Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Challenge

Are you ready for a challenge? Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to lay a request before God. The more ‘impossible’ the request, the better. Small request indicate you have a limited view of God. Now, your request must align with Scripture. Winning the lottery is not consistent with God’s character. Asking for financial resources to meet your needs is (*see Prov. 30:8,9). Resist details such as telling God how your prayer can be answered. Remember, His thoughts are higher than ours ( Isa. 55:9). Let me give you an example: Yesterday, I prayed for God to change my heart and feelings for someone. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I knew my feelings for this person was interfering with God’s will for my life. I told Jesus I wanted Him to resume first place in my life and remove any/everyone that takes my eyes off of Him. When I put my head on the pillow to sleep last night, I could not believe what a transformation had taken place. As I tried figuring out how it happened, Jesus interrupted my thoughts with a simple, “You’re welcome. You just have to ask instead of trying to follow me on your own.”
Matthew 11:19 – “… wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

Monday, February 25, 2008

Reason to Reason

I have a coworker who occasionally tries to stop smoking as evidenced by “Don’t Smoke” post it notes around her desk and in her car. For me, when I want to break a habit, I try not to think about anything related to the craving. Many times, I find God has removed my temptation when I trust Him enough to take care of the stronghold. Perhaps it is when I finally surrender, admitting I cannot stop the habit on my own, when my demonstration of faith and dependence on Christ takes over. Real danger comes when I minimize my weakness, ignore my conscience, and try fighting the battle myself. However, doesn’t God want us to let go of our sin once we sincerely repent? Just admit the wrongdoing, vow not to do it again and move on? I have trouble with that – maybe it is because I analyze everything (including why I analyze everything) and want to know why. Sure, the comfortable way would be to act as if it never happened. Like when I earned a bad grade in school and embarrassingly hid the paper without looking at what I did wrong. Is that learning? Is that growth? Isaiah 1:18 says, 18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. The Contemporary English Version says I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over…” I love that about God! He does not just give a list of “no’s”, He tells why the answer is “no”, (which always involves our best interest) and wants us to discuss our reasoning. He wants a relationship with us more than a dictatorship, sitting on His throne, telling us what to do and punishing us when we fail. He wants us… all of us – even the ‘why’s?”.

While I Am Moving...

Here's a site to check out until I resume blogging. I am in the final stages of moving - physically and mentally. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Something Else is Possible

At a recent family gathering, a cousin I hadn’t seen for approximately ten years asked why I thought his kids would make fun of me.
You grew up with me so you are use to my speech. Your kids won’t know why I talk funny…
His response was if they make fun of me, he will kick their .

This morning, I walked in on Deanna discussing an upcoming marathon with her coworker. The guy - who only knows me from my talking with Deanna- said something about the record for the 5 mile K is 14 minutes. I told him I ran it in 12:27 minutes.
Excitedly, he asked if I would be on his team. You’re joking, right? Do you really believe I can run 5 miles? Poor guy was disappointed to learn I was teasing him.

As I sit to do some serious writing, I think of an email I received from a friend, responding to my anxiety over writing:

You have given yourself to HIM as a "living sacrifice" - may HE use you as He wishes for His Glory. Be assured of our love and prayers as you abide in HIM (Proverbs 3:5,6).

How do we form our perceived reality? Why do we limit ourselves and others by our refusal to believe something else is possible? As my friend’s email reminded me, our efforts may be our own, but the ultimate outcome is His. He works through us. Whether we succeed or fail, it is not us… it is God working through us.

His ultimate will happens regardless of our ability to write or if someone makes fun of our disability. When will we learn to blanket ourselves in the fact God is in control?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. – Prov. 3:5,6

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Writing, Life, and Cement

One of my biggest regrets has been I have not done more with my writing. Failing to write has never been a problem, rather it has been doing something productive with my writing.

This morning, as I meditate on Psalm 116, I realize I have done something very productive with my writing… I have used it to strengthen my faith. Truly, my writing has saved my life as I reflect on the deep pit I was in even 4 months ago as compared to my present state.

When someone comes to your rescue in your deepest despair, you don’t forget that as it cements a bond between the two of you that can never be broken. One example in my life was a couple of years ago when my cat, Seminole passed away late one night. Pam was by my side not only that night, but many months following as I cried out of the deepest pain I have ever experienced. Unfortunately, I don’t see Pam that much anymore because life gets in the way yet my love for her has never faded. She will always be one of the most important people in my life.

