Determination

I realized lately that my fatigue was really only psychosomatic.  I guess what I’ve always needed was a good reason to get up in the mornings and to go about my day and at some point I lost track of  all the good things going on in my life.   I have to admit the Devil’s been beatin me down lately.   You know how the saying  goes; “when it rains, it pours” .  Well it’s been pouring all over my parade for the past month and I’ve been finding it hard to remain inspired.  Today after much prayer it has dawned on me that this is yet another test and another trial to overcome.  If I can overcome this then I’ll make some progress with my own spiritual well being.    So  after reading today’s entry from ODB about Dogged Devotion,  I’ve refueled and I’m ready to face another day.   Okay I’M RELOADED!!!

Suffer the Little Children

There is something about a good old gospel hymn that stirs the warmth and brings peace down deep in the soul.  It’s hard to put into words so all I can do is say that it is the best feeling of contentment there is to be had.  Maybe that’s why I don’t like secular  “gospel” music that much.  It doesn’t really invoke that feeling within me.   Good old gospel reminds me of the days my momma would dress me up in that pretty little white dress with the shiny patent leather shoes and send me off to church with my little new testament bible in hand.  The days when I’d be singing out loud (though I can’t sing) to Jesus  with all the enthusiasm my little pint sized heart could muster.    Man those were the Pollyanna days and I had not a care in the world.   There’s something to be said about having childlike faith.   When you have the faith of a child you just “know” (no you don’t think) that everything is gonna be alright.   And because you know that it’s gonna be alright and you know that God’s gonna see you through, It just happens.   That’s the kind of faith we need to have.

Matthew 18:2-4 (New International Version)

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Tunnel Vision

One of the most frustrating aspects of my daily routine  is working at a bank cow-towing to overly priviledged customers who have the nerve to call in with conniption fits because they don’t know how to use the automated phone system.  Of  all the things to harangue about?  You would call to complain because you have to enter account numbers in order to make your transfers.   Doesn’t that seem a little petty?   And maybe keeping $90,000 in our bank to build interest warranted him the right to moan and carryon.   But how does he sleep at night, knowing that out there, someone’s digging thru garbage looking for their next meal?   That out there someone’s on the verge of a mental breakdown because their house is on foreclosure and they have nowhere to go.   Living in a world engorged in darkness has ironically shed light on the burgeoning ethical decline of our society.   Remember when people cared a little more?  Remember when we were a little less selfish?  We’ve gotten so cocky and arrogant with our advances in technology and medicine that we  have all but become a Godless society.    I can’t say I know when this began or where. But I took notice over the last decade.   I noticed that crimes were becoming more sadistic and I noticed that we’ve even been justifying things we would never have thought to justify 20 years ago.   I used to bury my head in my books or my internet games so that I’d remain oblivious to it all.   But It weighed heavy upon my heart.  It still weighs heavy upon my heart.   But the up side or the turnabout came for me when I found my way back to Jesus.   He was/is (and I know this sounds a bit fanatical) the light at the end of my tunnel.    I was depressed and locked myself away in my home outside of going to work and I cut off mostly all contact with the outside world because I felt our circumstances were dire and virtually hopeless.   But thru all that, I found a lifeline to God.   Genesis 1:2-3 says: 

 2 Now the earth was [a] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

 Do you see that?  How awesome is our God that even in the depths of despair he can utter 4 words and bring about the start of creation and the end to all darkness.    That’s what God has done with my life.  He looked at me and said ” Let there be Light” and there actually was light and there were actually better days and I knew that even though I was surrounded  by all this darkness that God was still here reminding me that there was always something to look forward to.   I’d intended to turn this post into a rant and rave about some of the mundane aspects of my existence but I cannot help but be happy and content that I can find my strength in Jesus.   What would I do without him?   I would be miserable as I had been for the last 10 to 15 years.   As daunting as my present trials may seem,  I have God and God trumps it all.    🙂 ….. tootles folks .  I’m off to wally world to buy bed linen.

My Calling?

sometimes I look at my life and compare it to others and somehow the grass is always greener.  somehow they accomplish things so much easier than I do.  I seem to fail at the simplest of obstacles and everyday requires motivation for me to get up and get back on that hamster’s wheel.  this has been my issue for the past frew years.  My defeatist mentality.  But now that I think about it , I just really need to continue trusting in God and continue making the changes I need to make in life.   I realize that I’m in need of a complete overhaul.  Not just a spiritual overhaul, but I’d say a physical one.  I need to perhaps manage my money and my bills better and secondly (well when you caught the spiritual overhaul it’s really thirdly) my health.   I figured if maybe I list the things I need to change, I’ll probably be better able to manage my life.  

