise. I mean they’re fun to be around, you enjoy their company, but they are a ‘talk with a mouth full of marbles underwater’ type of person. Sometimes we’re all a little like that. We’re so upset, so excited, so focused on us that even when we ask a question we don’t stop long enough to get an answer.

God is all about relationships. He loves to hear from us and yet people get all hung up on the word ‘prayer’. People think there is a magic formula to pray and that you have to use the right words, in the right format or it won’t be effective. Of course sometimes this is just fine, but when you stop and remember God is about relationships you realize that that isn’t what is important.

The most important thing is that we are talking with Him, holding a conversation with Him. Now a conversation is a two way street. There is a talker and a listener and they swap back & forth. When we ask a question we need to stop and listen to the answer. Not just hear the noise, but listen to the words. This is where sometimes we become that friend, that person who just doesn’t stop, doesn’t listen.

Ever listened to someone on the phone, come on I know you have, we all have. You’ll hear the person speaking and then nothing and then they’ll start again. This is how we should be praying. It needs to be a two-way thing. We need to talk and then we need to stop and listen for the reply. Listening requires us to focus on something other than ourselves, our lives, the world around us. Listening can’t be done with the kids screaming, the television blaring & you focusing on the task at hand. Listening requires your focus. We do that when we’re on the phone so why not when we pray.

I’m thinking that I’m going to get myself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, get comfy and give my BFF a call. I think I’m going to talk a bit and then for something different I think I’m going to stop and listen to what He has to say to me. Who knows what I’m going to learn, but I know it’s going to be good because my BFF is just the best!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Year in Review

Now normally people do most of the reflecting over the past on New Year’s Day, but this year I thought my birthday was the prefect time to do some reflection. You see this year has been filled with so many things that as I look back on it I’m amazed at it all.

Firstly I’m so thankfully I’ve survived another year. Well I’ve not exactly survived I’ve thrived. My health is the best its been. I’ve lost almost 40 lbs. and have dropped nearly 3 dress sizes. My stomach is acting and doing the things it should and I’m no longer taking prescribed medications. God has blessed me with a renewed love of my physical life. I’m even thankful for the aches and pains associated with being 44 because they remind me that there are others out there who are truly hurting, in pain and ill.

This year I’ve been blessed to discover I have another sister, 3 nieces and 2 great-nephews. This has been an amazing revelation. Here I had lived 43 years thinking I would never meet the siblings lost long before I was even born and yet through God’s grace here they are. My heart aches that I’m not able to meet them later this month with Camila and Korryne, but I know that God has even bigger plans for me. I know that we will meet one day and I’m focusing on that.

I came to the realization this year that God wants me to be a teacher. A couple of years ago he placed on my heart the desire to write a bible study. I did it, but never saw where I would be able to do it and to actually teach it. This is the year God decided to use me. I was able to do a sample run of my class and am now the lead speaker at a 1 day seminar sponsored and supported by our Women’s Opportunities Ministries. I have no idea where this is going, but the ride sure is getting exciting.

Lastly I’ve come to realize that my prayers for friends and family have been fully answered and I am very blessed. My life is fully of love. It’s not always easy dealing with relationships, but I love. I have never felt more apart of a family and a community as I do now. Some days the business of it all gets to me and I get really tired, but then I remember what it is like to be lonely and I forget all about being tired.

The most important thing I have learnt this year is that with great blessings comes great challenges and great responsibilities.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Focus & Dedication or Obsession?

Obsession - the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.

I realized this morning as I was sitting quietly with the Father that I had spent the past couple of weeks completely focused, completely obsessed you might say with something other than Him. It was a painful realization, considering I wasn’t actually doing anything bad. The problem was I was putting most of my time, okay nearly all of my time, into something that wasn’t doing anything for my growth or my walk with Him.

