LOOSING MYSELF

Every day people go missing. I don’t know which is sadder, the young, the old or the in- between. But they all have one thing in common…they are lost. Some come home and some don’t. Some recover but many never do. The scars and pain will never completely heal.

I find myself feeling lost sometimes, not as horrible as the mentioned above instances but bad enough to cause me to doubt everything. My job, my ministry, my faith and even my life. But like the above, there is a hope that is always found in Christ Jesus.

I am comforted knowing that Jesus never leaves me.

Hebrews 13:5  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I am comforted knowing that Jesus Cares for me.

1 Peter 3:6-7 Therefore 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 am comforted knowing that in Jesus, I am redeemed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 

Being content and comfortable with our life is a gift of Christian maturity. It isn’t something we are born with and it takes many years of seeking God first to attain.

When you reach a point in your life where you can stop in the midst of chaos, look up,  and give it all to God…then you know you are getting closer and closer to being able to honestly relax and give up the control you don’t really have anyway.

Finally, I am comforted knowing that Jesus is painting beauty with the ashes of my life. (Reference from Casting Crowns, Just be Held lyrics)

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

So many times I forget all of this. It is so easy to get lost in the chaos and wallow like the pigs being content with misery and not being able to see through the fog that evil creates. But we cannot loose sight of the One who controls the universe and everything in it.

Thank you Jesus!

 

 

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A Voice in my Ear

I was lying in bed, had just turned over, when I hear a voice in my ear. I say it was in my ear because it didn’t sound as if it were coming from somewhere in the room. If I were anywhere else I would have though someone had just literally whispered in my ear. I could almost feel his breath on my skin. It was so real I was startled. I had been facing the wall and rolled over to see what was going on.  No one was there, of course, but it seemed so incredibly real.

I had never heard that voice before, which is part of why I was startled, not to mention no one in my house has that voice. But more than that was what he said. It was two small words I detest whenever I hear them together. I turn off TV when I hear it, even if it is the last 10 minutes.

He simply said “G…D…”!

I cried and prayed and begged for God to take whatever this is away from me and to never allow me to experience that ever again. It took me a while to fall asleep after that but I felt God’s peace and  I did sleep well.

I guess the devil has been trying to push my buttons lately because I feel myself inching ever closer to God. It won’t work and he will loose in the end but he is compelled to keep trying. He doesn’t realize my armor is promised in Ephesians 6 and comes from God Himself.

Thank you Father for loving me enough to protect me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Everyone hears their name from time to time. Not sure why but I have spoken to people many times who thought they were crazy. It could be a thought in their head or even a God thing. Please share if you have ever heard anything that startled you or delighted you?

Stay safe and God bless!

 

Inquiring minds want to know…

My son is a firefighter. He’s also a wonderful father and a terrific husband. He was raised in a Christian home and has strong Christian values.

Recently he provided CPR to a young girl which helped to save her life. At the awards banquet that same year, although he was not anticipating the lifesaving award; he was surprised however to learn that the responders, who were canceled in transit received the award. They never laid eyes on that scene let alone lay hands on her. 

I guess when you are the chief’s favorite crew, it doesn’t matter what is real and what isn’t. 

Erasing History

I was shocked a few years ago when I heard the schools were not teaching the Holocost anymore. It took me a while to realize they were trying to erase history. If you deny something long and hard enough, then it isn’t true. At least that is what they think. Sadly, it is working. Most college students don’t know who the presidents were or the accomplishments they made, let alone that the Civil War was started because of taxes and not because of slavery.

Now they are not teaching certain aspects of all of the wars. I guess they don’t want people to know how deadly and bloody they were. Plus they are trying to remove the Southern monuments. I know, the Civil War is still controversial but removing the monuments will not change history. It will only remove that history for future generations to learn from.

So why don’t people who want the monuments to stay have the same say to keep them? Why is that decision so one sided? Is there more going on that I just don’t see? Why are they afraid of the truth?!

I agree some things need to change for the better, but some things need to be left alone.

