Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 335- Happiness in the Chaos

Day 335, I was presented with the concept of order and context.  The order and context I am referencing is the “Order” of my daily ramblings or in other words writings.  It was brought to my attention that I should organize and put in context my daily writing in order to provide a more cohesive format to my writing-

My response to this  was …  “Sure, I suppose I could put my writings in order or some context that will provide a sense of continuity to the flow of my daily ramblings, but why?

Would it be so that my writings can make a more organized statement to the individual reading it, or would it be so that my thoughts and feelings can formulate a more precise literary rendering?

The response I received was, “Well, yeah.”

I could not help but laugh and then giggle not at the person; moreover, at the thought of a deeper concept that the organization or cohesiveness of my so-called ramblings. 
Then I simply stated, “let me ask you this … are your days prearranged in a particular order to make more sense to you and others in your life?”  —“Are your feelings categorized by the day?”  —“Can you organize the events that transpire within a single day?”  –

“Wait do not answer that.”

Matthew 6:34
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I can assure you I for one cannot.  I cannot strategically organize my feelings any more than I can rearrange the sequence of events in my life.  Yesterday will never be the same as today and I have no control of tomorrow, so why would I “Organize” my writings to reflect otherwise.

The events in my life change daily as each day falls away.  I encounter a new set of events and emotions at the onset of each new day.  This reason alone is why I leave my writings as they are and in the order in which they are written.

I cannot say I know one person who can honestly say every single day of their life is the same as yesterday.

Therefore, for now I will stay real in presenting the days as they come and hope that the person who is led to read my writings, (order or not) can see that life happens, we do not plan for it nor are we in control of it, it simply happens.  To help just one person to understand that he/she is not in control of the order in which we experience the events or emotions of our daily life; here in and of itself to me is the value.  

Moreover, no matter how diverse we are one from another we all still feel and experience emotions.  Now, maintaining happiness though the roller coaster of emotions is different for each one of us, yet obtainable if we seek it.

Matthew 7:7 (NIV, 2011).
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

For me, it is the application of biblical scripture coupled with God’s unconditional love, which enables me to feel and experience happiness.

            Psalm 16:11 (KJV, 2011).
            “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy;
  At Your right hand are  pleasures forevermore.”

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 336- Draw Near

Day 336, was an interesting day as I sat at the dining-room table with my 19-year-old son.  The topic of conversation was, “How can Jesus, be God?”  Is Jesus God and if Jesus is God why when he was on the cross did he cry out to God with the following words-

Matthew 27:46 (KJV)

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

To have my son ask such a strong question left me awe-struck.  I attempted to answer his question with the knowledge that I had at the time; however, the more I tried to answer him with reason and logic the more confused I made him.  Therefore, I stopped and explained to him that I also have asked this question and with prayer, instruction, and faith the question I had initially asked became answered.

I found through examining and understanding the correlation of the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament fulfillments of the prophecies the easier the questions became to understand.

As a Christian, we should become very familiar with what the Bible shares with us pertaining to questions such as my son asked me and pertaining to Prophecy and Fulfillment of Prophecy.  The reason behind the understanding is so we as Christians do not become a stumbling block to others who may be seeking God.

For example the question my son asked me left me initially tongue-tied and uncertain of how to answer his question.  Then God shared with me that not so long ago I had read and studied the answers to this particular question and if whenever we seek answers we shall receive them.

So, why did the answer elude me at the time I need it the most?  The answer is very simple … I had not continued to utilize the tools God had provided for me and therefore, I struggled for a moment trying to recapture what God had showed me.

We as Christians have to stay near to God so that He stays near to us, especially when people are sent to us for answers.

The Bible reads-

James 4:8 (KJV)

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

We in accordance with God’s Word NEED to stay near to God, so we will not become double minded.  It is vitally important in the Christian daily walk, so when called upon we will have the answers asked to us pertaining to God, Jesus Christ, and Salvation.

When explaining to my son the reason for  Matthew 27:46,  when Jesus cried out to God, he was quoting a scripture in the Old Testament in order to fulfill the prophecy in Psalm 22:1-

Psalm 22:1 (KJV)

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”

The Bible is filled with internal consistency from Genesis through the completion of Revelation; however for one to see this one must read and study the Bible and seek an unveiling of our worldly eyes so that we can see from our spiritual eyes.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV)

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”- the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

Therefore, we may not know all the answers simply because we are seeking with our wrong eyes; however, if allow our Spirit to search for the answers we will not become awe-struck, or tongue-tied.  We will know what to say in the time we are to say it without becoming a stumbling block for another or causing doubt to take hold of a new believer.

