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A Word From A Joyful Heart

A Word From A Joyful Heart

It is with much difficulty that I find myself writing this morning. Difficult because I am at a loss for words.
Since my post last night, I have been overwhelmed by the response that I have gotten from friends and acquaintances whom I never would have guessed would have even read my blog, but not only did they read it, but I have been flooded with messages and responses from these people showing their support and sharing their prayers for my family. I am so grateful to have such people in my life, whether they be people that I see daily, only on occasion, or those who I worship with. Once again, I am overwhelmed by the love of God and the reminder that there are still many good people in the world who will take the time out of their own busy days and lives to pray for others.
Thank you all for your kindness. It means more than you will know. 20140612-102248-37368700.jpg

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Life in General

 

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“A Day Off”

“Even preachers take a day off.”

Those words have been echoing in my head since yesterday. It isn’t the first time I’ve heard this in the past year, and whether it was directed at me or not, it has had me thinking. The most recent person who’s said this, accompanied it by also making the point that saying something numerous times does not make what you’re saying true, nor does it change the opinions of others, and it also does not mean that you’re better at whatever it is that you’re talking about (i.e….parenting, Christianity, a fan of something, etc.). The final words from this statement have also been bothering me, “Just makes you that annoying person.”

I began to think about this in terms of things that I say and share on social platforms. Aside from updates on my daughter and odd things that she does, the only other thing that I am repetitive about is God. I often share Scripture or quotes from authors/books that I am reading. I share things that speak to me, realizing that is a social platform and other people can read it, most often, I repost these things as a reminder to myself more than anything. However, sometimes I also post them because I know that I have friends and family who will also appreciate them, as well as some people, like myself, who can come across a Scripture at a random point in their day and be uplifted by it.

So, “even a preacher takes a day off.” Yes. He takes a day off from preaching. Preaching on Sunday morning is his “job”, it’s what he does as work or employment. Does this means that as a child of God, he is not to speak the Gospel at any other time? No, because while preaching may be his job, God is his life. If you are a doctor, do you refuse to save the life of someone in need simply because it’s your “day off?” I sure hope not.

In the past two years, I’ve been quite openly mocked about my faith, being called so-called insulting names, such as “a Bible-thumper”, and a “God-girl”, and I’ve been told that I don’t “have” to “act” like the “good girl” all the time just because I’m “religious”, and I’ve been told “even a preacher takes a break.” Unfortunately, sometimes when you hear something so much, you begin to wonder if it’s true. Well, yesterday in a moment of weakness was one of those times for me as these words kept ringing in my mind. I began to think, maybe I am doing something wrong, maybe I should just keep it to myself and stay quiet about what I believe. But wait–it seems like I’ve

heard something like this before. Just the opposite, in fact.

The cost

“He said to them “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation.” – Mark 16:15

“You will be hated by all the nations because of me.” – Matthew 24:9

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:19

Am I supposed to remain silent in my faith? Absolutely not! Am I going to lose loved ones because of this? Most certainly, if they are not believers as well (Matthew 10:32-29). But it is a price that must be paid, and one that I am willing to pay if it means that I will one day see my Father in heaven.
I will not deny Him, and I will not down-play His existence and role in my life, and I will not take “a day off”, even if that means that people won’t like me and even if I become “that annoying person”. While it’s a difficult sacrifice to make, it is one that I have made before, and one that I will more than likely be making again before my life on this earth is over.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Life in General

 

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Never Ending

It occurs to me as of late that the lessons that I have been learning from God seem to have no end. For some reason, I am surprised by this, although I’m not sure why. I guess I just expected to have a break between each one, but it seems that as soon as I figure one thing out, I am on a quest to find the answers to something else. Am I complaining about this? Not at all.

So what is/was my latest lesson? It’s homework that I’m still working on, but I finally came up with the first answer tonight when I finally decided to turn to the Bible for answers. That in itself was a lesson. I should have known that was the first place that I needed to go, and I really did know that but I didn’t feel like reading (terrible excuse). Anyway, the lesson is about friendship. Lately I’ve been in a situation where I feel that friends are using me and just a lot of other things that are bringing up red-flags, so I’ve been trying to figure out what I am supposed to do.

“I feel like I give everything to my friendships, and yet I receive nothing in return.” This is where I began writing on a piece of scrap paper, and it hit me almost instantly, “Maybe it’s just another test? To see if I will give in and slip up, or if I will stay strong and do what is right. Maybe I’m supposed to learn.” I had this sort of epiphany, “I put too much faith in my friends.” 

If I’m putting so much faith in friends (worldly beings), how can I possibly have all of my faith in God? It’s clear. I can’t. So there is a second lesson that I’ve learned from this situation. Another would have to be concerning the “getting something in return”. While I don’t give to friends in order to get something in return, in a friendship, or any relationship, give and take is sort of expected I think. I haven’t really come up with the answer to that one yet, but it’s another point to focus on later.

