Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Does God Say “Duh”?

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So today I look up at God saying, I’m not strong enough. The pep talk I thought I might hear/feel (I don’t remember a time of auditorily hearing God) did not come. I believe He looked at me like I look at my kids when they need a fourth band aid for an invisible injury. Instead of “You can do this!! I’ve got your back! Goooooooo team!”
He says “I know.”
Not what I was expecting to say the least. And as I sit here typing, I feel so helpless and inadequate. I want to be filled with faith so badly and yet…I feel so bad.
I truly think I’ve been running from what God wants me to catch this trip around. Hence the Jonah study. Talk about a slap to the forehead moment. I’ve dealt with and lived through this chronic illness for lack of a better term (after 8 years, the doctors are still perplexed. Even House. I contacted him. Or maybe that was a dream…)
I use the word chronic because it is ongoing and yet there are breaks from it. Oh the good days/hours. However, I have done things through the bad days. I work, I pray, I travelled to Honduras and taught beautiful children some dance moves (not impressive moves at all, but the smiles were), I competed in a Bodybuilding/Physique competition, I raise children (the ones the doc told us to hold off on), and I cherish time.
In a way, I wouldn’t trade this journey for any other as it’s taught me to cherish. So when I look at God, stating obvious things like, “I’m not strong enough,” I hafta wonder if He sits there, in all His amazing, majestic glory and says: “Duh.”

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Pray, Read, Pray…Repeat

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Within this health-filled journey of  mine (you know the one to become not the healthiest person on the planet, but more so the one who gets up and doesn’t have to take a nap after a shower?) I got to thinking how we pray and wait. We pray and wait. We pray and wait. That may have even been more praying that what some of us do. Eek!

I have been on this journey for 8 years. 3 years longer than the 5 year-mark  I thought I couldn’t handle at the time. They, “they” being various doctors, told me I might recover in 5 years, as that had happened to other people, somewhere, sometime before. I remember thinking, 5 YEARS? How could anyone make it 5 years with these symptoms?? I’m here today to let you know, you can do it. Hurrah, hurrah. I truly wasn’t trying to be a cheerleader (although I am very encouraging to others…I took a test once that let me know hospitality and exhortation were my top 2 gifts! I had no idea what the 2nd was, but now that I know, I consistently remind others that I am an “exhorter!”)

Without this journey, I would have no idea how to take care of myself. I’m still learning to do this, but the whole “His temple” thang wasn’t exactly a concept I paid attention to when I was downing 12 packs of beer and pack after pack of nicotine sticks. So, as I was making a pot of nutrient-rich soup (my husband will take one look at it and blankly state: “That’s all you.”) this morning, I thought about how we eliminate the toxins, but then fail to build ourselves back up. God freed me from the addictions to chemical-laden junk, but I wasn’t aware of how depleted my body was of what it truly needed to function. He took away my craving for the bad, but I’m the one who has to take responsibility for the damage done. (Did anyone else cringe at the “r-word”? I know I did.) Plain and simple, there are consequences for our actions. I’m thankful that He allows me to be me, learning at my own pace, and quite frankly, puts up with my frustrations along the way.

I am very flawed, but I don’t dwell on it. He reminds me that I am pure, holy, loved, blameless, and then loved some more. He says in His Word that if we ask for wisdom, we get it. I’ve found that I have trouble trusting those “words of wisdom” I receive. He says we know His voice, right? I’ve talked to so many who don’t know if it’s His voice or not. I always tell them where I started: I would think it was God. Then weight the options. Do I want to do this? No. (Usually God takes us out of our comfy zone.) Would the enemy of my precious soul want me to do this? No. Does it go along with Scripture? Yes.

That last one kinda stumped me for quite some time. I’d ask myself these questions, and then shrug my shoulders on the Scripture one, as if there was no way to know. There is a way to find out. The only answer to this is to dig into the Scriptures. Open up your Bible. Pray. Meaning, ask God for help in understanding (*because if you’re anything like me, I could read 1/2 a book and not know what 3/4 of it said some days.) Then read. Read anywhere you want or do a specific Bible study. God will lead you in this as well. Then pray again. In doing so, we get to know the One Who created each of us. Who better to talk with about our issues? Lord knows I gots some issues. God says we’ll know His voice, but only if we practice listening for it and to it. There is nothing more comforting than knowing full well that we know full well. But it takes practice.

