Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blab it & Grab it!

"I'm about to lose my mind
you've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time...

doubt starting to creep in, everyday it's just so grey and black
Hope - I just need a ray of that...
and I don't know if I was awake or asleep
when I wrote this,"

I know I have my days when I can relate to every word of the song above... Those days when everything just seems to go wrong.  After a couple of things go wrong I just lose something, I start to doubt the day can even turn around and everything is tainted with the darkness of my expectance things are just going to keep going wrong... But I wonder if it's partially my mindset that stops the day from turning out for the good...

I'm not one of the "name it and claim it" types... Or as my pastor, Raymond Woodward, would so delicately put it "blab it and grab it!" haha!  But I definitely believe in some ways we get what we expect, not because our expectations change the people and world around us but it does change our outlook on the people and world around us.  It's sort of like when you buy that car you think is so unique in that color and the week after you drive it off the lot there are 5000 more just like it... It's not that everyone bought the same color and type of car as you did in the same week you bought it... You're just aware, you're outlook is different and you are paying attention to those cars as they pass by now.

My point is two fold, one portion is you need to change your outlook... Not that you are automatically going to become a "super smiler" or anything but maybe next time you're having one of those "bad days" and you catch yourself just expecting something bad to happen next you will be able to think yourself out of it... Even convince yourself that your day doesn't have to continue down the toilet drain.  And the second part, is just to remind you that things can change on a dime, your day can turn around in one second... Through God. 

God isn't your piggy bank and you shouldn't treat him as such... He's not a slave to run at your every request and He's not going to just give you everything you ask for. God is your father and He doesn't want one of those annoying, little, spoiled brat, tantrum throwing kids and let's face it, we all know those people who get everything handed to them on a silver platter have a hard time staying away from the "spoiled brat" attitude and actions. But as your father, God will help you grow and change your outlook through reminding you to keep your eyes and thoughts directed on the correct thing... HIM!

I suppose it comes down to trust, if you direct your outlook (or change from an "inlook" mentality of self-centeredness... Always looking at and caring about yourself... Which by the way can be just as much harmful when it's a pity party as when it is a puffed up opinion of self) to God and trust that He will look after you as He promises then you can look forward to when He's going to do next to support and help you! "Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good..." Genesis 50:20. Nothing and no one can change the good God has planned for you but He can change the evil planned against you to good!  "You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I'm about to burst with song; I can't keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can't thank you enough!" Psalm 30:10-12. I know that one is a bit extreem for what we're talking about here but that's kind of the point, if He can fix something extreem then why are we not already trusting in Him to take care of us!?

And just one more quote I saw on Twitter yesterday from Kirk Franklin (who we all know is pretty much in my top 5 favorite people of the world!) "my friend's little boy was in bad pain the other day. they took him to the doctor and he told them "he's going through growing pains" the pain was because of his growth..what more can I say..? REJOICE! God is taking you higher. and the pain is there to prove it!" If nothing else, bare the pain knowing it just means GROWTH and no one wants to be stuntted, growth is good!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yield = Stop?

I was reading a few tweets just before bedtime last night...And one of my friend's tweets started my mind racing. Charlotte tweeted "I don't remember ever reading that a yield sign and a stop sign had the same function. Weird."

It's so annoying to be stuck behind one of the people who treat a yield sign like a stop merging on the bridge or trying to get into a traffic circle... I mean really, don't wait for Christmas people, if there is no car close enough that their only choice would be to hit you or slam on the breaks and get whip-lash when you pull up to the yield just proceed!  A yield sign does not mean stop rather to watch carefully, assess the situation and if you're going to be safe then proceed on your marry little way!

Of course, those speed through a yield and take their chances with the car approximately 5 meters away speeding toward them at 70km/hr... I'm sure on some level they realize the yield sign is there for their safety but they just put their fate in the hands of the person driving toward them, ultimately expecting the person's breaks won't fail and trusting them to stop before they crash instead of following the sign and ensuring their safety through obedience.  How stupid is that, I mean seriously, risking their own life and the life of the other driver as well just for what? A three second savings on arrival time, smart... Risking not arriving at all in hopes you may be able to shave off a few seconds by not respecting safety provisions.