For weeks now I’d been asking God for my calling.  Asking him what it was he needed me to to do and on Sunday he answered my prayers.   I’ve been double-dipping between 2 churches of late.  (see I haven’t found a church home as yet).  There is one church in which the members are few but very warm and welcoming.  Then one in which the members are many but kind of cliquish.    Here’s a list of pro’s and con’s for Church #1.

Church #1
Pros
  • Lively  Service
  • Great Choir
  • Very Inspirational
Cons
  • Not room for much to be done by ordinary members.
  • Leadership has penchant for ignoring you unless you're related to one of them
  • I've been to about 5 of their services and have yet to hear the the Pastor invite people to accept Christ as their Savior

 

Church #2
Pros
  • Very Sociable People
  • Leadership down to earth and approachable
  • more geared towards bringing souls to Christ.
  • Always in need of volunteers from the congregation so it gives one the chance to become a part of something.
Cons
  • Very few members (church had a lot at some point but rumor has it, a family scandal pushed members away from the church)
  • Choir is not the best

So God’s been putting it in my head that If I started attending church #2 that I could do a  lot of good there.  I mean I’m far from a preacher or anything like that, but I know I should have some useful skills that would help in boosting membership.  I will be checking out Church#2 this weekend once again.  The first service I went to wasn’t too impressive but that could possibly be because they had a new preacher (I mean a fresh out of Seminary rookie) who kept stumbling over his words.  I know he meant well.  I just get the feeling that they all mean well and have set out to do the Lord’s work.  I just believe they need a helping hand.   Far be it for me to assume the responsibility but I’ve always been a sucker for the underdog and God has impressed it upon me long enough to know it’s not a fluke.     The question  is, where do I start?

The Wages of Sin

Romans 8:6 (New International Version)

6The mind of sinful man[a] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

Having spent many years in search of fulfillment, I’ve finally grown to understand the meaning of this verse.   You see when I was without God, I was empty inside looking to fill the void.  I  spent many days depressed and in mourning not knowing wat it was exactly that I was mourning.  Even when I chased after the momentary pleasures of the flesh, there was still this void that needed to be filled.   My soul was still in turmoil.   I was never happy.  I was always miserable.  I always felt as if I were alone in my own personal hell.  I was never satisfied.  And then I found my way back to Jesus and I found true happiness and true purpose.   So I’m now able to break this verse down.   The death that Paul speaks about in Romans is that void we spend our lives trying to fill.   It’s not just a literal death but a figurative one.   We are nothing  more than mollusks roaming the earth until we choose to believe in God’s plan for us.  Until we choose to believe that God sent his only son to cover us in grace by being the propitiation for our sins. 

 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

The life that the Spirit bestows upon you is none other than the feeling of joy and completion in knowing that the Lord is with you every step of the way.  Guiding your footsteps and allowing you to come out of the muck and mire.   It is the ultimate high.  It is what we’ve spent the majority of our lives trying to find on our own terms.  and would you believe, that had it not been for Jesus laying down his life for our sins we would never know the joy of God?  It is amazing how his grace covers us after all the wrongs we have done.   For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Doing away with the Isms.

if given to our own predilections, we tend to “pull rank” more often than not. I too am guilty of harboring an elitist mentality. maybe because It’s my way of being comfortable with self. But there is one thing that I need to be reminded of; and that is we are all here to serve a divine purpose. It hasn’t so much to do with our own wills and objectives. But it has to do with the will of our Father in heaven. We may not all be at the same level of learning in life. Our learning curves may differ. However, it does not make one lesser than the other. Because we are all meant to work together as a whole. The Body of Christ

Romans 12:2-10 (New International Version)
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[a]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Faith

I have been praying for Forgiveness for oh so long. I could not for the life of me Fathom how God could forgive me for my multitude of sins. Sometimes i’d think my sins were so numerous that i’d be twice removed from his grace. Then today I was referred to this verse as i was reading the back of this book and it brought tears to my eyes reminding me that God’s mercy is nothing like ours and that he has the capacity to forgive us of our sins and wrong doings if we are truly contrite.

Psalm 103 (New International Version)

Psalm 103
Of David.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

I kept reading this book and he kept answering my questions and renewing my faith in him. Every single question I had in my heart he answered and that just let me know that I was not alone.