Monday, February 23, 2015

Hope Now.

My life changed yesterday.  I got a call, and so it goes.  It's okay -- I felt it coming.  The sad part is that I'd tried to protect someone that I loved, and it did not work.  Sometimes darkness wins over light.  Sometimes manipulative people do achieve what they set out to least for the moment.  It saddens me, but alas - I spoke the truth.   I will not back down from the truth that the Lord placed in me.  I cannot help seeing what I see.  I will continue to fight injustice, even if I do not succeed.

I am not perfect.  I make mistakes.  I know that what I see in others that really riles me, is often an aspect of myself that needs to change.  I have defects.  I also know that I am an evolved person.  I work at being mindful of my challenges, assets, and liabilities.  Some folks don't and wouldn't know nor begin to know how.  I often get accused of being to self focused.. and I've even entertained that thought.  However, I want to be alive.  I want to be present.  I truly believe this is the way that the Lord made me.  The path that God has brought me through has led me here - and as much as I love the Lord -- and I know unequivocally that I am a new creation --- some would say that I don't look to Him as my source.  The funny thing about this is that He is my only source, my height, my depth, my desire, and my inspiration.   Everything that I am, is from Him.  I suppose what the point is - being an intellectual, and individual, on a path with the Lord as my Godhead -- is different than simple faith.  It doesn't mean that I don't have simple faith... whatever that means... I just have a challenging mind.  It does not make me that much different - I just utilize my faith in a different manner.

I say all of this because I question myself.  I'm just a person (like many I expect) that thinks. Maybe I don't do blind faith.  Perhaps this is a short coming of mine.  I don't know.  Perhaps I'm just too complex a person.  The bible says that we've all been given a 'measure' of faith.  It doesn't say that we have to have it blindly.  I don't want to be blind.  I want eyes that see the light that the Lord placed inside of me.  How can I be or have use to others if I do not know myself?  I think this is  a good question.

At any rate, those are things that have been on my mind.  I have to now pick myself up and get up and out and begin now.  My life has to begin a new chapter, whether or not it be school or something else.

Everything that we do has consequences.  Even when your motives are good, there are consequences.     I know that I don't always (for lack of a more evolved word!) go about things in the most eloquent manner -- sometimes I'm brutally honest and people find this harsh.  Especially when people don't have the right motives and are trying to cover up their true intentions.  People blaze a trail through our lives, and some people reek havoc.  I've been party to someone that has ulterior motives, and is playing a nasty part.  The worst of all is that someone's love and loyalty is involved.  Nothing will get my blood boiling more that when someone is trying to manipulate someone for the sake of self gain.  Especially all the while calling themselves a child of God and "acting as if."   Now I have tried, prayed, and even talked to my Pastor about my perception -- and my not wanting to judge -- however blatant behavioral evidence is just that.  Evidence.  This doesn't need to be judged -- it speaks for itself.

Ugliness comes to the surface, liars will get caught.  I trust in this.  I trust my Savior.  What I've seen and know will work itself to it's own end.  I don't have to do a thing.  That's hope, that's faith.  I regret that this is negative, and that it's regarding abuse.  There are just things in this world that aren't pretty sometimes.  And this is fact.

I got to close to a nasty truth.  That's okay.  I'm thankful for the release.  I can start over from any given point with my head held high.  People who are doing wrong always call the truth seeker "crazy".  I'll be the "crazy".  I'm woman enough to stand it.  Reputation is nothing more that what people "think" of you.   I know who I am, and I'm the righteousness of God in Christ.  I need no other validation from people.

Be a voice for God.  Listen to the holy spirit inside you.  It will tell you what you need to know.  If something doesn't look right, doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.  God gave us instincts for a reason.  I have learned to listen to mine.  It rarely fails me.  I'm assured by this.  There will be fallout.  This is okay, as my bible says: No weapon forged against me shall prosper... and I believe this.

I begin again --I actually think that I was placed where I was placed to uncover the truth that I did.  Only God knows.  He's sitting at the end of my life waiting for me.... and I'm waiting for Him.  However until then we have to have hope.  One of my favorite words, hope, grace and faith.  Most of all it's hope now.....  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Faith and the ego.

I trust the Lord explicitly.  I have great faith.  I've been through many a trial - and I feel fully alive.  I'm a very grateful person - and know that I'm truly blessed - Yet a statement hit me last night, like a ton of bricks.  There was so much truth to it, I was utterly speechless.  As I sit here now, the thoughts flow - however, last night - it resonated with the very core of my being.