Matthew 16:23 (NIV)

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Lord, I do not want to be cast aside due to human concerns, I want to have the mind and concerns of God; unveil my eyes Father so that I may walk along side of you and not be cast behind.

Amen

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 337- Door to Sin

Day 337, I sit and reflect on this past week happenings- The week was anything but ordinary and certainly a surprise.  I cannot say the surprise was a good surprise at the initial onset of the news; however, as I started to view the overall picture I am for certain God has some new plans for my life.

I wish I could say I knew/know what these plans are or that everything will be perfectly settling, but what I do know is all my faith and trust is in him.

My personal experience with God and abrupt life changes are usually always warranted.  I have known in my heart things needed to change and was not certain how “I” myself could bring these changes into action.  I struggled for the past two months wondering, questioning, praying, and worrying about how “I” could change my situation.  My first mistake was to think that “I” had the power or authority to change anything, especially other people in my immediate world.

Within, the last couple of months, I found myself in bed for six weeks, literally physically sick and weak.  Hm, an all too familiar cyclical pattern I have in my recent past found myself trapped.  Within these weeks of holding myself hostage to illness, I found I had some time to trace back when the torment had begun, when I opened the door to sin.

Yes, sin…

The sin I found staring back at me was (WORRY).  Yes (WORRY) …
Worry can disguise itself in many forms and manifest symptomatically (At least for me). 

Therefore, whenever God reveals sin in my life he also shows me how to overcome the specific sin.  The Bible reads-

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
Do Not Worry

   -“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, reap, or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

    “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”-

These scriptures were exactly what I needed.  There is not a Doctor in the World that could have given me the medicine to heal what was wrong with my spiritual being.  Sure, they can prescribe antibiotics, pain medicine and even a strong antidepressant, but really what does masking the problem solve.

Absolutely, NOTHING!

I feel it is time for many of us Christians to face the REAL hard truths concerning many of our emotional issues- (You fill in the blank)…

If we seek to know where we may have opened the door to sin allowing satin a foothold in our life God will show us.  With the truth we will find freedom and healing; however, the sad side of this is most would rather continue to be dependent upon a prescription; a person etc… instead of cast our burdens upon God, where they belong and take the daily prescription of Faith.

Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

Therefore, I will focus daily on my spiritual wellness and through prayer and petitions seek God to show me where I may be spiritually weak.  I will not worry about what I cannot change instead cast my concerns to the Lord.  For through trust, faith, and obedience to his word I will find spiritual healing and peace.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Amen-

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 338- Utilizing Gifts

Day 338, I was sitting at the table trying to write and I found myself looking into a void of nothingness.  I started to reflect on the reasons why this could be happening … in the past I have been able to open my tablet or computer and pull up a blank white sheet and see the words as I would began to write/type; however, not as of the last few weeks.

I nonchalantly verbalized my complaint not placing much thought into the words I spoke and the minute I uttered the words, a small young voice reflected back the following-

“Write about Jesus or something….”

These simple yet true words resounded from the voice of my eight-year-old son.

The simplicity of a child’s thoughts and the simple words from my child made me stop and think about what biblical scripture shares with us about innocence; moreover, the innocence of a child-

Matthew 21:16 (NIV, 2011)

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
 “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
  “From the lips of children and infants
   you, Lord, have called forth your praise”

Accountability set-in as I began to meditate on the words God spoke to me through my son…

“Write about Jesus or something.”

Were these simple words the reason I was not able to write? 

The Lord had called forth for me to praise him daily by writing about my daily life experiences and to share with others how the Lord helps me overcome adversity and trials through him.

Have I done this?

Have I utilized the gifts he had given me, or had I let them lay idle?

The answer is simple I had neglected the spiritual gift of writing the Lord had given me; therefore, when I attempted to write there was nothing (UNTIL) I turned back to him.

This is what he shared with me through my son and through his word-

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NIV)

- “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”-

We are all given spiritual gifts all we simply have to do is ask to receive them and when we receive them we need to utilize the gifts in every area of our lives.  We cannot take for granted what God has given us for he is trusting us to share with others His words, His love and His story through the various spiritual gifts we are given.

