What Is A Christian To do?

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God seems to have me in a season of accepting people for who they are. This confuses me but it is a recurring thing coming up.

I see people’s sin quickly, usually from the first moments of speaking with them or sometimes even looking at them I can peg their sin. Back in the day I was quick to point it out to them but quickly found that was ineffective and just made people mad at me. But the past few years I have learned to be patient and wait for the doors that God opens to speak into someone’s life and sometimes that never happens or I miss it.

I am now working within a secular workforce and I am struggling a lot. I have been in this training and we talk about the topic of domestic violence. So many times I just keep my mouth shut because I don’t know how to separate God and the Scripture I see when others speak, from the conversation. I know they have to respect my beliefs but I can’t constantly pummel them with truth and Scripture. So I believe that God is trying to teach me that there is some balance that I need to learn or I need to learn how to speak wisdom and truth without necessarily bringing the word God into it.

Today they were talking about culture and basically saying we all need to respect different people’s cultures and how they act. All I could visualize was how the enemy desensitizes Christians with this thinking so we become okay with sin. I would normally think that the enemy was trying to deceive me and I chose the wrong place to work but I had it come up again in another place.

I have a second interview for a part time job as a youth leader, coming up on Tuesday. During my first interview I was asked how I would react to someone who may have a different view than me, she brought up homosexuality. She asked if I could handle someone in the church thinking it was okay (this church don’t accept it)? I said “yes, I have come to understand that people won’t see the truth of sin until God opens their eyes and heart to it, so I just wait for doors to open and use Scripture at that point”. So I am in for the second interview.

I keep thinking about John 3:16 which is the most used and basic verse ever. Jesus died for all of the people, all of the lost. He loves them. So then, I think maybe God is showing me that I am more judgmental about people because of their sins than I think. Just because I don’t verbally say it anymore I still think it and feel it in my heart.

Not that I should just accept sin to the point where I start to think everyone is saved but to love them like he does where they are so that I can be even more effective when He wants to use me.

At times I feel like I am betraying Him and my faith because I am holding back on mentioning Him but I keep hearing “I love them”. I could be completely wrong but only time will tell.

 

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Fluttering Wings!!!

Matthew 4:11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

I started a new job with an organization that helps women/children/men of domestic violence. Due to this new job I am required to take a domestic violence training. So my first class was yesterday. I went into this kind of annoyed because I thought of it as wasting a whole Saturday hearing about all the statistics that I know already because I am a survivor of domestic violence. But God had other plans.

During the first part of the class they just spoke about the history of DV and then we had a break. During my break time I started to become emotional and my body was shaky. I didn’t realize that my past was being stirred up until we went back and started watching a video. Half way through this video my heart started to race, my body was shaking and tears started to trickle down my face. I wanted to leave but thoughts of how the others in the class would know I was affected kept me in my seat. Then I tried to do deep breathing techniques and tears started to stream down my face. I realized that I just needed to sob so I got up and as I turned the corner two of my new coworkers were there and I just burst into tears.

We sat and talked for a while and they helped me to by validating my feelings and assured me that just because I was triggered (which is something I thought would never happen again) doesn’t mean I am not okay. It felt so good to simply tell people my pain and the injustice I felt through the court system and have them instantly understand. I was able to go back to class after the movie and share what happened with the group.

I am just amazed by God yet again because I know He brought me to this organization to further my healing and help me grow.

In the past there were times I ran from God because I didn’t want to process the pain that I knew He was leading me to because I didn’t trust Him enough. But finally I realized that I am not alone and that He is with me right now to walk me through this process. I can trust Him.

This abuse that happened so long ago has started to give me that uneasy sense as if it just happened. So this morning I turned on worship music and just closed my eyes and sang to God. As I was singing I saw shadows (through my closed eyes) of wings fluttering around me. I received a vision of Jesus in the desert when the angels came to tend to Him after Satan left Him.

I am sure that God is here and He is telling me that Satan meant harm with the abuse in my past but He is here to redeem that and He is ministering to me and healing me.

What a beautiful God have…

 

 

 

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Are You Trying?

At times I have trouble believing God loves me. I think I fall into the problem of thinking I have to get it perfect for him to think of me at all, which would be depending on works.

Well, tonight he showed me different…

I had been out of work for over two months and received a job offer today with an organization I can believe in. I was starting to think that the sin I still did not overcome is holding me up and that God might not answer my prayer until I get it perfect.

But tonight he told me “You are trying to overcome”. It made me think about how I tell my daughter “If I just see you trying, I will show you grace”.

I do still believe that we can’t live this life the way we choose and ignore what God is telling us, but if we are trying he sees that and blesses it.

Thank you God for showing me that you see my efforts and although I haven’t gotten it perfect yet, you see that I am not ignoring you.

I Thank You God for blessing and loving those who are struggling so much in their hearts yet still seem like sinners to the world. I ask you to show your children that their efforts matter, no matter how small they may think they are. Amen

UPDATE… After I posted this I recived an email from my church saying that they would be paying my whole rent (I had only asked for $350) for December. I am just so overwhelmed by God right now. He is confirming that I have heard him and I have been following Him to the best of my ability. He sees and blesses it all. DON’T IGNORE HIM!!!