On a broader sense, reflecting on my writing from 3-4 months ago, the deep pain I experienced strengthened my connection with Jesus. He has carried me through numerous depressions where I have literally fought him with my life. Anyone looking at me now would never believe how close I was to giving up. Even I forget how much I wanted to die. They say suicide is selfish… I was at the point where I felt my loved one’s were selfish for not respecting my (perceived) need to surrender. The enemy had me convinced if my friends truly loved me, they would allow me to ‘let go’. But they didn’t let go; and Jesus never let me go.

My writing reminds me of all this and more. I wouldn’t believe my experiences with hopelessness and desperation if it wasn’t written in my own penmanship. Yes, I have done something productive with my writing. It has been the vessel in which my life glorifies God…including giving me the life to continue glorifying him.


*from the New Living translation Psalm 116
1 I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. 2 Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath! 3 Death had its hands around my throat; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: "Please, LORD, save me!" 5 How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! 6 The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and then he saved me. 7 Now I can rest again, for the LORD has been so good to me. 8 He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. 9 And so I walk in the LORD's presence as I live here on earth!

10 I believed in you, so I prayed, "I am deeply troubled, LORD." 11 In my anxiety I cried out to you, "These people are all liars!" 12 What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me? 13 I will lift up a cup symbolizing his salvation; I will praise the LORD's name for saving me. 14 I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all his people. 15 The LORD's loved ones are precious to him; it grieves him when they die.

Monday, February 4, 2008

How To's

Skeptics have commented people are using the Bible as a 'how to' book with issues such as money management and diet. They are saying Jesus did not intend for the Bible to be used this way.

Personally, my Bible is not only my 'how to' guide on ALL issues, it is my source of courage, comfort and strength. What the skeptics are missing is the teaching of the Holy Spirit who speaks through the Living Word. God gives us brains and discernment to be put to use... along with the Bible.

Here's a great site to help get you started in finding answers to your "how to's".

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ignorance Ignited

The following excerpt was on Kansas.com:


Is it right to abort the retarded? They must suffer greatly, as must their parents, siblings and others who must care for them. Indeed, such care is costly to the family and, in many cases, the taxpayers.

There is no doubt that mental disabilities can and do cause suffering, not only to people with them but to those around them. But if you have a child with any type of severe disability, chances are you will feel a special commitment for life.

When mothers learn they are carrying a child with Down syndrome, 85 percent of them opt for abortion. In doing so, they are searching for that perfect infant who will grow up strong and healthy. But those with mental disabilities often give love that is sweet and pure. Their gifts are harder to see but no less valuable.

I'm not sure you can detect whether someone is blind or deaf before birth, but even if you could, such disabilities are not tragedies. (In my view no disability in itself is a tragedy; tragedies spring from reactions to disabilities.) People who are blind and deaf have many ways to cope. Indeed, many Americans who are deaf and use American Sign Language don't view themselves as disabled. They believe they are a cultural group. So to abort the deaf, if you could, could be seen as a form of ethnic cleansing


Responses included why would anyone intentionally bring a baby with disabilities into the world?

WHO told these people life was suppose to be easy? Do they duck out of responsibilities every time their 'world' breaks? How can anyone make such a monumental decision (whether to abort) on 'man's' discovery that a baby is not as it should be? Maybe if I was not a Christian, I would feel differently... for now, I thank God my mother wasn't too cowardly to face a challenge. Also, I hope the spouses & family members of such narrow-minded, abortion-trigger-happy people stay absolutely perfect or else they will be kicked to the curb as well.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dear Parents of Kids with Disabilities;

Please do not describe your child as a monster. I am sure the father's intent on this podcast is not meant to be hurtful but it is. I don't even know you and it hurt me. I know you did not ask for my opinion, yet you are wanting to help other parents of kids with disabilities. Think twice about saying things like 'my wife hid in the attic to get away from him' and how distorted his face is. Also, don't attribute every disorder to cerebral palsy... you described Matt's behavior changing including violence and short-term memory loss happening around age 18. Just because he has C.P. doesn't mean he cannot have secondary conditions. Be careful, be open, and thank you for sharing your story.