 

Meh vs. Un-Meh

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I’m over it. I’m over listening to everyone else. How they think God wants them to do this. Or that. But certainly not that. Why, oh why, would he ever want me to do that?? Ugh. Get over yourselves. No really. Get over it. I am and I did. This is a journey I had to get real on. And by getting real, I mean more than posting pics of my latest haircut or color, or (Gasp!) Me without makeup. I mean turning the tv and the phone off. Really. All the way off. I started a journey to find God that day, fully convinced I would, yet somewhat “meh” about it. I needed to get “un-meh” about God again, so here’s what I did. I am beginning a personalized Meditation (notice the “t” is not a “c”) Challenge. For 30 days, I will meditate.
Now, if you’re about to quit reading  already:
1. Go ahead. I gotta tell ya, I really couldn’t care less at this point. I told you I was over it and that’s what I mean.
2. Meditation is Biblical. Look it up.
3. I don’t have a number 3.
I’ve tried to meditate before but mainly just made a grocery list in my head and got distracted by the ticking of the clock. This time I am more determined. I feel like life is lacking something. The spiritual war going on in my head and body is as real as fat-free ice cream. It’s there. We don’t want it to be, but it’s there.
The challenge consists of 30 days of repeating your mantra/Scripture/God-thought 30 times. 30 days, 30 times per day. Now, the Bible states that we’re supposed to renew our minds and this seemed like a good way to do it. I also liked that if you missed a day…guess what. You start over. None o’ that namby-pamby “it’s-ok, just-try-again-tomorrow”crap for me. I love a good challenge. At least I used to. I’m indifferent at this point. Possibly leaning toward disgusted as well. I’m at a place where I’m either going to head to Honduras to hug small children or set something on fire here. (Don’t worry, I set things on fire all the time. And all of the things belong to me.)
I’m somewhat disgusted that other human beings feel they have something to teach me. I’m not saying I know it all, but I AM saying I feel a lot smarter than some. And people trying to tell me what God thinks is especially sticking me like an itchy t-shirt tag. So, tom it begins.

Hide and Seek

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Life gets rough sometimes. I’m sure that’s not a newsflash to most. Whether you have money or none, material things by the truckload or little, are full of health or on your deathbed, this life is not easy. It’s when the road we’re traveling gets extra bumpy that we can get to choose. We can choose to lose it or we choose to follow the advice we would give our best friend in crisis or a toddler when they fall: Get up. GET up! When we fall down, we get back up. Shake it off. (I apologize for any of you who know the song and now have it stuck in your head for the next 72 hours.) What has happened to you does not define you. What you do is not who you are. What you’ve been through is different than what you’re going through. And you’re doing JUST that: you’re going through it. This situation is not where you stop. This isn’t where your plane lands. It’s plowing right through. It  may not be smooth-sailing, but you’re still sailing through. Now, 10 points for anyone who noticed I just referenced life to three different vehicles: a plane, a tractor, and a boat.)

When life gets rocky, we go to the Rock. We look to the One Who created us to recharge us and give us that peace that we simply can’t get anywhere else. Our hope, yes, we are still called to have hope in light of situations around us, is in Him. I personally don’t believe that means we have to wear a plastered grin on our weary face 24-7. The words we speak are meant to bring others up and show everyone that He is Who He has always been, not a mean, unjust Creator, but a loving and compassionate one that is tired of watching us try to do everything on our own. He is our tower, our strength, our shelter and so much more.

This world is not our home, but it is where we live right now. God’s yoke is easy and His burden light. Why do we feel so weighed down if this is the case? Because we’re trying to take on the world and change it to suit our liking. We want to mold and reform people into the way we want them to look. All spit-shined and polished so we can stand proud and say, “Look what I, er, I mean, God did!” Eek. Can we let God work in His own timing and in the way He wants to so badly? Can we “judge not, lest (we) be judged”? It’s not about us, it’s all about Him and His glory. If we’re struggling to find that place we can run and not grow weary, maybe it’s because that hiding place we seek is behind us. Perhaps we don’t have to look up, we need to look behind us and see God, our Father, calling us back to Him. Have you left the Rock that you used to run to? It’s really easy to find your way back. The path isn’t hidden at all. It’s the one in plain sight that you’ve traveled before. We know what to do. Turn back to His face, grab ahold of His hand, and let Him lead you into rest and peace. That peace is unexplainable and we’re called to show the world that peace in the face of terror, ugliness, hateful acts, and crime.