Comparing this to life in general, it's true, sometimes God gives us a yield sign and we have to make our own decision using his safety provisions... We shouldn't just rush ahead with no thought for the people we could destroy in our path.  Nor should we knock off the pedestrian crossing the road just to get on our way... We need to recognize and respect the guidelines and signs put in our path, it may cost us a bit of time to assess the situation ahead but we must resist the urge to run headlong into a dangerous path before taking into consideration all the possibilities of outcome and making yourself aware of dangers that may wait ahead...  But there are those people who treat a yield like a stop sign, they fear the worse and freeze in position, never going onto their destination and missing amazing opportunities along the journey.  How silly is that?  Just like the drivers too scared to proceed because that black speck they see in the distance could be a car coming these people see all the possibilities of failure and threat of damage these people  refuse to proceed at all.. The problem is, people can't follow you and get to their destination if you're not making any progress on your own journey... We must also realize that God is our protector and because we are to mature and grow in Christianity he allows us to make our own decisions to proceed, he may put a yield sign up in hopes you will stop but it's most likely just for us to proceed with caution, trusting he will take care of us along the way and being vigilant to continue safely on life's roadway...  He still wants you to get to your destination, He just wants to raise strong Christians who can stand and trust on their own instead of needing a traffic cop to point the way they should go and to determine when they must proceed... Don't hold your future back any longer, it's just a yield, there are places you must see and people you must touch that are meant to be either a blessing to you or to be blessed by you.  So yes, be aware of impending danger, be dutiful in making the decision to proceed but never don't allow fear to make a yield turn into a stop, proceed vigilantly.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Old Spice Man and Now Dairy Queen

Oh my goodness, I'm such a bad blogger lately!  Monday no real post from me (but I really did feel you all should read my cousin's blog and from what I hear it was enjoyed) and now it's getting late into the evening of the usual Blog Thursday and I am just starting to type! I'm sorry, I still love you all and I will try to do better for you :oP

Anyway... Have you all seen the latest Dairy Queen commercials! Ugh! They are so annoying... I'm always just left thinking who comes up with this and why do they think this will help sales!? Now, I realize I have no idea what their sales are or if they've actually increased after these commercials but really enough already, SO ANNOYING!

You'll be surprised to hear I actually got inspired to write a blog from the last DQ commercial I saw... You know, the air on is chest that spells out what he's saying one! haha!  Seriously though, I got thinking about their infamous line "GOOD ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH!" How that applies to me... Of course you know with me one thought triggers the next and I also thought about a couple of scriptures in Matthew 25 that say the exact same thing "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." I was thinking about how the one true goal of my life is to hear those words cross the lips of Jesus when He sees me standing before His throne... But He's not going to say those words just because I'm good... It's a two part quest we have to fulfill and yes, the "good" is part of it, you know, the making the right choices, doing good for people, living the life of a good person, doing something for the good of the Kingdom of God... But we cannot forget the "faithful!" Doing what's right continuously, making those right choices over and over even when the outcome seemed to fail in the past, choosing to do good things for people even when they don't appreciate it, living out and practicing what you believe without allowing bitterness and hypocrisy to creep in and not just doing a couple of good things for the Kingdom of God but committing every part of every action to do good for His Kingdom!

This Christian life isn't about "accepting Jesus as your savior" He is your saviour whether you choose to accept it or not, someone can give you a blood transfusion to save your life but if you won't allow the medical staff to proceed you will have not accepted their saving act they would have still been a saviour, you just refused your life to be saved.  This Christian life isn't about being good enough to deserve heaven, we can't be that good anyway.  Neither is it about biding your time doing nothing, so afraid to falter you refuse your future. Being a "Christian" according to the first use of the word about the first followers of Christ literally means to be a "little Christ." It was meant as an insult back then but it was because the first followers were so faithfully committed to His ways they were seen practically as carbon copies of Jesus... They were  maybe not perfect, they may have faltered but they always got back up and they would never shut-up, telling anyone who would hear how he changed their lives and would change the lives of anyone who came into contact with His spirit!  So, common now, let's get back to our roots and be actually "Christians!" Let's be "little Christ's" faithfully following His every step doing not only what He requires but even those things He recommends... Really trusting in His promises and committing to His ways...

"Get insurance with God and do a good deed, settle down and stick to your last. Keep company with God, get in on the best. Open up before God, keep nothing back; he'll do whatever needs to be done: He'll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon" Psalm 37:4-6.

 "Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place"
Proverbs 16:3.

People, GOOD ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH! Let's live for Christ as Christ! Go!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday my lovelies!

I didn't really know what to write about today so I thought I would just lead you to a blog I read recently that really made me think... I hope you all take the time to read it, and maybe even follow this blog, she's a great writer and it's the perfect mixture of serious subject and frivolous fluff!  Not to mention, this little lady is my cousin so I'm kind of partial!  So check her out Lauren Nicole Writes!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend as I did! Do something nice for someone today, okay?