I live mostly in my head.  This is not to say that I'm not a feeling person, because I really am.  I'm in touch with both.  Some has said that I'm "moody", and they wouldn't be wrong at times.  I know my past and I realize the patterns for this.  I've just never actually know if thought produces feelings, or feelings produces thought.  I tend to concur with the first - but I believe it could be either.

The quote that hit me was: "When you work for less than you're worth it is because you're afraid of who you are."  I cannot recall the lovely Scottish woman with the heavy accent who said it, but man did it hit heart center.  It hit me sort of like a confrontation.  It was a shock.  An illuminating shock.  It woke me up.

I've been praying about several things as of late.  My experience with the Holy Spirit inside of me just grows and grows, and I adore it.  As I delve into the scriptures and feed on God's word -- I find nuggets of truth and God's own heartbeat.  I pray for different things I suppose than most, but I want to know God...this is my highest aim.  To portray Him in my walk in life.  I cannot do this if I do not know Him.  The more I find out, the more absolutely amazed I am.  The more I read, it is like quenching a thirst I never knew I had.  That is the best way that I know how to explain it.  It's beautiful.  Amazingly beautiful.

My life is changing.  I can feel it.  I will not say that there isn't any fear attached.  I have the same fears as anyone else - and a big one that I have is fear of failure.  I also have fear of success.  I think a lot of us have this.  It keeps us in bondage.  We stay stuck in a lot of situations where we don't belong.  Sometimes for lifetimes.  We stay stuck when we could be growing by leaps and bounds.  It takes a thing called guts.  In reality it's the same thing as faith.  It's just packaged a little different.  WE think that the fear is different, but in reality, it's not.  Trusting our Savior -- is all encompassing.  If I am going to fully trust Him, He has to have the power over my career -- my fears -- and my failures which are tied to my self-esteem.  It's interesting that (for me) when it comes to the ego stuff, I want to be in control.  This is exactly when I need to have the MOST faith.  Yet, somehow I think that I need to do that stuff by myself.  It's sort of an oxymoron.  God made me!  In His likeness.  How in the world do I think I can handle this particular project on my own???  And why, oh why do I doubt myself?  I'm wonderfully, and perfectly made!!!  There is not another person like me, so who is there out there to compare me to?  It's just ridiculous.

I in truth, have had faith, to a point.  That's hard to admit.  I'm learning.  I'm growing.  I see now!!!  It's hitting my heart.  It's a revelation.

Thank you Jesus for opening my mind to this truth.  For making me uncomfortable and challenging me.  Thank you Father for answering prayers in awesome ways.  Your mind and heart never cease to amaze me.  Father - let not my heart be troubled, but find rest always in you.  Increase my faith and my knowledge of you.  Expand my heart, that I may entrust you in all things, and my daily walk be pleasing to you.  Most of all Father, for loving me, always loving me the way that you do - and showing me beauty the way that you do.  If it be pleasing Father, let my life be used to help others.   In Jesus name, Amen.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Just start here....

I'm ever aware that life, and myself, are a work in progress.  I know too, that things take time.  My Pastor teaches us that everything has a season, and that "my time has not yet come."  I take these things to heart when I think of life, and my growth - and try and give myself a break.  I make mistakes, and I hope that I learn from them, lest the just be mistakes.

Learning is something that I love.  I love it even when it is hard, and it hurts.  Most people don't, and I understand this, yet sometimes I push.  I am not certain why I am this way.  I explore my need for "rightness", my ego needs and the like.  The best answer that I can attain is my inner thrust for need of truth.  God has planted this inside of me, for God is Truth.  Yet and still, He didn't place it inside of me, to hurt others with it.  At this, I fail Him.

If I am anything, I am kind.  Yet there is a brutal side to me.  I detest this entity.  This duality.  It is akin to an evil twin.  I think it comes from my childhood abuse, and that anger that is still inside me.  I know that when we hurt, and don't have an outlet, we will hurt others.  Especially when we see or sense injustice - we bewail.  Or at least I do.  I seem to be unable to let it lie.  It eats at me like some lesion.  Yet I know that what I cannot stand in another, I must face in myself.  I do not particularly like this --- but it is in itself, truth.  We project our hatred of self onto others.  I don't necessarily know why this is true... but for me, I've found that is really is.  It saddens me, and I find myself out of control with it.  Ah, control, that nasty, nasty, bedevil of a tendency to want others to do what we want.  How ridiculous is that?  When we know (or should) that we all live in our own little dreams and visions... in our own self-centered manifestations of what life is.  To think that we can get another person the see things the way we'd like, little alone be able to sway their behavior.  Yet, we THINK... if we but try hard enough, it just might work.  I'm as guilty as the next person.

