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Evil Imaginings

anger faceEvil Imaginings

Sometimes I abhor being human. I want so very badly to be the child of God that he wants me to be, but he made me human. He gave me free will and he gave me emotions and we live in a world of hatred, violence, immorality, and every evil device under the constant influence of Satan.

When Satan was thrown from Heaven, he was tossed down to earth, the very place that had been given to him to watch over before he rebelled against God. Along with him one third of the angels were also thrown down here and working with their master have devised so many traps and snares for man.

Not only are we at odds with other countries that could declare nuclear war on us as we could on them, but we are pitted against each other. So many innocent people are being hurt and killed in our society today that many are afraid to walk down the streets of their neighborhoods.

In the news, on a daily basis, you read about shootings, murders, robberies, abuse, innocent children being abused and killed, people disappearing, sometimes their bodies never found. We are an evil race. It has been so since the beginning of time.

We are a defensive race. We feel we must retaliate if someone betrays our trusts, hurts us or those we love physically, emotionally verbally or mentally. There are even those who think about harming others for no apparent reason other than they just dislike them.

When we argue with someone, or want revenge upon someone who has wronged us, we tend to have “Evil Imaginations”. We see in our minds eye how we can ruin someone just by gossip, how we could “get even” with them, how we could plan to physically hurt someone who hurt us, how we might turn others away from this person and yes some, actually, many think about how they could torture, abuse or kill someone.

I’m human,and I am defensive when it comes to myself and the people I love. I have participated in gossip. In the past I have had thoughts of hurting others that have hurt me. I have opened my mouth and allowed angry and bitter words to escape.

God not only sees everything we do, but he knows our very thoughts. Maybe if more people worked at following his guidelines, we could all get rid of the “Evil Imaginations” we have. Then and only then is there a chance for this world to start healing.

You may ask “what about the evil imaginations” of others? God is in control, we can only work on ourselves and pray that when we learn to forgive and love, others will follow our lead.

Psalm 64:5-6 They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, “Who can see them?” They devise injustices, saying, “We are ready with a well-conceived plot”; For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep.

Matthew 15: 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

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Reason for the Season

the four seasonsA Reason for the Season

There are basically four seasons on this earth, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, each one supposedly lasting for 3 months. It’s hard to separate them anymore with the way the weather has been changing over the last few decades. Lately it seems as if there are two, Winter and Summer.

One of the definitions for season is “an indefinite period of time.” I believe we can go through many seasons in our lives. Some are described as childhood, adolescent, young adult, middle age and old age, but there are many other seasons we go through, each one a different length of time and different from the seasons that others go through.

Some are mild and comfortable while some are can be difficult. Some are great and some may even be dangerous. We go through a myriad of emotions in each season depending on the circumstances and events involved. We may experience a sort of euphoria or joy when everything is going good. We may experience hurt, sorrow and anger when a season is not so good.

Reason is defined as “a rational ground or motive” and many believe that there is always a reason for everything that happens in our lives. Sometimes we search for that reason, even after that season is done with. We may search for it the rest of our lives and never fully understand the reason why things happen as they do.

For example, I still think about why God allowed my son to die in the horrible fashion that he did and at such a young age. While I can reason in my mind why God took him, I still ask myself questions over and over again about God’s purpose for this. The same with my sisters death a little over a year ago.

I have to believe that we are to learn something from the seasons we go through. There is always a reason that God allows certain events to happen in our lives. We have to be open to the reasoning that there is a God given purpose to everything, we have to accept that he can turn these events into something good for someone, maybe not always ourselves, but possible someone else who needs to take a lesson from what happened.

I know, for all I have gone through in my life, all the seasons that have come and gone that I have gained a lot of knowledge and I have gained a lot of strength and most importantly, my faith in God has increased one hundred fold.

I’m in a season now that is good. I know that could change quickly because of my age, my health and the changes happening in our governments, economies and world conditions. I also know that no matter what comes my way, I will stand firm in my faith and rely on my God, my strength and knowledge to get me through

Romans 5: 1-5 1. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2. through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4. perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Psalm 107:43 Who is wise? Let him heed to these things and consider the loving kindness of the Lord

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Cleaning Out the Closet

closetCleaning Out the Closet

Twice a year I try to clean out my closet. Unfortunately I am a bit of a hoarder. I spent so much of my early life without many clothes that I sometimes tend to go overboard, especially when I go to the thrift stores, especially the one down the street where clothes are very rarely over .25 a piece.

