Did you just judge me?

6 10 2014

I am a Christian. That means I have come to believe that God, in His mercy, sent a Way for me to get back into a pure relationship with Him. That Way is Jesus Christ. Without getting all preachy, suffice to say that I have decided to follow Jesus. I am a Christ follower.
Chances are, you have just made a judgement about me based on what you know about others. One of your judgements is probably that I am judgmental. The pot calls the kettle black.
Relax. Breath. Open your mind for a minute.
Do you want to know what I really think it means to be a Christ follower?

A-Christian

  • love God with all my heart
  • if I truly love God, I will love His people
  • love without hypocrisy
  • give and it will be given unto you
  • includes helping others
  • when you refresh others you will be refreshed
  • true religion gets dirty, goes where the needs are
  • closest to the heart of God is helping others
  • widows and orphans
  • God did not call me to judge people, he called me to love them
  • I need to judge myself, search my own soul. Not yours
  • I am full of miracles
  • miracles don’t always come with a fireworks display
  • a hug, a gentle word brings healing
  • encourage
  • help others and your life will break forth like the dawn and your healing will come

Now that I have revealed some of my inner thoughts, judge away.

In my over six decades on this planet, I have learned that we are all seekers. Every one of us are trying to find our way through this thing called life. We are not all on the same path. Each of us must find our own way. I believe that I have found mine and I TRY to walk it out every day. I am not interested in convincing you that my Way is right and yours is wrong. I welcome anyone to join me and the many others who are following Jesus, but it must be your own revelation that puts that desire in your own heart. If I truly believe that God speaks to the heart, I must believe that He has you in the palm of His hand and He will direct you. I respect your choice to walk where you feel led. We are not immortal. One day we will draw our last breath and then we will know in truth. Until then, my prayer for each of my friends is that God will lead us to the truth and help us to be true to what we believe.





Thursday thoughts

14 05 2014

Redeeming the time
Focus
Wasted days
God has entrusted us with this gift of life
Every day is a gift from God
Pursue talents and dreams
Run with purpose
Value of time
Invest time on things that matter
Every battle is not worth fighting
Don’t waste valuable time waging war against battles that don’t matter
Stop trying to please people who are never going to be happy
My time is limited.
Let it go and trust God to make it right
Night prayer: God I release all the negatives of this day. I trust You to take care of the outcomes.
Disappointments are inevitable but misery is optional
Prune relationships
Do not tolerate mediocrity
If you don’t let go of the old you won’t have time for the new
Evaluate prayerfully who is your inner circle
Do you need to let some people go
Jesus put the mockery and doubters out. Kept His inner circle with Him and raised up the dead girl.
Some peeps, we must love from a distance
What am I doing with the time God has given me? No excuses. Redeem. Be an on purpose person.





brown leaves

22 09 2012
This morning, I get to do one of my favorite things. I am on my back patio with a cuppa joe while I read my inspirations for the day.
This cooler weather has turned the leaves brown seemingly overnight. My little doggie is barking and chasing lizards. Once upon a time, they all had tails. Now, only about half the population still have their tail.
Oh, but I was reading my morning meditations. “Your life cannot become a glorious adventure while you continue to play it safe.” Hmm. Make a mental note of where Bella just ….  My concentration is the pits this morning. Maybe I should just grab my scoop and pick up that dropping before I forget where it landed. It’s a good thing I saw her because, oh, that is a brown leaf. Brown leaf, brown leaf, brown leaf. I feel like I am in a game of Where’s Waldo. Brown, HA! There it is. Stupid brown leaves.
Now, back to that thought about a gloriously adventurous life. Mmm. This is a robust cup of coffee.




Redemption

17 08 2012

Storms of life will come. It doesn’t matter if you are ready for them or not. It doesn’t even matter if you are doing everything right. Storms are a part of life and they do come and they have a huge potential to knock us off our feet sometimes. For someone with a past like mine; (alcoholism, drug addiction, violence and crime) it is very important to be anchored. I have found my anchor. His name is Jesus and this is my meek attempt at expressing how much He means in my life.

Oh Lord, You are a wonderful God. It is a good practice for me to look at all you have done in my life. Looking back helps me to realize that nothing is too difficult for You. Sexual abuse is not too difficult. Alcoholism and drug addiction are no match for Your power of love and restoration. There is no sin so powerful that it is beyond Your helping hand. Thank You that You are ever present. You do not play hide and seek. You are constant and trustworthy and able. I can leave all of my anxieties and concerns with you in full confidence that You have my best interest in Your heart. You are my everlasting Father.

Your love for me is so deep that I cannot fathom it.

Your concern for me is so complete that You have even numbered all the hairs on my head.

Your Holiness is so bright that I can never look upon it with my human eyes.

Your desire for me is so strong that You formed a plan to redeem me to Yourself.

Your resolve is so powerful that You allowed sinners to beat You and nail You to a cross as You lay down your life for my sake.

Your Grace is so miraculous that, somehow, all of my sin was transferred to You.

Your bounty is so full that all of Your righteousness was imparted to me.

Your Glory is so awesome that death could not hold You in the grave.

Your salvation is so simple that all I have to do is accept it; and yet it is so powerful that it makes me an overcomer.

You are God, my Father,

Jesus, Who is closer than a brother,

Holy Spirit, Who dwells right inside me and guides my steps.