Thinking.  It isn't reality.  It's just our thoughts.  Just because we think it doesn't make it right.  It doesn't make it part of the grand design.  It reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Don Miguel Ruiz... He speaks of everyone having their own private dream.  We all have them, whether or not they be of marriage, or career or of saving the world, but we all have them.  We all walk around consumed with them.  We share them with other people, and hope they have like minds.  When they do, we declare, we have some things "in common."  But the  point being we all a self-centered lot.

I've been pretty self-centered lately.  I really don't like it much.  The beauty in the way that I think however is that I can do better.  I know this.  I know too, that all that I have to do is start where I am.  I've been mean to a point trying to prove a point, and it's just not me.  Well, I suppose if I've done it, it is me.

When a person really makes you mad, there is something to be learned from that person.  There are aspects there that are true in the foundation of what is going on that are of yourself.  Look underneath whatever it is that is bothering you about this person.  We all have defects.  We all have assets.   We are a marvelous blending of the two.  This is where grace and mercy come in.  Give a little grace to that person, and have a little mercy.  Realize that what is bothering you in that person is an aspect of an inner part of yourself, lest we forget we're all human.

I watched a Ted talk this morning about giving.  It was all about a man that started a home for the developmentally disabled.  It was entitled "living is giving."  It was really good.  It is true, the more you give, the more alive you feel.  My work as a caregiver makes me feel good.  It pushes me to be the best that I can be, and to really give of myself.  It forces me to stretch myself in ways I never thought it would, and I grow in it everyday.  One really has to become self-less to be a caregiver.  It is good practice for me, and good growth.  It helps me keep my ego in check most of the time, or at least it keeps it's needs right on the surface.  As with anything, awareness is the foundation to change.  If you cannot identify it, you cannot do a thing with it.

I've been angry with someone for their actions.  Yet I've done some of the same things.  It's not fair for me to keep judging their behavior.  Again, we only see inside others what's already present inside ourselves.  I call it "if you spot it, you got it", syndrome.  So I need to stop, and start over.  So what if what this person is doing isn't fair in my eyes?  Who am I?  Where do I come off thinking I wrote some kind of rule book?  We all fall short of the Glory of God.

The awesome beauty of this life is we have the amazing grace of starting over each and everyday.  We can change our minds and hearts, in an instant.  It's just that simple.  A shift in perception, and wham, a miracle happens.  We see things, only differently.  With new eyes.  We don't have to grovel in yesterdays woes, or tomorrows what if's -- we can just be made new.  It's often just a prayer away.  Being present in the moment sometimes is all that it takes, and showing up for yourself.  Be braver than you thought yourself capable.  Be truer to you.  Be honest and forthright - and let the newness soak in.  Let it engulf you like sunshine on a cloudless day.  Forgive yourself, make a commitment to begin again, all over again ...

and just start here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Born Again.

I don't know what I'll write today - but I know that my heart is full.  Despite the fact that I've a little world, my heart bursts with joy.  Joy for the little things that most folks take for granted.  I guess it is who I am, for I know people that don't even consider the things that I do - and am grateful for -- oh so grateful.

My pain has been great as of late.  I did not even intend for that to rhyme.  It is my own fault -- to a degree, I've been smoking.  Nicotine makes my neuropathy worse.  Yet, there are things in my life that are going on, and my love of the Father that just makes my heart so full.

My morning reading was about Jesus leaning over our shoulders and knowing our thoughts.  I find that endearing.  For in the closest tense that I know -- with one human exception - He is my closest confidante.  I may not talk to Him all the time, but I know without one single doubt, He is always there.  To a girl who's life has been riddled with inconsistency -- this is HUGE.  I cannot even find words to explain how huge.  If God had not directed my path to Midland church and to Pastor Paul, and to Grace...... I'd never known what I know now.  I'd never known that God wasn't mad at me.  I'd never known that God wasn't some stiff, stanch, mean, unforgiving, hellish figure that deals out consequences like cards... if I had not come to Midland.  And however does one thank someone for something, for such a gift, as this?

I use songs in my blog to express myself because it does so sometimes better than I can.  Lyrics to songs are amazing things that I believe are inspired by God Himself.  Oh, how I wish that I could be a voice for God like that.  Especially these days when fewer and fewer people read my blog.  I realize that it is only my thoughts, my dreams, and my aspirations... but the jewels that the Lord has given me, needs to be shared.  This I do know.