“How do you end a friendship on Gods terms?” That has been my question of the night. As I said, I’m ashamed to admit that the Bible wasn’t the first place I went to, but when I did, I began pretty simply; I went to the concordance and looked up the word “friend”. That simple start didn’t get me very far as far as the literature itself goes, but it did lead me to the previously shared realizations that I had.

I know from my recent studying of the Bible that It tells me how to act concerning other people, so I just need to go there next. I am however choosing to wait until tomorrow to do that, rather than taking on this quest after midnight. But about ending a friendship: I suppose my real question is, CAN you end a friendship “on Gods terms”? Does it end, or does the relationship just change? Does communication cease? If so, how is that handled peaceably? These are just some of the questions that have been flooding my mind on the subject. I’m sure that I will be following up on this post if I come up with anything profound or awe-inspiring. Until then, God has blessed each of you and will continue to do so. We serve an awesome God, don’t forget through all of the ups and downs of this worldly life, to take the time to just thank Him.

 

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Make God Happy

I’m currently in the midst of a very personal and emotional situation. The situation involves love, loss, happiness and hurt. It involves friends, lovers, and perfect strangers who all have one thing in common: we are all human. Yes, while it often pains us to admit it, we all make mistakes. We all act out of emotions and speak out of anger. We all fall. We have our hearts broken. We change our minds. We change our lives. Sometimes, the things that we’ve learned from all of life’s experiences are put to the test. It looks like now, that time is here. Pop quiz: What have we learned? More than one of us has recently began a relationship with the Lord. What has He taught us in considerably short time? How much of what we’ve heard in church, have we remembered to carry with us throughout our daily lives?

Personally, the things that are sticking with me (in relation to this topic) are that God does not want me to judge others (Luke 6:37), that we are to forgive each other as He forgave us (Colossians 3:13), that God wants me to love others (John 13:34), that we are to be at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), and . This is not a new situation that I am dealing with, just an updated version to something that has been being dealt with for nearly two months now. However, it is time for things to draw to a close, whether that means resolving the issues or losing the friendships. One way or another, things have to stop going on as they have been. I fear that there will be more pain. I fear that there will be more loss. I fear that there will be more anger. By these expectations, I am saddened.

As I sat, trying to determine how I would best handle my part of the issues at hand, I realized that I can’t do it alone. If I am about to hurt a friend, or lose a friend, or lose a handful of friends, there is no way that I can do it alone. I need Gods help. I need God. I arrived at one question: What does God want us to do? Not only myself, but what does He want us all to do now? How does he want us to handle this situation?

He has told us not to judge one another

In Luke 6:37, Jesus said,

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”

What a simple concept, but have you ever really tried it? It’s actually quite difficult to no judge people. Many times, I’ve found that we don’t realize how often we are really judging people. Whether your mind roams with great detail, or just a quick flash, there’s a good chance that you make a judgment the instant that you meet a new person. In fact, I’ve very recently done this myself. I was told about a girl by a mutual friend, and based on some of her friends and where she spent her time, I passed a judgment that she was a liar and a drug addict. Hardly fair, but I was unwavering in my opinion….until I met her, that is. Through meeting her, I learned very quickly that she is a very nice person. I learned that she had been waiting for God to enter her life, and she didn’t hesitate for a moment once He did. I would hate to lose her from my life. I hope to grow in our friendship, and help each other to grow in other areas of our lives as well. How I wish that my judgment of her was a one-time slip-up. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Another friend of mine made a bad choice or two over the past year. Somewhere along the line, I subconsciously decided that she was a lost cause, no longer worthy of my friendship. From my new perspective (which I just gained in the last hour), I am sincerely disgusted with myself. While I’ve spent the past month growing closer to God, there was a stumbling block in the way, that sadly, I had placed there myself and I didn’t even realize it. Not until I was quoting scripture to my husband did I realized the hypocrisy that was pouring from my mouth.

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” -Matthew 7:3

Ironic that it happened to be this situation that reminded me of that verse. How fortunate I am that this leads me onto my next point:

God wants us to forgive each other

The first verse to cross my mind on this subject, was Colossians 3:13, which says,

“bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

God has forgiven us for all of the things that we have ever done wrong, if we have repented. His son died to make that possible. Jesus was put on the cross so that we could go out and make mistakes and fail Him, and still be able to go back to Him and be welcomed into His loving arms again. Just as your earthly parent would love you and welcome you home, even after you sneak away to do something that they don’t approve of. Thinking about what was done for us, it doesn’t seem like much to ask that we simply forgive somebody. Just don’t hold that grudge. Here again, I must admit that I’ve been failing God. I’ve been holding onto a grudge against someone. Not even a person who wronged me, but simply a friend who made a choice that I didn’t agree with. How senseless. This too can be referred back to Matthew 7:3– I was so busy focusing on what she had done, that I didn’t notice this huge mistake that I was making. How grateful I have no choice but to be, knowing that God will take me back into His arms, even after I’ve wronged Him in this way. Again, it wasn’t much to ask to just forgive…but I hadn’t done it anyways.