Usually thrift stores do not have a dressing room, so you can’t try anything on before you buy it. I have to estimate if something will fit. I will buy a few blouses, a pair of shoes, maybe a coat or two or some pants, wash them and put them in the closet. More than half the time I end up re-donating over half the items.

I haven’t been as determined to clean the closets and drawers as I used to be. I have diseases and medications that cause a lot of fatigue so I don’t always have as much energy as I want to. Besides that our schedule is mostly wrapped around visits to the doctor, infusions every other day, emergency room visits, stopping at the grocery store and then coming home to eat and lay down.

Our minds are like a closet. They can become cluttered at times with things that we just need to throw out. Events that have been disturbing, upsetting, hurtful or sad can stay up there for a very long time, until we decide it’s time to give them to God and move on.

I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to let go, especially of things that have hurt us, physically, mentally or emotionally in the past. They tend to play over and over again in our minds. Maybe a song, a smell, a sound, or something someone says brings those memories back to life. Stressful situations that may resemble something we went through in the past can bring it all to the fore front again.

Before I was a Christian, I used to practice an exercise in my mind so I could get to sleep and not keep replaying problems and situations over and over again in my mind, looking for answers and solutions that just wouldn’t come and going through a bunch of scenarios that could be the outcome of these problems.

I would picture my mind as this big, huge room with all this stuff thrown around. I would methodically go to each item and pick it up. If it was something I couldn’t take care of on my own, I would put in a file cabinet in the room to be attended to later. If it was something that was already solved, but not the way I wanted, and was still hanging around, I would throw it in the trash. If it was something that I needed to attend to soon, I would put in a to-do box.

Then I would take a broom and sweep up the scraps and take down the cobwebs off the walls. Long before I was finished, I had fallen asleep. After I became a Christian and came to understand that we are not responsible for taking care of everyone’s problem and that certain ones needed to be resolved by God, cleaning the room in my mind became much easier.

We have to evaluate everything that comes to us. Is it our problem, do we have a solution, can we actually be of help, or is this something God needs to take care of? Sometimes we need to clean out our closets and throw away the junk.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Matthew 7: 7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

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Just As You Are

jesus doorJust as You Are

I’ve mentioned before about the bells that are rung by the Baptist Church in town, a few times a day. They aren’t actually rung, it is a computerized system. I don’t know exactly what time they are scheduled to play, but I have heard them several times in the early morning when I step out to say my morning prayer. Each one is a hymn done with bells and it’s beautiful to hear them. When I stepped out the other morning, the hymn they were playing brought tears to my eyes, happy tears because of the wonderful memory they brought back.

It made me take a look back at my life, what it had been, what it is now, and the promise of what it will be tomorrow. The first verse and the third mean a lot to me. “Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.” “ Just as I am , though tossed about, with many a conflict and many a doubt, fightings an fears within, without O Lamb of God, I come, I come”

All through life we run into people who would try to change us. Some are acting under good intentions and others are just controlling, hateful and using people. I’ve known both kinds. Simple remarks like “you should fix your hair differently or try a new style of dress” can be hurtful but none the less are meant in a harmless way. When a person tries to change you, completely change you, it is not in your best interest. I had one who forcefully tried to change everything about me, from the way I looked to the way I acted and talked.

There are many people, who say that they accept you as you are, but secretly they are looking at you and saying in their minds what they would change if they were you. Unfortunately there are so many that are kind but think they know what is best for everyone else. Don’t let yourself fall into that category. Learn to accept people “just as they are”.

It was a cold February evening in 1993 that I first heard that song, and as it kept playing I found myself walking to the altar with tears streaming down my face as I knelt and asked Jesus into my heart. It is one of the most cherished memories that I have. He accepted me “Just as I am”. He didn’t tell me I had to go through a bunch of classes, training or change my mannerisms or the way I dressed or talked. No He simple said “Just as you are, come to me”. He didn’t say I had to change my style of dress, where I lived, where I worked, no he said “Just as you are”

Isn’t it wonderful to know that there is that one who will accept you “just as you are”, with all your sins, all of your past, all your hurt, your anger, your regrets, he accepts you. With all that you are and all that you aren’t, all that you want to be and all that you can’t be, he accepts you.