 

My Heritage and Breaking the Cycle of Racism

via Photo Challenge: Heritage

I grew up in a small southern town where the black population lived on the opposite side of the main highway that went through the center of our town. We are famous for the bombing murder of civil rights activist Harry T. Moore and his wife. Mr. Moore had called for the suspension of Groveland County Sheriff McCall because of the abuse suffered by the Groveland 4 (four young black men falsely accused of rape and assault).

“Six weeks later on Christmas night, 1951, a bomb went off beneath the house of Moore and his wife in Mims, Florida. It was the Moore’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. They were fatally injured: Moore died on the way to the hospital and his wife died from her injuries nine days later at the hospital in Sanford.” Courtesy of Wiki.

This memorial park is situated on the very land where the Moore’s lived and died. It is a beautiful place nestled of 11+ acres of large oak trees and lush vegetation. The vision statement on their website says it all. “To develop a national civil rights resource and tourist center incorporating the latest technology and information management systems. To form cooperative working relationships with academic, corporate and cultural institutions throughout the nation and the world to link the historical trail of the early civil rights pioneers and their effect on communities both large and small.”

I don’t believe in the division that this country had and continues to have. I’m not sure who is profiting from it but I do know that it is wrong and grossly unnecessary in this day and age. If our schools would stop teaching the lie that the civil war was all about keeping slavery, and tell the truth that it was because the government couldn’t tax those slaves; then maybe the next generation would be able to stop all of this horrible hate.

Some day…

Time…

We hear all kinds of sayings about time like “time flies” or “just give it some time” and countless others. But have you ever just sat and watched a clock tick away time? I recently wanted to see what it was like to do just that. I had a little bit of time, pun intended, and sat in my quiet room and just stared at the clock. I could only do it for 3 minutes and 21 seconds. It reminded me of the days of my youth when I was practicing holding my breath for a swimming lesson.

While I sat there watching the hands of the old clock, a lot of memories ran through my mind. From childhood thru college thru the milestones and strides my children have made with their families. I started to realize that this time, we take for granted, is more precious than any rare diamond.

Time does fly by whether we are starring at a clock or going on with our daily lives. Although it does seem to fly faster when we are not paying attention to it. We cannot get time back once it has gone by. There is no rewind or do-over button for time. So how do we make the most of it?

Don’t leave anyone behind. If you have a loved one you haven’t connected with in a while, give them a call. They are probably wondering what you are up to too.

Make the most of the time you have. Whether you are living with an illness or not, don’t take time for granted. Accidents happen everyday. And even if you escape an accident, the next one is just waiting to happen.

Put the keeper of time at the front of your life. Jesus will return, this is a fact. We don’t know when so we have to be ready. Take that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Make that 15,000 foot sky dive jump. Volunteer at a hospital or assisted living facility. Tell people about Jesus while there is still time.

Once we get to Heaven, this time that is so precious now, will be replaced by the Son of the living God. Where time with Him will be glorious and forever.

God bless and stay safe!

The Deterioration of Society

Maybe my title is a little strong but that is how I felt when this happened. My job, which I love, consists of talking to people of all walks of life. Some are homespun Americans while others have moved here from other countries. They all have one thing in common, they need my help.

There are three kinds of callers I receive. The ones who know what they want and are quick to get to the point, get their business done and move on with their day. The ones who have never moved before and need help with every aspect of their adventure. Then the ones who are angry and don’t want to deal with moving but have no choice. Fortunately most people are gracious and appreciate the help I am able to provide. Unfortunately, there are some who hate me before I even say “Hello”.

I was called the other day by a lady who was setting up a move for her mother. In the background I heard a woman who sounded like she might have been in her thirties screaming at a toddler. She was using four-letter words and demeaning language to this innocent young child. I was shocked, although I’m not sure why. These children have and will continue to carry on the legacies of their families and those behaviors. I instantly cried out to God for mercy for the child and for the women to soon see the harm this behavior is doing to the children they claim to love.

I’m not asking that everyone be “religious” and walk around being a Jesus freak like me. I just want our communities to grow up with respect and love from their families. If they don’t learn it at home, how will they learn it in this world?