Therefore, Lord please guide and discipline me in being faithful with all that you have blessed me.  Help me not to take for granted any of the spiritual gifts you had gave me.  Discipline my ways and straighten my path so that I will be able to be a light in the darkness in this World.

Proverbs 3:6 (NIV)

“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 339-Conformity

Day 339; as I look around my surrounding and into the external environment, I notice the conformation of the World as well as individuals.  I start to think about the meaning of conformation and the more I think about it the more interesting the thoughts become, at least to me.

Every aspect of this life shares an element of conforming, for example take a look at the road systems and the amount of cars that traffic on it and through it on any given day.  Some may disagree and say this is just an example of change and progress and I would have to say I agree; however, still anyone using the transportation system would have to conform to the rules of the road, there could not be a rogue driver doing what they wanted as they wanted in the middle of the interstate.  This would create insurmountable chaos and possible injury to others; thus, a cause and effect has resulted in conformation (The act of conforming or the state of being conformed).

This example is just one of many and the topic in and of itself could become a book, which is not my intent.  My intent is simply the topic of conforming and how it affects each and every one of us, as we walk through our daily lives.  Conforming is not always easily visible and for the most part starts out very subtle and before we are even aware, we have been transformed and conformed.

Therefore, if we were to really take a look into our internal world and examine our lifestyles, living habits, and the way we go through our day I have a strong instinct we would be very surprised at what conformist we have become without even knowing we had.

Is this a good thing?

Perhaps…

Is this a bad thing?

Probably to some degree…

The next level of evaluation should then be- How does this make me me feel and how does this define who I am as an individual and or how does God see the act of conformation?

The scripture reads,

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV, 2011)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

This is not to say that conforming is ALWAYS bad, the scripture simply states “…renew your mind, “so not to just conform to what this world becomes; moreover, to what God wants us to become in this World.

Therefore, as the world progresses and changes on a daily bases and systems of conformation are set in place as a foundation for us to follow, do not just conform seek wisdom in change and within each season.  We are not to just be followers and or conformist instead we are to be unique individuals in Christ-

John 17:14-19 (NIV, 2011)

“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 340- Talking to God

Day 340, as time permits I will post past daily writings. Life as we all know it can consume most or all of our time; however, in the end it will all balance out.

James 5:13 (NIV, 2010)

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”

So, often we forget the most important fundamental guideline to happiness. In troubled times what do we do? Well, I can share from my own personal past experiences that when I had a bad day, or found myself in “Trouble,” I would reach for my phone and call everyone I knew. Starting at the top of my list with my Mom and if she did not answer sift through my list of contacts until I reached someone I could talk with.

The funny thing about this tactic, and I do not mean to imply “funny” as “ha-ha funny,” but funny in the definition of ironic funny, is more times than not no one ever picked up on the other end. So, many times I would set my phone down and wonder, “Why was it anytime I REALLY needed to talk to someone they were never available?” …

I believe I repeated this cycle for years, until finally the answer dawned on me; “I was reaching out in the wrong direction in times of trouble and in the times I most struggled.” Instead of reaching out to “PEOPLE,” I should have been reaching out to God. After all God is the one who saves us from the trouble or gives us the advice we need when we do not know what to do. Sure, others can share with us or even empathize with us about our current situation; however, they cannot fix it for us.

When looking back at those times and at the times when someone actually answered the phone I would have to say that even after I had talked with a person, when we would end the conversation and hang up the problem was still there. I did not receive a revelation of how to feel better or fix what was happening in my life; however, any time I would pray and seek guidance from God on a situation or even just for comfort I would receive it … and the best part, “He always answers the phone,” (so to speak).

So, now when I find I am in despair, trouble, or facing a trial I simply pray. I pour out my heart, my feelings, and even at times “ASK,” him to show me what to do, because one thing I do know is whatever he tells me or shows me will be the right thing.

Romans 8:26 (NIV, 2010)

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."

Therefore, now when I feel I need to talk to someone and I find myself reach for the phone I stop myself and wait. I fight off the initial impulsive reaction I displayed time and time again and instead begin to communicate with God. Sometimes it is in the form of a prayer and other times in the form of a conversation, just like I would have with a family member or friend. I now know all those times no one answered the phone was God’s way of showing me he wanted to talk to me and he did not want to use call waiting; He wanted me to call him.