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not That Important

"The life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster."
David Hume
as tweeted by Philo_Quotes

With all due respect, Mr. Hume, I would have to admittedly disagree with you!  And, unfortunately for you, God disagrees with you. And although I don't understand why a God of all power loves the human race so much he would humble himself to a trough in a stable and a cross on a hill, He does and He did!

The Psalmist wrote Psalms 8:4-6, the sentiments of my heart also not quite understanding why we are so important to God but accepting the truth of the matter and being appreciative of everything He has to offer us "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:" How true and beautiful yet terrifying is that!?  We have so much at our feet as they say "he/she had the whole world at his/her feet." But, having a whole world at your feet can be a scary though, especially when you don't know what direction those feet of yours should take...  "But don't you worry about that, you are also important enough to God that if you are trying to live for him and do the right things in His eyes he will direct your path, make it straight and light the way for you "But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going.  I'll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country.  I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch.  These are the things I'll be doing for them— sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute." Isiah 42:16 (Msg.) And if we are living as God would like us to live we should be lifting each other up, helping clear the paths for each other instead of being jealous our friends seem to be gaining ground and hitting their stride... Just read Hebrews 12:12-14 (Msg) "So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it! Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God's generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time."


But, Mr. Hume, you're comments are exactly what this world does not need... The above quote alone from you can create even more self deprecation, unimportance, ridicule, fear, intimidation and depression than the people in this world already suffer from!  But I take a stand against your words because Proverbs 18:21 teaches us words are powerful and we choose whether our words will destroy or build up! "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose." And in keeping with helping each other along life's path I've decided God would want me to tear down what you've said and build up the confidence of my friends!

In closing, Mr. Hume, You are simply incorrect... Human life is not the same significance as an oyster to God (since God created this universe I suppose he decides what is important to it in the first place) and if you would read the word He's inspired for your, my and our benefit you would, perhaps, be a fulfilled soul instead of a tortured soul.

Why don't we all read the passage below and at the end ask God to help us, to give us all He intends for our life and to direct our feet through this world He's set beneath them "God didn't put angels in charge of this business of salvation that we're dealing with here. It says in Scripture, What is man and woman that you bother with them; why take a second look their way? You made them not quite as high as angels, bright with Eden's dawn light; Then you put them in charge of your entire handcrafted world.  When God put them in charge of everything, nothing was excluded. But we don't see it yet, don't see everything under human jurisdiction. What we do see is Jesus, made "not quite as high as angels," and then, through the experience of death, crowned so much higher than any angel, with a glory "bright with Eden's dawn light." In that death, by God's grace, he fully experienced death in every person's place..." Hebrews 2:8-10 (Msg.)

Here's the prayer I'm praying, feel free to use it as a guide for your own prayer, God is just waiting to hear from you! "God, like the last scripture in this blog I know you didn't put angels in charge of salvation that but that you cared so much you robed yourself in flesh and came to earth to die for my sins, so that we could be together in the end... That's the greatest love story of all, and though I don't understand why your love me enough to do that for me I believe you have and I will do all I can to commit myself to living my life for you!  I'm so glad you've taken a second glance at me, even after I've hurt and disappointed you and God, I truly am sorry for each instance I've done anything, knowingly or otherwise, that was against what you wanted for me... Cover all those things with the shadow of the cross and help me to recognize them sooner next time so I can stop myself before I've hurt you.  I know you've given me power and I pray you would help me to use any power I have to uplift and encourage people... Help me to see people the way you see them and to know how you would help them so I can do the same. I may never see the results of my work for you but if you help me to see it and you light the path I will walk wherever you want me to go. Again, thank you for all you've done for me, I love you, help me to have strength and wisdom to follow through on all I want to do for you and to live within the plan you've set out for my life! You're beautiful to me, Lord and I love you!"

Monday, August 8, 2011

What Satan Wants Most

What do you think Satan wants most? Is it violence, famine, disaster, slavery, sickness, sexual corruption, political corruption? It would seem all of these are correct but I'm not so sure it is really any of these...  Since Lucifer was thrown out of heaven (description of which is referred to in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14:3-20 where Satan is reffered to as the "king of Tyre" and the "king of Babylon" also God speaks of it in Revelation 12 & Luke 10) he's been angry with God... Still acting on the same battle plan trying to turn God's own kingdom against Him... Trying to force those created by a loving God to serve evil and eventually fall in worship to him instead of God.  But all of what Satan is doing is not because he thinks he can win in the end, it's because he messed up and he knows his demise is coming.