Whether you are rich or poor, depressed, angry, and addict, an alcoholic, a hateful person, a lost person he wants you to come to him “just as you are”. He accepts you “just as you are” and wants to love you “just as you are” and when you accept him and feel that love, you will know what needs to change and you will do it without anyone else telling you to do so. You will do it because it is what you have wanted to do all along. So, today come to the Lamb of God “Just as you are”. He wants to love you “Just as you are”.

 

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It’s a Wonderful Life

Its-A-Wonderful-Life-3It’s a Wonderful Life

I’ve spent a lot of my life living in large, cold, unhealthy cities. I can remember that most of the places I lived, the neighbors hardly spoke to you. Even back then people were starting to keep to themselves because they didn’t trust anyone, crime had already started to escalate.

For example; when Ken and I first got married, we lived in a downstairs apartment, in a not so safe neighborhood because we couldn’t afford anything else. The people upstairs had some teenage boys who were known for stealing and causing trouble. Ken called me one day and said he was standing in the living room watching out the window as the guy in the upstairs apartment across the street was shooting at the boys in our building as they were running after breaking in and stealing a gold chain. Apparently he was a gang member, that disappeared before the police showed up.

There are some communities across America in the larger cities that do their best to stay closed, get to know each other and work together to keep it clean of crime and intruders. Not many though, and even those closed communities can often be standoffish to their neighbors, not willing to get to know them and not wanting them to nose into their lives.

There is a classic film that is played on at least one channel every year around Christmas time. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is about a small town business man that almost loses his bank because of a run on it, and then his uncle loses an 800.00 payment to the rich guy in town. He is threatened with legal action and becomes so depressed he thinks about suicide. An angel is sent to rescue him and take him back, to show him how much he had done for the people in that town.

Since I have lived in this rural town, I have seen the community come together when someone had a need. I’ve seen them collect and donate food, furniture and clothing to those who lost their home in a fire. I have seen them run boot drives to collect money for medical bills for those who could not pay for their cancer treatment and I’ve seen them hold garage sales, sidewalk sales and special events to help others who lost loved ones and couldn’t pay for funeral costs.

A community caring about it’s people, wanting to help those in need, reaching out to those who live there is a wonderful site to behold, is a wonderful experience to have. Just the way everyone knows everyone, most everyone reaches out a helping hand reminds of the way that the town came together to help George Bailey in the Movie. When I stop to think about all the things that have happened in my life and compare it to where I am now, the people who are my neighbors and friends, I too am blessed with a “Wonderful Life”.

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Isaiah 58:10-11 If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

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Overwhelmed – Put on the Whole Armor

KnightOverwhelmed / Put on the Whole Armor

I know I haven’t been writing lately, but sometimes life overwhelms us. Just when we think that everything is going good, Satan shows up with his back of tricks. He is working overtime to destroy all the believers in Christ that he can, not just spiritually but emotionally and physically as well for he knows that his time is quickly running out.

We had some needs that needed to be taken care, some things that we just couldn’t find a solution to so we gave them to the Lord and just kept on praying about them. In one day all three prayers were answered even though only one of them so far has been completed. We were praising him, walking around with huge smiles on our faces, feeling good inside and thankful for the answers.

No sooner did the answers to these prayers come out that other things begin to happen. We couldn’t use the air conditioning, and the heat was getting unbearable, literally making us cranky and physically sick. We were snapping at each other, walking around with scowls on our faces trying to find some kind of relief.

Shortly afterward, I stuck my fingers, accidentally, of course in a stray cats mouth. Three little puncture wounds sent me to the ER and being admitted for for 24 hours while they pumped me full of two different IV antibiotics, and anti-fungal medicine, blood thinners, steroids and breathing treatments.

How weird it is that you feel like you have a slight injury and end up on all of these medicines that make you feel like you want to just roll over and quit breathing. I’m tired but I’m wired at the same time. I’m edgy one minute and calm the next. It’s like I’m on some kind of roller coaster ride. I walk around just feeling weird inside and to add to the mess of all this , the antibiotics have caused another type of infection that I am now treating too.