James 5:16 (NIV, 2010)

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 341- God’s Love


Day 341, beauty in God and beauty in love. I was reintroduced to God’s love and the magnitude of his love through a friend’s insight and wisdom of the scripture. I would like to think God worked through this particular friend in answer to the questions I have asked for many years and again on “Day 342.” I would like to believe God had a message just for me that he wanted me to receive on the morning of “Day 341.” 

The scripture that melted my heart that was/is filled with pain from the relationships I have loved, lost and sometimes cannot escape-

Ephesians 3:18-

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”

His love is so powerful, that it is hard to "Fathom" in the natural world. It is so beautiful that beauty as we know it cannot compare. The depth of his love is beyond measure. My heart for God cannot expand enough to ever be completely filled...

I may not have had the relationships here in the natural world that my heart has longed for; however, I do have the love that my heart has longed for, and that is the relationship I have with God. 

Sometimes it is so easy to be lost in this natural world and consumed by all the hurt we have experienced, but if we stop looking to the physical senses, we may just see what God is telling us.

Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV, 2010)

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”

When we cry out for answers to God our cries are never not heard, they are heard- Just as when our child cries out to us,(their parents) we hear them and answer their cries; however, if we do not cry out how can God  know something hurting us? 

Do not be afraid to call out ...

Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV, 2010)

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
 he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
 and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

The world and the people “Of the World,” may crush our spirit; however, only for a moment. 

We may feel broken; however, just for a short while… for when we pull close to God we start to heal. We become whole and our heart expands and grows back EVEN bigger.

Therefore, when I hurt I will cry out, when I long for answers I will ask the questions. When I feel unloved by another, I will remember the Love you have for me. I will trust and know even in the moments of pain and despair I have a greater love, an unfathomable love that goes beyond this world and is eternal.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 342- Letting Go


 Day 342, I was left thinking about the people in my life past, present, and future.  I cannot say the thoughts I had started out positive; however, they are the thoughts that have been cyclical for many years of my life.  These thoughts had to do with leaving relationships that are not good, nor show signs of hope or change.

Subsequently, following the thoughts are a series of questions I have often found myself asking myself…  The questions perpetuated by not knowing when to end a relationship.  These questions do not come nonchalantly; in fact, the questions are at times consuming and emotionally draining very much like the relationships of mention. 

So, when do we know it is time to move on?  When do we know things are not going to change?  When do we really know we have tried all we can to salvage a relationship/friendship and it is time to sever all ties?

These are just a few of the questions that have been plaguing my heart and mind for some time.  In the past, I have easily walked away from relationships that have perpetually caused me hurt.  Then there were those relationships that no matter how much hurt had been inflicted on me, I stayed.  I knew they were not healthy and at times very dysfunctional, yet stayed. 

So, why did/do I stay? 

When do we say enough is enough?

What has to happen for one to have clarity and know what they are doing is the right thing, not just for themselves; moreover, for all involved?

First, let me start by stating the initial reason I have stayed in these types of relationships regardless of the relation personal, or friendship; Guilt.  The guilt that I had done something wrong or the guilt that I would be doing something wrong if I left the relationship.  The guilt brought about by other outside influences, which came in a myriad of forms.  

Followed by the guilt I felt when I heard the statements-, “You have to forgive,” … “What would God do,”…, or “How do you think God would feel about YOU walking away from (Name Goes Here) … “ or, “How can You call yourself a Christian and not care?”

Essentially, there was so much guilt that I remained trapped trying to figure out what to do.  I was so consumed with doing what was right in everyone's eyes I did not see what the relationship(s) were doing to me.

Aside from the guilt that evoked me to be imprisoned, I struggled with myself … Myself-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.  I thought maybe that it was me; maybe there was something I could do to change, that would fix the relationship, and this continued/continues in my life to a certain degree on a continuum. 