Father God, thank you, for Your beauty, Your majesty -- Your heart.  The heart that You've always had, that I've only been able to see in these past few years.  The heart that is still unfolding in my life.  The treasure of Your riches is immeasurable.  The vastness of Your love, inexplicable.  I glorify You today with my life.  The life that You've always wanted me to have.  Thank You Jesus, for all that You have planned for me -- for the desires of my heart.  Give me a voice so that others may listen, and know You.  Speak through the holy spirit in me, and guide me.  I honor You, I praise You, I love You with all my heart.

In Jesus holy name,

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Accepting loss and allowing grief.

Grief.  I'm no stranger to it.  I wouldn't say that I like it, but I do know that it's transformative.  Grief in and of itself can only leave you a better person, if you allow it's ebb and flow of emotionality.

My beloved pastor is leaving in a few short weeks.  Even as I write this, I feel the pain inside of my heart.

This man who if so dear to me is not only leaving our church, but he is quite possibly leaving the country -- and although I have accepted the facts, I am still heartbroken.  Part of me doesn't know yet what emotions I will feel or experience.  I've been to him several times for counsel, and hold him so dear to my heart - for I've shared some deep things of my heart with him, things that had held me hostage for many years.  Releasing those secrets set me free.

Secrets keep us sick and stuck.  Secrets never mean as much to others as they do us.  Revealing dark and heavy truths about oneself can only bring new life and entrap false fears, releasing new freedoms.    The greatest barrier to truth is our own minds.

I feel so deeply about the above statements, else I wouldn't write it.  I realize that it doesn't really fit - but it bares writing and spreading all over the entire world....  people walk around in prisons of their own making, much to often from false fears appearing real...

I've shared here what those secrets were.  This is how free I am now.  I live my life like an open book, and I don't fear much.  Some say that this makes me a remarkable woman - but I just say, "it's all Jesus."

My pastor preaches the loveliness of Jesus, week after week.  He paints a picture of how beautiful Jesus is.  He describes His life, His love, His truth, His faithfulness.  There have been so many Sundays that I walk out of that church on air... three feet off the ground because Jesus has been revealed.  Pastor Paul is so anointed, he is an amazing man.  I'm going to miss him like something awful.  I dread his last Sunday - and I know it's going to hurt really, really, bad.

I've seen pastor several times when I was really upset, or struggling with things.  He has always been there for me...  But he has equipped me with enough of Jesus that I know that I'll be alright.  I know why he is leaving and I know that there are others that need him as badly as I did.  I want those people to have the same opportunity to know how beautiful Jesus is too.  It is only right.  I don't like the grieving process, but I accept it.  It is here and coming and I have little choice.  Not being a person that chokes down my feelings, I have to face this head on.

God to me is like a diamond.  He is multi-faucited, brilliant and ever so beautiful.  Like all the colors of the rainbow -- His love shines.  He can't but illuminate all that He touches.  I bought pastor Paul a diamond paperweight.  I hope he likes it, for it is my concrete representation of what he has given me.  God's love, in all it's majesty.  God's love is so vast, and so beautiful -- it can't but not light up all that it is therein.

Pastor Paul has given me such a beautiful gift.  He really had taken me on a path back unto myself.  A path back to loving myself, accepting myself, being kind to myself.   He's given me the beautiful gift of loving others.  He's taught me how to love, period.  Saying good-bye is going to be difficult, at best.  I will trust however, because pastor taught me about seasons of life.  Things always work in seasons.  This is a season...  and I will wait upon God, for I know that he has amazing things in store of pastor and me.  It will be a painful time, but pain brings change.  Change is a gift.  Never forget this.  It is the heartbeat of who we are as American's.  I will embrace it.  God is with me, every step of the way and the Holy Spirit will lead me.

Isa.  40: 31 (NKJV)
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength:  They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

2nd Corth.  4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day, for our light affliction which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen.  For the things that are temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal.

2nd Corth.  5:5-9.
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has also has given us the spirit as a guarantee.  So we are always confident knowing while we are at home in the body are absent from the Lord.  For we walk by faith now by sight.  We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

God has given us His spirit as a guarantee!  Where else in life do you get this?  Nowhere!  I trust today, I accept.  The light of the path will be shown.  Don't believe for a moment that grief is in "stages", or phases.... it's just not true.... we're dealing with broken hearts, not broken minds.  Our minds know full well what it is that's taking place, it's the heart that must heal...  Allow your heart to heal, however it needs to.  Know that God isn't some man walking beside you on some beach somewhere -- His spirit is inside you!  The holy spirit holy spirit guides us everyday.  God's never walked beside you.  His spirit has always been inside of you from the very first moment that you accepted Christ as your Savior.  Trust Him that he will guide you, lead you, and keep you safe, every last step of the way.