As I am going through this pharmaceutical illness, the first of the month rolls around. I have two more doctor visits to pay for than just the normal one. We have to run here and there to get the bills paid, get to the food bank and still get to all the infusion appointments on time. Besides all of these there are now some concerns over the well being of several family members.

It’s times like this, everyone has them, whether it is financial, medical, or emotional, we start to feel overwhelmed. It’s times like this that you just want to holler up to God and ask why this has to happened right after you have received a big blessing.

I know the answer and it is what I said before. Satan cannot stand it when god blesses someone and he will throw everything he can at you to turn your mind away from God. It’s times like this that we have to stand up and put on the full armor of God “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Ephesians 6: 13 Therefor take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the vile day and having done all to stand firm. 14. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15. and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

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Fighting Back

older woman prayingFighting Back

I was diagnosed with chronic depression and PTSD years ago. While they tried every antidepressant they could, they never actually helped with the depression, they just numbed me. I walked around like a zombie, not feeling much of anything. I didn’t feel joy, love, hate, or any of those emotions. I guess the best way to describe it is that I felt indifferent to everything around me. I had no opinions, I had no goals, I had not ambition to do anything.

Taking these drugs I was drowsy all the time. I fell asleep on the bus on the way to work, I fell asleep in front of the television, I even fell asleep in church, all the time, not because the sermon was dull, but because this is what those medicines do to you. My metabolism slowed down, I craved sweets, I didn’t eat right and I gained weight. These medications encouraged me to let my health go.

We are human and being that we often try to do everything by ourselves before we ask God for help. I thought I had my depression under control and that’s when Satan started shooting more arrows at me. I lost my job, I became disabled, then my step father passed away. Two years ago my only child died, seven months later my sister passed away. I finally realized recently that I was more depressed over these events than I led others to believe, more depressed than I thought I was.

I would get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, and if we didn’t have to go to the hospital for infusion, I would sit in front of the computer, scrolling through the news, scrolling through Social Media, maybe writing an article once in awhile. Before I realized the hours had passed and it was time for the main meal of the day.

I would make myself do the normal chores like making the beds, picking up clutter around the house, doing the laundry and doing the dishes. But that was where it all ended. I had no desire to do any of the things I used to like to do, like organizing everything, crocheting, sewing, container gardening and “writing”. I would sometimes lay down 4 hours after I got up, or after lunch and would sleep for 2-4 hours.

I tried exercising, the ones that I can do without stressing the conditions that I have. That would last for a day or two and then it might be a week or more before I would even try again. I tried eating healthier meals and again that would last for a day or two and then it would be go grab a piece of lunch-meat and cheese or a danish and that would be my main course.

In the evening I would scroll through social media, trying to focus on other peoples problems and pray for them, assuming that getting outside my own concerns and worrying more about others would help me and sometimes it did. Then I would play games until I was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I didn’t even play them to win or get to the next level. I just sat there moving objects around until I ran out of lives and then I would go to the next game.

I noticed a change in my attitude. Even though I wouldn’t voice out loud what I was feeling because I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I still felt agitated at certain points. Something as simple as someone taking up too many minutes talking to us in Walmart parking lot would start to irritate me. I found myself becoming argumentative with others, something that I didn’t used to do.

I had a very long talk with God last night. I told how ashamed I felt of the way I have been acting for many months now. I asked him to forgive me for becoming lethargic, lazy, lukewarm. I told him I needed his strength, I needed to know he was still there for me, he still loved me and I definitely needed his guidance. The person I was becoming wasn’t me, wasn’t the person I desired to be. I told him I needed him to help me fight back.

It is so easy to fall into the traps that Satan sets for us. He uses one unpleasant incident or a string of incidents to encourage us to fall away from what and who we are supposed to be. God has a plan for everyone, no matter how young, how old, or decrepit or how physically strong we might be. He doesn’t always tell us what that plan is but the only way we can complete what he wants done is to cling to him, have faith in him, recognize the snares that are put in our way and cling to that joy, that redemption, that love and that eternal life that he alone can give us.

But through the grace of God, through his love, through having a relationship with him I have decided that “I AM FIGHTING BACK”.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.


Psalms 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.


Deuteronomy 31:8 “… It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”