 

 

Finding the Authentic Church and Why it is Important – Part Four

This is the final post in my series on the original church of the New Testament. I never imagined a simple essay for my theology class would spark such ferver and passion. While I hope these posts help bring on new understanding, I would be nieve to think it wouldn’t bring on new questions and even conflicts. My hope is that you are walking alongside the Holy Spirit on your daily journey.

To wrap up…The original church did not require anyone to “join” or be “voted” into it’s membership. Obeying the Gospel of the New Testament automatically made them members of the church. Several passages of Scripture reflect this truth as follows:

John 3:5, “Jesus answered, “’Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'” 

Romans 6:3, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Acts 2:47, “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

Acts 8:35-40, “‘Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.  Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”

Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.'”

Next, the original church was organized with men leading as elders, deacons and evangelists. This rightly starts with Jesus being the only head of the church as stated in  Ephesians 4:15; 5:23 and Colassians 1:18. Jesus delegated authority to others as stated in Matthew 28;19-20, Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Corinthians 15:8. They then exercised government through their written documents collected in the New Testament as stated in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:3.

Each local church was autonomous – no higher body of men legislating over it as found in Titus 1:5. This means no board of directors, no conference, no  synod, no pope etc., can govern His church.  These leaders/elders cannot make laws for God or His church, they can only implement them.

To qualify as an elder of His church, one must be the husband of one wife as stated in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They can be divorced or Scripture would have said so since divorce was discussed in Scripture. This also means only men can be leaders and pastors. Scripture does not say “the wife of one husband”! Scripture was very specific. We cannot add to it or take away from it or it falls into the false teaching category.

The original church wore the name of Christ and it’s members were called Christians. The following Scriptures reflect this fact: Romans 16:16, Ephesians 3:15, Colassians 1:18, Ephesians 1:23, Romans 7:4, Revelation 21:9, Acts 20:28, Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, 1 Peter 4:16, John 15:8, Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians1:2, Philippians 1:1, Luke 8:21, Galatians 3:26; 6:1, 1 John 2:1 and Acts 4:12.

One final note about leadership in the church. There is no place in the leadership of a church for anyone who has chosen to alter the biblical definition of birth gender. Choosing to live and behave contrary to Scripture is a sin. 1 Corinthians 6:8-10 states, “No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” One side note, this doesn’t mean you can’t drink beer or liquer. Remember, even Jesus celebrated with wine. It just means you should not get drunk.

Well, that’s it. My quest for finding the qualifications for the original church of the New Testament is complete. Now for the search of the church that closest follows these qualifications. I have eliminated more than I have left to explore. Unfortunately the list is short so I should be able to finish by the end of February. I would love the opportunity to discuss my findings with them. If I should have the opportunity to do so, I will surely include those discussions when I report back in February.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone. That is not my intention. Being right is not my goal in life. I felt moved to find the truth in scripture then act on it. These are the findings I have come to believe based on my research. As always, if you disagree, please by all means let me know why. I research because I want to do things God’s way and not mine or anyone elses.

Stay safe and God bless!

 

2017 and Fibromyalgia

I’ve been reading and listening to people tell me for years that to combat my symptoms I need to “move” more. Well, I decided to prove them wrong. I joined a gym for my Christmas present and started my new year, new me…lol.

This actually started a few months back when my sister said she would do something with me, if I’d do something with her. I’m not afraid of much but for some reason neither one of us can remember what it was I was going to do with her. So, we and a friend of ours did a tree trek together. Yes, with zip lines and walking on wires up in the tree tops. It was amazing! I had so much fun. I wasn’t sure I could do it but I was determined to give it a try. This helped to motivate me to give the gym a try.

On the first day I was optomistic. Start slow and don’t over do it. I worked my arms, back and legs. The tread mill was looming in the distance. I love to walk but the machine is very intimidating because I know that at certain settings and speeds, it can get the best of me. But I walked for 30 minutes, burned 100 calories and still felt optimistic.

Day two…not so much. I was pushing. I am sick of pushing. It is something I do everyday of my life just to get out of bed and attempt to function. I just want to exist at this point. But I didn’t give up. I worked out and walked my mile then I went home and took a nap.

