Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; it is appeased by love.

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AAAHHHH yes. Nirvana. The ultimate truth. Isn't this what everyone says that they want? The world is in a constant state of flux. Ever changing. Ever evolving. It would be nice to have a constant wouldn't it? Rather than never quite knowing where you are, always having that place to look where you know you can get your bearings. It's not the news. The news is full of hate and change and things that stress you out. It's not work. Just thinking of work really stresses me out somedays. Interpersonal relationships? Come on. That's a rollercoaster ride if there ever was one.

I was told recently that you must repay evil with good. A simple statement. Entirely too simple really. However, it is ultimately true. There is so much evil, hatred and discontent in the world. Why should we add to it? I mean really. Think about it. If someone says or does something that you perceive (really that's what everything is - perception) to be bad or wrong or mean or untrue, what good does it do to multiply that negativity? None really. God doesn't want us to repay a wrong with another wrong. He wants us to repay a wrong with love. Vengance is his. He's better at it than we are. He's been doing it much longer. People will be given the opportunity to "learn" from their mistakes. However, their eyes must be open to see the lesson.

I'm really trying to walk around with open eyes. It keeps me from running into walls and turning down the wrong path. People that go to church don't necessarily have open eyes. They believe that because they go to church every Sunday and they tithe and they are "active" that it will secure their place in heaven. The problem is that their eyes aren't open and neither is their heart. Your eyes and your heart must be open to Jesus. Jesus is the only ultimate truth.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

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I freely admit I'm a chicken. If God made chickens without backbones, that would surely be me. God seems to consistantly want to take me out of my comfort zone. See, I'm an introvert - big time. It takes a lot for me to talk to people I don't know or to speak in front of people. It seems like over the last six months, I've done nothing but these things on a regular basis. If any of you are familiar with the Myers-Briggs type indicator, I'm an INTP. See expanation below.

INTP - INTP types are quiet, thoughtful, analytical individuals who don't mind spending long periods of time on their own, working through problems and forming solutions. They are very curious about systems and how things work, and are frequently found in careers such as science, architecture and law. INTPs tend to be less at ease in social situations and the caring professions, although they enjoy the company of those who share their interests. They also tend to be impatient with the bureaucracy, rigid hierarchies, and politics prevalent in many professions, preferring to work informally with others as equals.

OK. Now, you understand a bit more about how I work. I lead a small group at the Fellowship of the Hills church. As I've said before, I thought God was crazy to want me to do this. However, maybe he know's what he's doing. I've dug into the Bible like I never have before. I've read more supporting documentation concerning the Bible than I ever have. I watch the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, PBS and anything else that has something to do with Biblical times, figures and knowledge. I sit and think for hours on end about questions that not only I have but those of others.

I've come up with some lessons for my group in this manner. However, I always worry if those in my group will get what I'm trying to convey. We serve food - both for the body and for the soul. I worry about the food for the soul much more than the food for the body.

I think I wrestle with myself more over this than just about anything else in my life, save one issue. I'm trying to provide thought provoking, spiritually growing food for my group. Each week I get a little better. However, each week I'm so nervous I think I'm gonna be sick.

Monday, January 14, 2008

There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.

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We all know that Jacob wrestled with God. Or as we say in the South - wrastled. I'm wrestling and not winning. At least Jacob came out pretty much even. He came out with just a limp. Or a "hitch in his giddy-up" as my Daddy used to say. I know I need to be patient. I know I need to let God work. Yes, I know, everything in his time. This isn't really working for me though.

My sister that I went to see in Seattle and then she told me that she wanted no further contact with me has now contacted me. Now wait, it's not because she wants a relationship. Not to say I'm sorry for hurting you. But to ask me for help because our father will not help her. It would be all to easy to say "Sorry about your luck." She's pregnant and is having clotting issues. Our father says it's not genetic. Well, let's see. Your eldest daughter has it, you have it, now your middle daughter is having issues with it. Somebody give me a brick. I need it to hit my father in the head. However, being a Christian often means doing what's right even though you don't want to. I had resolved myself to never speaking with this woman again. I had decided that if she emailed or called, they would go unanswered. However, there are people's lives at stake here. Her's and her baby's lives depend on my help. That's something that I can't ignore. Would I like a relationship with my sister? Sure. Just not like this. I don't want her to feel like I'm her last hope and because I help her she owes me anything. She owes me nothing. That's the thing, if I could save the life of a person that I didn't even know, I would.

I struggled with this all weekend. I was angry, then I wasn't. I was hurt, then I wasn't. I felt contempt, then I didn't.

Yes, I know. This is my year. There are big things in store for me. I'm sure that this is the tip of the iceberg. There will be many more wrastlin' matches with God. I'm sure of it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

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"Well, let's start in the beginning." That's what I thought when I started to put together material for my small group for my church. (Actually, it's the greatest church on the planet, but we won't go there........yet.) So I started going through my Bible looking at the beginnings of different things. Nothing really struck me. This was a New Year, a new beginning I wanted something about beginnings. Well as we all come to find out, it's not about what we want. It's about what God wants. As I read and researched, it began to lay heavy on my mind that it's not just about beginnings but about foundations. Getting a good foundation on which to build a life. I began to research and to pray. What is this all about? Foundations. OK. In the beginning there was God. God's the foundation. The next level up is Jesus. After that is the Holy Spirit. Finally, the Holy Scriptures. I've got Christians of all different levels in my group. Some grew up in church. Some didn't. Some were Catholics. Some were nothing definable. Anyway you look at it we all need to get back to the basics. That's the only way life's going to work out.