The cyclical pattern …

As a result, as in all things I turned to God and asked/ask the questions I was/am seeking answers to as in, “God when is it time to let go?” …  “Father even though I chose this relationship/friendship, does that mean I have to stay in it even though it hurts?”  ...  “God is it OK to allow a person to devalue, verbally/physically hurt, or emotionally be void in a relationship?” …  “God is it Ok to let go and walk away from a person who harms me?”  These questions and many more I have asked God on many occasions, because in all honesty I did/do not know the answers.  I did not know what God wanted me to do.  I had read the Bible and the scriptures on relationships and everything I had read stated, “To stay,” … “To forgive,” and or “That I could not walk away,” so what was I to do… 

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV, 2010)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I could/cannot not see my God saying I had to stay and allow another person to hurt me.  He/she did not hold more value than I. God created us ALL in his image and we ALL are equally loved by him regardless!  He sent his Son to die on the cross not just for others, however, for me as well, so why did/do I allow another to treat me as if I am less than they are? Although, I am still unsure one thing I do know for certain and that is-

Psalm 18:47-48 (NIV, 2010)
He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.”

Therefore, I may struggle with this issue and may not have all the answers yet to help me overcome years of worldly programming; I will continue to seek the answers God has for me when it comes to relationships friendship and other.  I will continue to work on me so God can work on others.  I will continue to forgive; however, KNOW I have value and I am valued. Knowing we are of value allows others to see the value in us. 

You are valued, allow yourself to be valued.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 343, 344- His Temple

Day 343, 344, sickness. Interesting how sickness sneaks up on a person; one minute I am fine and the next I am not. It started with a slight irritating headache, which at first I thought was just from stress, but  from the mild headache I became weak and drained. Then, my right lower side started to ache, coupled with an achy tummy; then fatigue.

I have been drained, exhausted, and achy with a hovering headache all of which are not my cup of tea. Mom’s I am sure can relate when I say, “I  just do not have time to be sick,” nor do I have the luxury of being able to stay in bed and be taken care of, like what is needed to expedite the recovery.

Nope, not us we have to forge-on through all the aches, pains, discomfort and sickness. 

Yes, I am whining in hopes to alleviate the pity party I am throwing for myself, which in time will pass also
.
The flip side to my being sick, (not that being sick is a positive) nonetheless, if I am sick I will look for the positive. During the last two-days, I have been shifting the way I think, feel, and believe in regards to my health. As I have mentioned in previous post I have struggled with reoccurring illnesses and bouts of health issues that has caused me to be in bed for days, weeks, and even months at a time.  As a result these last couple of days, although not as severe as some of the past episodes I have had, has caused me to really look at my physical lifestyle. 

In being honest with  myself I cannot say I have been a model figure to look to in gaining wisdom of how to care for our bodies (temples) God has given us; however, I am willing to step out in effort to change that. 

I have complained about my weight, my pant size, my health, and my physical well-being for as long as I can remember. Thus, when being honest with myself and evaluating why I am I find myself sick so often, I must simply assume the responsibility for not taking the absolute best care of myself as I know I can and or should have. 

No one can change my weight, my health, being tired, physically un-fit, or eat for me the way I should properly be eating. All of these things are within my reach I just have to want to grab onto “Health” physical, emotional, and spiritual with the desire to "WANT" to change. 

God shares with us that we are to care for ourselves in all areas of our life this including our bodies. He shares with us in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that, “[Our] bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in [us], whom [we] have received from God? [We] are not [our] own.” the scripture continues and reads, “[We] were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with [our] bodies” (NIV, 2011)

What kind of honor does God see from me when he looks at the temple that he has given me? Does he see reverence for the sacrificial love he has given and shown me, or does he see a person who has taken for granted and has become lackadaisical in her actions of caring for her body/temple? 

To be honest he would see a woman who has taken for granted the temple she has been given and in fact has become lazy in her actions in caring for herself.

Therefore, “…I [will] discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” 1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV). I will keep my spiritual life renewed in his word and I will honor God with the temple I have been given both spiritual and physical. I will walk each day holding reverence for the body he has given me taking care and responsibility for what is not mine, but his.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 345- Hospitality

Day 345, I was utterly exhausted. I found myself migrating towards my bedroom, several times this day and all times before 3PM. I finally surrendered to the exhaustion laying down in my bed, I nestled in, closed my eyes and let out a deep sigh. Finally, I did not care what had to be done or what the rest of the World wanted from me, I was in bed and I was going to get some rest. Ah, Sleep.

Not 5-minutes after I closed my eyes my phone rang; I ignored it … Then it rang again, so I picked it up to see if I could read the number on the caller ID  and what I read instead was “Unlisted,” so, OK back to closing my eyes. THEN, my phone alerted showing I had received a voicemail … so I checked it.  