It has been about 10 visits now. I’ve up’d my weights twice, again trying not to over do it. I’m walking with an incline which burns more calories and works the muscles harder. I can’t say I’m having fun but I have to admit I was not able to prove them wrong, yet. My good days seem to be better and I have only had four bad days in a month, which is down from my average of 14.

Try something different. It just might be the best thing ever.

Stay safe and God bless…

Walking a Thin Line

My rededication to Jesus Christ was a very dramatic event encircled by even more family drama. Recently I’ve been struggling with truth. The more I study and learn the truth, the more I see false teachers in our midst. My question is…since Scripture commands we spread the Gospel in truth, not adding to it nor taking away from it; How do we handle hearing first hand, someone who is preaching false teaching?

Since I moved back home a few years ago, I have been attending the church my parents were invited to many many years ago. They never found a reason to leave. Which on the surface is great since satan is constantly looking for ways to divide us. But deeper down I wonder if that is enough. I won’t reveal the denomination only because I don’t want to offend anyone.

Last night during the Christmas Eve service, Preacher mentioned a little baby who was only 8 days old the same night last year, when his family brought him forward to be Baptized. I cringed and hung my head. This isn’t biblical. This isn’t what Jesus wants. This isn’t how He intended it to be yet throughout the world this false teaching is spreading like wildfire.

My first instinct was to jump up and say “That isn’t how any of this works.” But I sat there praying for the child hoping sometime in his future that Jesus will grab him and set him on the right path. I then felt guilty for not being able to say anything. Not being able to jump in and set things straight. Not being able to let everyone know that if this is what you did when you were a child, you need to fix it because it wasn’t the way Jesus wants it to be.

I have already resolved myself to looking for a new church. I have researched almost every one in town to see which one proclaims the true Gospel of Christ. This was also prompted by my previous four part blog on Finding the Authentic Church. Here, I sent out 25 questionaires to local churches asking general practices from forms of worship to theological beliefs. Unfortunately I only received two back. Neither of which meet the New Testament church definition. I am happy to report that I have found one church that proclaims the true Gospel of Christ and operates as described in Acts 2. I plan on attending for the first time on New Years morning. My prayer is that I focus more on the journey than the destination. Only because I know God is up to something and he will use this journey to teach me. My hope is that I learn tolerance for people who make bad choices. Walking that thin line is exhausting because I feel responsible to say something. I pray for them everyday.

God Bless, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Loss of a Loved One

She glides across the floor like water on glass. She is adorned from head to toe dressed to the nines. She is eloquent, elegant and a most pleasant soul to know and be loved by. She is Cousin Janie. I remember her from my childhood when we visited my mother’s relatives in West Virginia. There, she would dance the night away from waltzes to line dancing and everything in between. Back then it seemed like we saw them more often. But as we grew older that time seemed to be few and far between. Funny how life gets in the way of life.

I had the pleasure recently of taking my granddaughter to see her along with my family. While she still looked like a million, she was much much older and not so fluent. She complained a little about her health but was still the majestic and sweet soul she always was. She was alone now. Had experienced the death of family and friends like we all have but you could see the loneliness in her eyes. You could hear it in her voice. Her loving soul was lonley for the old days when times were more familiar and her loved ones lived close by. I didn’t get to see her as often as I would have loved to and I neglected to call her as often as I should have. That I truely regret.

She died silently. Not allowing anyone to visit. Not allowing anyone to see her being less than the elegant soul she had always been. At first I was angry. I would have loved to spend time with her and listen to her stories about the good ole days. To comfort her and guide her into the arms of Jesus. Then I found out she was in the town next to us all along. Her daughter had brought her down out of the bad winters so she could take care of her. She was just a few miles away and I didn’t even know it. I didn’t know she was dying. I didn’t know I could have spent time with her. A part of me feels empty. But then I realized it was selfish of me to think this way. Her death was no more about me than her life was. She lived the way she wanted and she died the way she wanted. She didn’t love me any less in the process.

I will miss her!