I propose, the one thing the devil really wants is the one thing he will never have. He wants to be able to take back that moment he decided to turn against God... See, Satan was created to worship God but he wanted more, he wanted to sit above God... But since heaven is God's house nothing could be accomplished against Him and Lucifer was thrown out the door, never to return!

Two things are established without being said in this story... 1. Satan is (as is everything an everyone) a created being... Created by God for God... Therefor he is less powerful than God! And 2. Satan is not now and will never fulfill his calling... Lucifer was called to worship God and he messed it up, he can't get back to where he was meant to be, he will always have that gaping hole in his heart and the memory of his choice and ultimate fall to remind him why he is what he has become... Satan understands it's his own fault and he hates himself for it!

The one thing Satan would do if he was able would be to re-enter heaven, to have his calling back but since he cannot ever have his place back, just like an angry child, he hates anyone who can have a place in heaven, anyone who worships God, anyone who sings to God... He hates to hear the voice of worship whether it is in song, coversation, writing, witness, daily living, or any other way you can think of... Satan hates all of it because each word serves a reminder that no matter what song that does not glorify God he inspires someone to write, no matter how great of a singer that person is, no matter how high that song climbs on the charts or what kind of bondage he puts that person in, no matter what kind of spectacle  he makes of them, it never takes away the memory or fills the emptiness he feels.  

I'm not saying any of this to make you feel bad for Satan, we should not. I'm telling you all of this for understanding sake, to draw this conclusion:  1. The reason you're feeling attacked and beaten is because you are... Satan hates you because God loves you! God has given to you what Satan lost, a place in heaven. God loves you so much he brought himself down from heaven for you and died for you! Satan lost the love of God through his own doing and wants you to make the same wrong choices to become your own God... To think you can and should navigate your own path in life without the help of the one who created and loves you. The only way Lucifer can influence you to follow in his footsteps is to convince you to make those choices, so he makes life hard on you and tries to tire and weaken you out of making a stand and fighting through circumstances to get to God. And 2.  If Lucifer is not as powerful as God (which is clearly shown he is not) and God is with you then Lucifer cannot beat you! 

If God be for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) Listen, what you need to do is put your grown up underwear on and have confidence! God is going to see you through! Luke 10:18 Jesus said, "I know. I saw Satan fall, a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I've given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God's authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that's the agenda for rejoicing." He loved you enough to step down from streets of gold onto streets of mud, from a throne of grace to a bed of hay and from the songs of angles to the scoffing and beating from men so don't you think a God like that loves you enough to wrap His arms around you after a mistake and strengthen you against your trials? Yes, He will!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All I need: the translation

"Do you know where your heart is?
Do you think you can find it?
Or did you trade it for something
Somewhere better just to have it?"

First a confession:  I love One Republic!  P.S. I saw them live at the Today Show in NYC and they were just as perfect! Every time I hear this song I think about the people we see every day... You know the ones, walking down the street, head down and so overwhelmed by life you can almost see them drowning in all their thoughts.  They may be dressed to kill, have every hair in place and that Lexus parked on the next block could have their name on it but somewhere they've lost something, a part of themselves they think they can never get back... And even if they felt the possibility of it's return where would they look for it?  It's been so long, there has been so much happen since, and is it even all in one piece or did they give it away one piece at a time?

"Do you know where your love is?
Do you think that you lost it?
You felt it so strong but
Nothings turned out how you wanted"

Now that they've lost their own heart how can they care for the heart of another? Not that they choose not to care they can't help it... And I'm not talking about care as in concern but taking care of something entrusted to them... Friendships are neglected of time because they are just too busy trying to hold it all together...  Love is faded through lack of quality time if not cut short by dragging in baggage from the past... And families are betrayed by lies and resentment.  But these are all just symptoms... When blood doesn't get pumped through a heart each extremity dies quickly, no one can survive long without a heart, sure there are bypass machines but they aren't equipped for you to live a life off of.
"Well bless my soul
You're a lonely soul
Cause you won't let go
Of anything you hold"

Look, here's the deal, we all have given pieces of our heart away... We all have regrets and wish we could get those pieces back...  We all get lonely at night sometimes and we all beg an answer to "can't life get better than what I'm living right now?"  