Thank You for giving me the privilege of being Your daughter. Help me to remain faithful and anchored in the Hope that is my salvation. And help me to have a heart like Yours. Keep teaching me how to love the unlovable. Keep me mindful that it is not all about me.





Duh, winning.

28 05 2012

God has allowed me a good chunk of time off of work but I am beginning to get antsy after being home for 6 weeks. Usually I am good for 3 or 4 weeks of idle time to get caught up on rest and to re-connect with my family and friends.

My good friends and next door neighbors, the McCoys, are more like family than neighbors. We manage to stay pretty connected on a daily basis.

It has been interesting to me that,  my friends who I thought would be closest to me during this time have been busy with their own stuff. I don’t say this in a complaining way at all. A lot has been going on in their lives and I have kept myself quite busy too with work and with travel. I am secure in the knowledge that my friends love me and care about me and I am quite certain that God has ordained it to be this way so that I can not become over dependent on them. It is humbling to know how vulnerable I am in this area. The fact of the matter is, no one on this earth can bear the weight of all of me all the time. I am a lot!

If you had asked me, I would have told you that I know how to lean on God for all my needs. Probably even quoted 1 Peter 5:6&7 to you. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.” I would have emphasized it just that way too.

Well, I am learning there is more to that portion of scripture. It is followed by an admonishment; Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  

It’s one thing to know the words, quite another to apply the truth in those words when the world comes crashing in on your party. Since Ed passed, I have had to pay attention to an old nemesis  of  mine. Depression. My adversary would love use depression to destroy me. BUT GOD has made sure that I am aware. I am sober and vigilant, resisting and rebuking depression every single day.

While my ego would like me to think I am unique in the pain of grieving, I am assured that what I am experiencing is normal. “The same sufferings are experienced by my brotherhood in the world”. Ha! How ordinary of me.

And wait! There is more to this scripture. (I am beginning to feel like an info-mercial announcer.) “BUT, may the God of all grace. who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.”

Bam! There it is. The hope.

While I am learning how to live without my soul mate, I am learning how to really trust God. And after I have suffered a while… (are we there yet, Jesus?)

I am being perfected, established, strengthened and settled. It is happening. It is the process. No matter what I am feeling, if I will just put one foot in front of the other and walk this walk, I will find myself in the winner’s circle. And who doesn’t want to be, duh, winning?





He is with me

14 06 2011

Ed was such a fighter. As many trips to the hospital ER as we had taken, he always rallied and came home. Sometimes after a day or two , but he always came home. We began to call him the energizer bunny because he kept going and going. If you are old enough to remember a certain commercial about a Timex watch, you can repeat this with me… “Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin.” I guess that slogan doesn’t translate well in this age of digital time pieces but Ed felt that it still applied to him.

It took some time for us to come to grips with the seriousness of Ed’s illness. We vacillated between acceptance and denial. After one of our discussions on what Ed would like for his final arrangements, I heard this song by Mandisa while driving in my Toyota. The words struck me deep with a measure of acceptance and encouragement, reminding me where Ed and I would get the strength to walk this journey ahead of us. When I got home, I went to iTunes and down loaded it, then I played it for Ed. Together we listened to this song about 4 times in a row that first day. Whenever we would ride someplace in the car he asked me to play that song. Then he asked me to sing with the song. Then he would ask me just to sing the song to him. Ed always loved to hear me sing. I always loved singing to him. I sang to him at our wedding reception and just never stopped. He was my biggest fan and always my greatest supporter.

I was blessed by my friends, Becky and David, to be able to make a recording of me singing “He is With You.” It was a gift to My Love for our 28th wedding anniversary. (thank you again guys) I had no way of knowing at that time that Ed would request that recording to be played at his memorial service. Many of the folks there were under the impression that I wrote the song but I cannot take the credit for that. The words were so fitting that it was easy to sing it straight from my heart.

Today, I am struck with the irony that I sang a love song to my Eddie on the day that we entered into our covenant and I sang to him again as we fulfilled our vows, “… until death us do part.” He has been with us. Jesus Himself promised that He would never leave me or forsake me. That word never  means NEVER. He is with me until death overtakes me. My work here is not finished, my time has not come. But when it does, I will be ready to rest in the arms of My Savior and let Him take me home. Until that time, I know He is with me.





In spite of

22 11 2010

The Lord is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works. Psalm 45:9

The AA twelve step book says that recovering alcoholics need to take inventory of our day. It must be a common thing among alcoholics to have the urge to focus on the negatives of the day because the tenth step reminds us that, “… inventory taking is not always done in red ink. It is a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right.”

Taking an honest look at my behavior in the day, I am not always happy with what I see. It is easy for me to judge myself harshly and fall into a funk. I must remember that I am just an ordinary person with ordinary short comings and failings.  I must accept the fact that I am not the best of the best nor am I the worst of the worst.

Today, I have done some things wrong. I admit my wrongs and ask God to help me do better tomorrow. If I can do something to make them right, I will do it.

Today, I have done some things right. I thank God for these things.

Now, I leave it all, the good and the not so good, in His capable hands. That is the hard part for me. Do not hash it all over. Leave it. Do not carry it into tomorrow. Leave it. Trust that God can and will handle it all.

I am grateful that God blesses me in spite of my short comings and failings. He looks upon the heart and sees beyond the actions.

Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit in me. Amen