God wants us to love one another

John 13:34 says,

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Here again, a simple thought becomes far less than “simple”. Think about it. When was the last time you were driving down the highway and somebody cut you off? I bet your reaction wasn’t, “Oh, I love that person”. When your doctor repeatedly cancels an important appointment with you, Are you going to call them to share your loving response to such news? Probably not. Yet again, I’m guilty of this as well. 1 John 4:20 says,

“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

That verse is another that stays in my mind, quite often to use as a weapon when I see others displaying anger toward another person. There’s that speck in my eye again! But God has forgiven me, just as He will the next time that I repent my sins to Him. There are people in my life that I don’t exactly get along with. Family, in fact. While I still make my mistakes, I am growing in the knowledge of how to handle such problems. Where once I would fight and argue over such instances, now I have found that those solutions are unnecessary. I can safely put distance between myself and those who I do not see eye to eye with, and we can both live without the unpleasant tension. I’m sure you’ve heard that some people are easier to love from a distance? Well sometimes that is true. By having this space between myself and these certain people, we have been able to avoid the disagreements and fights that would generally lead to even more trouble, and we can co-exist with no problem. It doesn’t require drastic measures to make this love possible, it just takes some time, thought and effort. Now lastly,

God wants us to be at peace with everybody

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” -Romans 12:18

This verse is very new to me. I have been reciting it to myself daily, not out of desire to practice or to memorize it, but because I seem to often find myself in situations where it is something that I need to be reminded. “If possible”, if there is any way that you can do this. “So far as it depends on you”, yes, some people are unwilling to make peace, but if there is anything that you can do to make it, DO IT. “Be at peace with all men”, How can you simplify that statement? “Be at peace with all men”. Don’t look for disagreements. Don’t do mean things to people. Don’t give people a reason to feel anything other than peace where you are concerned. As a teenager-well, even now, but not to the same extent-I was a “button pusher.” Not the type who can’t go into a toy store without causing trouble, that would be my husband. No, I am the type of “button pusher” who likes to force conflict. As an adult, it has become a tool to encourage conversations that need to be had with my husband. As a teenager however, it was a way to rebel. If there was a way to make people dis-like me, I probably tried it. Cutting people off in traffic, racing them, and shooting off my smart mouth–oh the tongue, that could carry me onto a while other blog. If I could give people a reason not to like me, at least then I wouldn’t be insecure and wondering “Why?”, if we didn’t get along. If I knew then what I know now… “be at peace with all men”. God wants us to all be at peace. He doesn’t want trouble and strife. As a good book says, we were “made for more.” So as I move forward with what could be the beginning of the end of a period of my life, I must keep in mind that as long as I strive to please God, I can do no wrong, and the same goes for anybody else. If you have no other goal in life, try it out-try to make God happy.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -Colossians 3:17

 

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Brothers and Friends

I might get a little bit random here as I’m not exactly sure what my point is yet, but my main goal is really just to share a couple of thoughts, I guess.

I’ve always wanted a brother. I hadn’t always known that, but now looking back on some certain things in my past, I’ve realized that I have more or less tried to turn most males in my life into a brother. Most of the time it didn’t work out because–well, probably because that’s kind of weird, but also because I wasn’t really sure what I was wanting. It started with male friends, and I would dive right in to a forced comfort with them, wanting to be close (not romantically) and all that was accomplished by that was the education that males are generally perverted (to only share the kinder sentiment there). It taught me that if you wanted attention from a male, sex was the way to get it-not even having sex, just being open about it. That in itself escorted in its own set of unwelcome problems that are beside the point.

Assuming that the only way a male and a female could be in any kind of relationship together, meant that there had to be a romantic connection, I started doing what I could to force that next. Again, not working out for various obvious reasons, I pretty much just gave up on that quest.

Not long after, I fell in love and ended up getting married. My husband has four brothers. Long story short[er], it turned out that a brother was exactly what I had wanted. Up until I got married, I was always more comfortable around guys. They made me feel comfortable and safe somehow. Plus they were easily manipulated (keep in mind, I was 17/18 at the time these were my thoughts).

Now I’ve got four brothers. I’ve known them all for different lengths of time, and have had my ups and downs with most of them, but I’ve become comfortable with them (mostly) and have grown to love them all in spite of their flaws. Those that I am closer to, I enjoy hanging out with when we can, and I love being able to joke around with them and test their limits. I’m so thankful for them all (this would be the thought-provoker on this subject). I love them so much, and I’m glad to be able to consider them friends. Being males of course, it’s just less awkward to blog about it and tell the world than to try to explain it to them 😉

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Life in General

 

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