So I started this week with God. There is one God and that is the one God of the Bible. We began to read scripture and discuss who we thought God was. The conclusion is this, God is who he says he is. Simple, straight-forward and true. I enjoyed our sharing. I enjoyed the discussion. I have the idea that God wants us to know who he is. I think we got a good start this week.

Monday, January 7, 2008

And now for something completely different.

For Christmas, I splurged on myself and bought a Wii. Wii is really fun. It's really addictive and it's an easy way to waste an entire evening. Furthermore, it's an easy way to make yourself really sore and discover you're really out of shape. Danny (my roommate) and I play Wii. Then the next day we sit around and complain about how sore, old and out of shape we are. How pathetic is that? I mean we are both over the age of 35 and playing video games for one. Secondly, we get SORE from playing these games. SAD! We play boxing, bowling, and golf mostly. The boxing and the bowling get you the worst. You actually will work up a sweat. I'm waiting to have some sort of cardiac or pulmonary incident while playing. Then, I'll be the laughing stock of the hospital. "Girl, did you see that old, fat, white woman in room 7? Yep, she had a heart attack while playing Wii." I see the headlines of the Tallahassee Democrat. Old, Fat, White Woman Dies Playing Wii. I'll be on news of the weird. The Weekly World News will have some story about how I'd been playing for 6 days straight and fell over. My roommate would then use the Wii controller as a defibrillator paddle and bring me back to life. I can see it all now. Reporters surrounding my home, asking Danny how he came up with the idea. Everybody clamoring to get a look at the miracle woman.

Anyway, anybody thinking about buying a Wii - go ahead. They're fun. Maybe it'll make me less fat. Mabye it's actually exercise. Maybe I just need to give up pizza.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Thought is the seed of action. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Warning! This is very stream of consciousness and somewhat disjointed.

It seems like since the new year began, I have been lost in deep thought. I have pondered many questions and I don't know if I have any answers but I do have ideas. I watched Dogma for the 876th time. Something really struck me this time. Rufus said,"I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. Life should malleable and progressive; working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limit growth; new ideas can't generate. Life becomes stagnant. " I have come to the harsh realization that I think this is true. Changing a belief can really be almost imposible. Once someone says that they believe something, there's almost no way to talk them out of it. Right or wrong. If something that comes to pass as fact goes against your belief system, what then? You spend your life in doubt. You can't afford to spend your life in doubt, no matter what it is. Church laws are fallible because they are created by man. Who's to say that what my church laws are fit with what God's laws are? It's better to have an idea of what's right rather than to have some law put forth by whatever denomination tell you what's right. Find your own truth. I refuse to have my life become stagnant because I have locked myself into some law that some other guy thought of. Faith is a blessing and not a burden. I don't think that any denomination has truly got it totally right. As long as we cling to these "beliefs" or "laws" we as humanity won't get it right. We have to be able to admit that we're wrong. Does it matter what we have faith in, or does it matter that we just have faith? I have the idea that God is big enough for more than one religion. I also have the idea that religion may be the ultimate downfall of man. I'm not saying that God is the downfall by any means. I'm saying religion is. People need to have relationships with God, not religions. You have all these people doing all these horrible things supposedly in the name of Jesus or God - wars, biggotry, murder. God signifies love and peace. He wants us to love each other. If you really love someone, how can you kill them? How can you discriminate against them? How can you treat them as having any lesser value than you yourself? I heard some crazy stuff on New Years Eve - from a group of people that claim to be Christians. All Christians should carry guns. Christians need guns to defend themselves against those that don't believe the same as they do. What?!? You've got to be kidding me. What about Matthew 5:39 "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." If I am to meet God because someone else kills me, so be it. Killing another human to defend my ideas is not justifiable. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth. I plan on being a peacemaker. I plan on being a thinker. I plan on being one that spreads ideas. I plan on being someone that shows what love can do on this world. I've got lots of thoughts....lots of ideas. Now I need to put them into action. This is my year.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends.

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Yep. Done. 2007 is a thing of the past. I can't tell you how thankful and grateful and relieved and comforted knowing that the year 2007 is behind me. It was BY FAR the most trying year of my life. I waited with baited breath for the ball to drop, for the clock to chime, to hear the first few notes of Auld Lang Syne. This is a big ole' THANKS to all my friends that got me through this absolutely horrific year. I got dumped last New Years Eve and I was not much in the mood for it this year. I was surrounded by my friends and we prayed and read scripture to celebrate the new year. Everything happens for a reason right? That's what I keep telling myself. This is going to be MY YEAR. Big things are in store for me. God's not going to let me down. He's the master showman. New Year's day I kept getting the same recurring thought in my head - "I'm going to give you what you want, but you're not going to like it." Don't really know what that means. No idea. All I know is that I pray and tell God that I'm his. What he does with me is up to him. I'll have to admit that I've been remiss on my postings. The holidays took their toll on me. They were quite difficult but I expected nothing less. 2007 was the year of my trial and tribulation. It would not go gently into that good night. It was raging against the dying of the light. I feel free now. Almost etherial. I don't know where I'm going but I sure know where I've been. God's gonna lead my way. I've put all my trust in him. Yeah God!