A thought ran through my mind last night, "We are so afraid to give up complete control we won't give up ANY control."  And the beautiful and frightening truth is God gave each of us our own will and he will not take what we do not give him... He wants control because He knows how to make this life complete for us but we have to put our lives in His hands.  He's loving, understanding and kind and He won't make you give to Him what you are not capable to let go of at this point but that doesn't mean He doesn't want it eventually...
"Do you know what your fate is?
And are you trying to shake it?
You're doing your best and your best look"

Isn't that just the problem with a lot of things?  We don't really know what our fate is, we aren't totally secure...  Sometimes we think we know our fate and it's not what we want so we try to fill a void, try to forget, try to shake the thoughts but we can't quite escape... We want to do better for our relationships but just can't change our behavior. We want to give it to God but can we actually let go?

"You're praying that you make it
Whenever the end is
Do you think you can see it?"

And there it is, the key to every answer we've posed... Praying.  We don't need to know when the end is we don't have to see it.. We just have to prepare for it... And the best part? Preparing for the end will help us with not only the future but the present! So I'm going to pray and I invite you to pray in your own words a prayer like this, open your heart to God, invite Him in and ask Him to give you all of what He is.

"God, I know I like to control things in my own life... I've had to protect myself a whole lot throughout my years and, to be honest, that makes it hard for me to let my guard down and allow you to become my protector, but I need to do just that, Lord. I love you God and I want to grow closer to you, I want you to be proud of me and I want our relationship to develop into something sensational! I commit to trying a little harder for you each day, starting today.  Help me let go of my past, the behaviour that harms my life and the people I'm surrounded by but most of all the behaviour that hurts our relationship.  I'm sorry for any actions I've done that I recognize are wrong and the ones I do not and somehow prick my conscience when I'm hurting you in the future. I want to change and I promise to try but strengthen me for the journey.

As this song goes, 'all i need is the air i breathe and a place to rest my head' which is more than what you had on earth but more than air and a pillow I need you in my life because you are the provider of all in the first place! I'm doing what I know to do God and I will seek to learn more through your word and people you put in my life to teach me; what I cannot do for myself please do for me to bring us into the same kind of relationship I read about the people having in the New Testament.  I love you so much, thank you for loving me! Amen."

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Meant to be is just a Phrase..." WRONG!

Friday I read a fellow blogger and friend's blog entitled "Meant to be." It's a pretty fantastic writing and you all should read it... But that's not what I felt the need to reply to and share with you all... There was a comment posted to the blog that got my attention.  It was a jaded remark and a thought I'm sure we've all shared at one time or another. But I've decided not to allow my hopes to be dashed or my doubts to make what can be accomplished in my life seem trivial and insignificant... I won't allow any one's comments or belief system change the part of me that believes in my future and I hope after reading this blog you won't either! So here we go, the comment then my reply, buckle up kiddos!

"Anonymous said...

I am going to be brief.Having been through two long term relationships.I believe that meant to be is a childish notion.When two people work out,so to speak.It is because they are willing to sacrifice and commit time as well as energy to the relationship.I guess at the beginning there does have to be some ingredients that go together.However the making of a successful relationship is going to take some work.In short I would say meant to be is just a phrase that says they were willing to work at it."
July 27, 2011 11:41 AM

My reply was simple, firm and to the point:

Hmmm... Well, here's what I think: (although I recognize this blog is "meant to be" more about a person being and not relationships I wanted to address the above comment just a bit)

1. My parents split up and it wasn't because that's what they both wanted... Because of that, I know relationships take work.

2. I have also been in 2 serious relationships and cheated on so I know it takes both people working... And no matter how hard you love someone, no matter how good you are to them, they may not love you back enough to even tell the truth let alone work it out.

3. Call me a romantic, a child, a silly girl or what you will but I totally believe some people are "meant to be..." Set apart for each other by God! A lot of people have tried to talk me out of it, have said you just make a choice and deal with it, live with it, and work on it... But that's not entirely true... Yes, ultimately it's our own free will and God won't force us to do ANYTHING we aren't willing to do but he definitely gives abundant opportunity and blessings... Who wouldn't accept a blessing? Show me those people and I'll show you the people who are really childish and silly!

I believe what the Bible says to me on all accounts and I get my proof of "meant to be" relationships from it's pages :o) Adam and eve were specifically created and "meant to be" with each other, if not God would have created a few options for Adam, ha! And what about Isaac & Rebecca (Genesis 24) God pointed her out right down to the of a water jug on her head and her willingness to share water with Abraham's servant and to follow him home! Rebecca was "meant to be" for Isaac!

All in all, Believe what you will, I believe (and by the way, I'm right! ha!) God's design includes some "meant to be's" and I even believe some of those are relationships!