Salvation Secured

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I heard today that a lot of people, based on a certain statistic, think that Christians are just “hate-filled hypocrites”. And I’m sure that’s exactly what the enemy would have all who will listen to believe. But I have to say, and maybe it’s just because I’m one of them (one o’ them thar Christians, you know) that I don’t see any hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense” and some synonyms include empty talk, dishonesty, and insincerity.
I can understand how this would get annoying. After all, I get annoyed at the way some Christians act (red cup, anyone?) but in all honesty, I believe a lot of it is they aren’t secure in their salvation. I was a Christian for years and still did all kinds of things that would make a lot of church-goin’ folks blush. But here’s the deal: God didn’t lay out every part of His “moral standard” for me at that point of my journey. He knew I’d be completely overwhelmed. I couldn’t possibly live up to His idea or beliefs about who I was in Him when I was in that place. So maybe that’s what some individuals see as hypocritical. They’re living by a different code because maybe they don’t have difficulty in the same areas as you do. Their 2 X 4 is something different than yours. All that being said, the Christians I know and the ones that I hang around, know full-well of who they are. Both who they are with God and without Him. They don’t shade the truth or cover up their human tendencies and forget what Jesus did for them. They’ve accepted the fact that without God’s help, without the Creator lining up their days, that they would indeed be hypocritical. They would go back to their old ways, whether it is drugs or alcohol, or lust and sex, or finger-pointing and a judgy, critical spirit, whatever the case may be. The Christians I know are all learning to trust God in each of their personal trials. They don’t stand and say “No, I never do that and I don’t think you should either!” The Christians I know say “Oh yeah, left to my own devices, that’s exactly what I would do. Without God’s help I couldn’t make it through a day without a drink.” Or “There are times when I’m tempted to go back to the drugs, but thank God I don’t.” Because that’s not what they look to anymore. Those leave us feeling hollow, searching for more. It’s no surprise that addicts don’t keep doing the same drugs and the same amounts; it takes more. And more. Then more. Because that’s not a hole-filler. The Christians I know look to God for their help because He is our strength, the ultimate Hole-Filler, and He is their joy. They don’t feel like they’re better than everybody else. They feel very much like they are everybody else. The Christians I know have experienced the freedom that no man and no 12-step program could ever give. They are free. I am one of them.  He is my strength and He is my joy. I was addicted but now I’m not and that is because of God.  So, that being said, if people from “yesteryear” see me “nowadays” (where do these terms come from?)  then yeah, they may see a hypocrite. They may look back and remember what I used to do and what I used to be, but that’s not me now. And it’s not the Christians I know.

I Believe in Zombies

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I believe in zombies because I was one. I trudged through life with apathy and dark circles under my eyes. I believe in people being raised from the dead because that’s exactly where I was at before I let Jesus back into my so-called life. I believe in spirits because of what I feel when I pray at times. I believe there’s an unquestionable darkness because I’ve been there myself and I see it in people’s eyes. I believe witches not only exist but also put curses on God’s people. I believe it’s judgemental and critical to tell people that they can’t dress their kids up as Superman or a ninja or a princess. They are most likely not actively teaching their kids to worship demons and seek out satan to follow him. They are not the enemy and never will be. I believe parents have the right to dress their kids up and have fun because there’s no other holiday where they get to do this. I dressed as a rocker, complete with punk hair and makeup or a cowgirl every year when I was younger. And look at me now. I do not worship satan…the farthest thing there is from it. God is the judge. Don’t be critical of people’s decisions just because they are not the same ones you’ve chosen. They may very well have sought out God’s face on the matter.

Too Scared to Kneel

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As I was driving the other day, I thought about how God gives us power to do great things. Huh. Great things. What kind of great things are we doing? The other day I congratulated myself for putting something green on my kids’ plate (and they ate it!). By comparison and contrast to, oh say, Mother Theresa, that is not such a great thing. I wonder if she ever had those days when she felt like throwing in the towel, screaming “FORGET IT!” and putting her feet up, demanding they be rubbed.

Great things.

Our world views great things differently than I do. But what if we looked into the eyes of the individual on the hypothetical street and prayed? Is that a great thing? Not to the world as we know it, but do you think it is in the eyes of the One Who created that individual? What if we took that step, you know the one out of that comfy zone, and said, I am not gonna be bullied by anyone, not even the thoughts in my own head? Could we do it? Could we make a difference in the way we see others and their problems? God promises us throughout the Bible to hear and answer us. Why would we be afraid to pray?

Are we afraid that the person we pray for won’t feel anything? That their situation won’t change? Has your situation ever stayed the same after a man or woman of faith prayed for you? I know mine hasn’t. It might not have been immediate, but it changed. Drastically. God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus can do that.

So what are we afraid of? What they’ll think? God’s judgment and disappointment in me has to be more detrimental than anything Jennifer or Sally or Bob or Justin think. (You’ve always got to include a “Sally”…I don’t know why.)

Are we afraid for our safety? That a weapon may be involved if we stop and pray for a stranger? Wouldn’t that be the way to go? God has established protective custody.

Are we scared of looking the demon right in the eye? (Yeah, I said it. There are demons in people. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Have you ever seen the eyes of criminals on the news? If that isn’t pure evil, I don’t know what is.)

I think these fears could be squashed with better-developed trust and faith. If God asks you to get out of your comfy air-conditioned vehicle to pray for the dirty, sad-eyed veteran who may or may not have PTSD, will He protect you? That’s trust.

If you are called to share your testimony with a coworker, can you do it without stressing that your job will be there for you tomorrow? That’s faith.

Can you love the man in the department store who is…shhhh…gay? YES! You can! God does.

God can’t leave us stranded. He doesn’t change. Did Jonah get digested by the whale? Did Moses get bit by his staff and die? Was Daniel a main course? Was Ruth killed for her boldness? No! God doesn’t change. He had their backs and He has ours. Go do something great today!