You see a couple of weeks ago I decided to read the Twilight Series. Now I believe there isn’t anything bad in the stories themselves. They don’t denounce God, they don’t promote promiscuity, they are a good story. My problem was that I found myself getting lost in the story and wanting to spend all my time there. I allowed my desire to finish the books to overshadow not only my day to day life, but more importantly it overshadowed my walk with God.

How often do we allow an innocent past time to consume us? What is it that you can or have become obsessed about? Is it a sport, the internet or maybe social networking? What about that craft project that just gets more complicated or home renovation? The computer game you just can’t seem to walk away from? Even worse than all of these what about that relationship that consumes your every moment whether its your spouse, potential spouse or even your children?

Isn’t it funny how something innocent and good can be used against us. Satan is crafty, the Prince of Lies. He has the ability to twist even the best intentions to his gain. Take a moment today to look and see where you may have idols, where you need to renounce Satan and his hold on you.

You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, ~ Exodus 20: 4-5 (NLT)

We are so blessed to have a Father who loves us so much that all He wants is to have us walk with Him. So as of today I’m back on track. I renounce the pull, the obsession I’ve had and now my focus is back on what’s important – GOD!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suicide is not the answer

The other morning a member of our family attempted to take their own life. They were so unhappy with their life that they felt it would be better to just die. There are always options and there is always a reason to live. We have to look for those reasons and ultimately we have to want to live.

Suicide is truly the most selfish, self centered thing anyone can do. While you might get out of whatever you’re in, you leave your family, friends and loved ones behind to deal with and clean up the mess you leave. Life is not better without you. Suicide is the cheats way out.

Life is about living. It is about making changes, sacrifices and yes at times it is tough, so tough that checking out seems like the only option. That’s where the logic fails. When life is tough, you  have to make tough decisions, you have to work harder than you have ever worked before and mostly importantly you have to choose to ignore your feelings and stick to what you know as a fact – God loves you even when it seems like no one else does!

Some would say that suicide is an unforgiveable sin, but I beg to differ. God says that He forgives all sins as long as we turn to Him, ask for forgiveness and accept this gift He offers us. I suppose one could say the only unforgiveable sin is turning your back on God, choosing to ignore Him. Even that in essence is forgivable when we simply ask for it.

Now I can hear some of you now, so that means I only need to ask for forgiveness and then I can go on doing whatever I like – nope sorry not that easy. To truly reconcile with God you need to make an honest effort to change your ways. You need to turn your back on your sin and move closer to Him, that is when forgiveness occurs. When you reconcile with God you are transformed into a new person, hence the born again phrase Christians seem to love so much. A phrase that has been used and abused for so long it no longer holds any special meaning.

Now I don’t know what happens when you die, but I do know that God transcends time and space. In my mind that means in the nanoseconds before actual death there is still an opportunity for us to accept God as our savior. God loves us so much that He pursues us to the very last moment. He gives us endless opportunities to accept Him. I believe that even those that succeed in taking their own life are given the opportunity to seek forgiveness and reconcile back to Him. If this is the case then we must forgive them as well. For me this is a bitter pill to sallow, but I’m working on it.

Suicide is nothing new to me. My mother attempted to take her life several times and I myself had my first thoughts of suicide at about the age 12 and have been plagued by idea as a solution to my problems. I could never have been so wrong. Thankfully I never attempted it and I managed to survive the temptations, but it is such an attractive solution when you feel like there is nowhere else to turn. Suicide is an easy way out because for you it is over, but for those of us left behind it is devastating. How would I have explained this to my children if this person they loved decided they weren’t worth the fight? How do I tell my children that no matter what life is worth living, when they had someone else decide it wasn’t? How do I teach them that we should always think of those around us, when this person chooses to think only of themselves?

Life is always worth it, even during the pain. No matter how great the pain, there are always things to be thankful for, always things that make you smile. Life is a gift, what we do with it is our choice. Don’t make the mistake of throwing it away like a piece of old trash, because to someone it is a precious gift to be loved and cherished.

LiveJournal Tags: ,,