I had forgot that just a week ago I had made plans with family members to get together the coming Saturday, and well, today was Saturday.  

The message stated, “Hey, we are on our way over.” 

My response,”Ugh!”

I was so tired, had not showered, cleaned my house, or bought groceries. How was I going to do all the things that needed done before they arrived in 30-minutes. How could I have forgot…?

Then I started to think about the last time I had seen my expected company, it had been some time. The last time that they came to visit was on their way out of town to attend our Aunts funeral. Not only did I feel selfish and silly for my initial response, I also felt horrible and ashamed.

I may not have showered, cleaned my house, or been prepared, however, not all that mattered. “ALL THAT,” was unimportant when I thought about what really was important … and that was/is my family and friends. 

Reflecting for a moment on what God shares with us about opening our homes and lives to others was a nice splash of cold water on the spirit-

1 Peter 4:9 (NIV, 2011)

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
I may not have been grumbling aloud, BUT before God spoke to me, I sure was grumbling internally.

Then I read-

and is well known for her good [DEEDS], such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

Now, in context this scripture references widows, which I am not; however the reason I believe I was drawn to it is because of the importance of hospitality and the DEEDS God speaks of throughout his word. (My interpretation only)

From what I was gathering through his words made me feel ashamed for my behavior even if it was internal. I believe how we think, act, and behave when we are not seen physically or spiritually show our hearts and character. 

I continued to read-

Titus 1:6-8 (NIV, 2011)

An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined”

There is some food-for-thought… 

Upon reflection of my attitude about opening my home to family or friends, I would have to say I have not been very hospitable. It is not that I do not enjoy visiting with them; it has always been that I never felt what I had to offer was good enough or clean enough. I always thought I had to be “Perfect” and everything had to be “Perfect.” This is not what I have learned through reading what God shares with us about hospitality. God does not care if the floors are cleaned, or the dishes are done, he does not care if we had showered, or are in our pajamas, or even if we cook a four-course meal, or serve hot dogs. All Gods wants us to do is to come together in love out of love in fellowship one with another.

Therefore, I work on correcting my attitude in the area of appearances and status and focus on being hospitable, even if it is the neighborhood kids looking to hang out, or relatives wanting to visit. Through our actions of opening our home, we are presented with the opportunity to show love and in showing love; we share God, because God is love. 

Also, let us not forget the hospitality God wants us to share with strangers-

Hebrews 13:2 (NIV, 2011)

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 346- Perseverance


Day 346, I was delighted to find out that my internet service was down and that I would not be able to post daily, nor complete my school assignments. 

Obviously, I am being a little facetious in my wording; however, after an hour and a half of speaking with several different representatives within this particular company I was told a work order had to be placed and my internet should be back online by Monday. Monday was just a couple of days away so,  I started to feel a little better about the situation. 

I have to admit even though some resolution was in place I was still upset as I had only just began this journey with the daily posts and school had just commenced. 

Thus, finding myself faced with an obstacle...

I am sure I am the only person in the World who has ever come to a roadblock in the path of life… right, NAH!

I began to think and the first thought that came to my mind was one instilled in my mind by my mom. She used to tell me, “When you surrender to God, or pray for a particular attribute such as patience, [or in my case perseverance] be aware that things will look as if they are going backwards before they appear to go  forward. You just have to persevere.” 

This certainly appeared to be a prime example as to what she had mentioned. 

Things looked as if they were going backwards, or more to the point had come to a halting stop as the momentum of the posts and schoolwork just ceased. I have to admit it probably would have been easy just to stop all together; however, I was not looking for easy I was looking to preserver. 

This made me turn to the scriptures and see what God wanted me to learn during this time…

First,

James 1:2-4 (NIV, 2011)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

 

I just love this scripture, to be complete, not lacking anything- I cannot even imagine, however if God said it, then it is so…

Then,

Galatians 6:9 (NIV, 2011)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NIV, 2011)

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

The result of not giving up … “God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” Enough said.

Therefore, no matter how easy it would be to give up I will not. I will walk through each day knowing I have a purpose. I will not let obstacles take me down or cease the work God is doing in me, through me, and for others … “And [I will]  know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, [and whom] have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 (NIV, 2011)

Amen!