I pray for my pastor.  I am excited for the people that will hear precious grace for the first time.  How that fire will engulf their hearts!  Just as it did mine.  He will undoubtedly make a joyful noise unto the Lord!  He will carry the Gospel to other nations just like it says in the bible.  How pleasing this must be to The Lord.  I am happy for him and his family, how excited he must be for his new journey!  There just are times when we must lay aside our own selfishness and bless those whom we love.... For he is my brother in Christ.   Amen.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Humility in an answered prayer.

I've been very angry as of late.  An angry depression - I'm guessing.  It's so unnatural for me.  It feels very foreign.  I am not the angry type of person, not at all.  It's robbing me of my peace - or rather as I've learned, I'm allowing it.  I've felt much like a run away train on a path of destruction.  My feelings have felt so completely out of control, and it has seemed to get worse by the day.  I've had to cut down my consumption to caffeine - for that just makes me fly into a rage.  Yes, me -- rage.  My friends are concerned, my closest, flowered.  I am in the midst of so much emotional change.  I really dislike it, but God has shown me this morning that there is something that I can do about it....   I'm praying that this is the answer.  

I've been on a pride run.  I've been overly consumed with big ole me.  God revealed to me, kind of woke me up this morning and I stumbled upon a sermon by Andrew Wommack about humility.  He defined pride like I'd never had it before.  Pride define as selfish-centerness.  

I've always felt different than other people.  Since I was a small child.  I was so shy.  Awkward even one would say - afraid of everything.  Now growing up with an overbearing Mother did not help, one that taught her children that we were to be seen and not "heard."  So I adapted into a meek little thing, with few words.  Fear as my constant companion, I often hid, in closets, under tablecloths or anywhere else I could find where people wouldn't see me.  then came the day that my Mother decided that she wanted me to model clothes for the local department store....  I was in horror!  She made me walk with books on my head, taught me to pivot and walk just like the rest of the girls on the "runway."  I was afraid of all of this, even at home.  I to this day, I don't even remember having to  perform when I was a child, it's a blank in what is the rest of my childhood.  There is a huge part of it that is just that -- blank.  It has often made me feel inferior, while other people remember their past as a kid, I just smile and wonder what mine was like.  Oh I remember some stuff, but not the vast majority of it.   I do know however that my feeling different is what led me to drinking and using drugs, for when I got my hands on my first tranquilizer and it kicked in -- all I could think about was how it made me feel, and how I wanted to feel this way, the rest of my life.  It made me feel "normal", or what I imagined normal was.  For once I felt like I fit, but in reality, I did not "feel" at all. I was numb.  I sought the next 13 years (and more) of my life chasing that feeling prior to my first treatment.  

What does this have to do with humility?  Well, today I realized or learned rather that low self-esteem is really self-centeredness   Mine was an inflated sense of self.  In reality all I thought about was myself.  How uncomfortable I was, how afraid, how this and how that.  It's the same thing that I've been doing as of late.  

Humility on the other hand, isn't concerned with who is right - it is concerned with what is right.  It is about being humble.  I've considered myself to be humble for the last say 5 years of my life -- I esteem myself to be.  I strive (per se) to be.  As a christian and a lover of Jesus -- who was the ultimate in humility, I try to let Him shine through me.  I've not been doing that as of late.  I've been concerned with not letting people get over on me.  When in reality --- so what if they do?  Is the world going to end?  No.  I've stopped believing that God handles the consequences.  Somewhere in there I've let myself become magnified... and I don't like it, one bit.  It's not only not good for me, it's not characteristic of me.  

I prayed and have been praying.  This morning I got an answer to my prayer though that sermon "Humility in Grace."  It told me so much.  We even stood and received prayer for the holy spirit to change us.  I earnestly accepted and took into my spirit that prayer.  You see, if I am to be "dead to the things of this world".... then the things of this world won't affect me.  Mr. Wommack illustrated that if you have a dead body in front of you, you can do anything to it and it won't react.  This is the way that we are supposed to be in this world. I believe that we can be this way the more we live in Jesus.... we or I can turn the other cheek and not let my ego go unchecked running rampant in my life if I just rely on Christ.  So what if I don't get "my" way?  In all reality it isn't about me, it's about Jesus in me.  I used to live like this.  

Proverbs 13:10 - By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well advised comes wisdom. 

I no longer want strife.  I want the Lord's wisdom.  I want His Grace.  I accept the answer to my prayer.  I'm going to step out of the way.  I know that there will be trials ahead.  I will remember.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me ---  Gal. 2:20 (partial)      

Philippians 4: 6-9 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally brethren, whatever things are noble, whatever thing are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy –meditate on these things.  The things, which you learned, and received, and heard, and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.