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Shortcuts!!!

Matthew 6:31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

God is so amazing. I have been really in tune with people and how selfish they are since I was Saved. So many people in this world only care about themselves and how they can deceive people or be outright rude to benefit themselves. Recently I noticed it at the food pantry when that mom used her kids and her friend who was first in line, so she could be second in line instead of 30th like she should have been. I noticed it when that guy went out of turn and cut off the other car at the 4 way stop, then had the audacity to honk at the one who was in the right because they almost collided.

I couldn’t help but to think in these situations “was that worth going to Hell”? Did you really benefit in the long term from cutting someone off or being second in line? Is it worth not following God, who would have let everyone go before himself?

I really write this post because God has made my life so peaceful. I have been out of work for 2.5 months and I had a $100 dollars in savings when I was let go from my job. Yet, I have been able to pay my bills through the 1st of January and I have had peace this whole time and I also knew a month ago that I would be working for a specific organization, I just had to be patient.

But I truly believe that the reason I have confirmation about things, I am taken care of and have peace through seemingly hopeless times is because I take steps to change and follow God which ultimately makes me more like Him.

I learn from His Word, I learn about the things I need to change to be a better person and I practice them step by step.

The past couple months I have had more food than I ever had, my bills have been paid and I have money to go to the thrift store and buy some new clothes for my new position.

My friend and I fasted and prayed for me to get a job offer yesterday and I received an offer with the organization I knew (a month ago) I would be working with today. And all this time I have been provided for.

This to me is worth more than being 2nd in line at the food pantry because I am deceitful. I had a paid 2.5 month long vacation because I have a serious relationship with God.

To be with Satan gives you temporary short lived satisfaction but God gives you long term peace and provision.

In my past I would have ran to the first dead end position I could find to make money. But I waited (even though some people thought I was crazy or even lazy) and trusted God and He brought me a position where I will yet again have purpose.

So I ask you to really think about this question. Are the short cuts really worth it in the end?

 

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The Nagging Woman!

Judges 16:16-17 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. So he told her everything…

nagging-wife

As I read about Samson and Delilah this morning I couldn’t help but to laugh. Then it got real… God’s Word is still so valid today and this is why we should read it and meditate on the Word given and on our lives in order to see if there are area’s where we need to change.

In this story Delilah wants to know how Samson gets his strength so that she can use it against him in order to get money by telling his secret. Samson lies to her a few times and this is when she starts to relentlessly nag him until he gives up his secret. He is then captured and physically harmed and locked up. Worst of all he went against God and his calling.

Think about how common it is for a woman to nag someone. I still struggle with nagging at my daughter. I guess I see it as just wanting to help her. I think “I have been there and know what I am talking about”. But the truth is that her path will be different than mine. She will need to make her mistakes in order to learn and my way isn’t the only way.

I have also realized that my nagging can actually be hurting her by possibly lowering her self esteem. Deep down inside she could think that she does everything wrong which could lessen her motivation to try.

This is how God changes us, this is producing Spiritual fruit. When God shows you something you have the choice to ignore it or process it. If you choose to ignore it then you are choosing to hurt yourself and others. If you go with it and ask God to help you change then you are choosing to become more like Jesus and love others.

Walking with Jesus is about sacrifice. For me to become less of a nag I have to think before I speak, I have to bite my tongue and really think about whether what I have to say is beneficial or not. Is this a moment to give advice or guidance or is it a time to be quiet? This is hard but when practiced over time it becomes habit.

If you really think about it, nagging is just a way to use your words to beat someone down until they do it your way. Nagging is really about power.

So take some time today and ask God to reveal the people to you that you may be harming by your nagging. Ask him to help you control your tongue and let go of trying to control every detail of a life that is not yours. I promise there will be a weight lifted off and shame will be taken from you when you let God do his work.

 

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When Times Get Hard

Hebrews 10:36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

I tend to disappear when my life gets tough. This became clear to me tonight when a FB friend decided to disappear from FB because he is going through a rough time. It may be to fast, but for me it meant how I stop blogging through the rough seasons. If you see the time between when I post and don’t post, you will see that it seems I have mostly bad days. Thing is I have good and bad but don’t blog unless it’s a good season.

Well, it’s been a a rough two months. Money is REALLY tight, I am struggling with believing in myself and my ability, the way it is right now I won’t have presents under the tree for my daughter and might not even be able to pay my bills for the middle of December.

Yet, there is this peace and hope within me. I can still look at what I have and appreciate it. I can look at the nature outside and see it’s beauty. I have hope that God will come through like he has already this past few months.

That’s the thing about God and knowing Him, He always comes through and life is so much more amazing with Him than without Him.

I sit here worrying at times about a job yet I am looking up prices on condos and what it takes to get a mortgage. I am still dreaming even though I am in no position to dream right now. In my past I survived, dream wasn’t even in my vocabulary. So God has made my life worthwhile even though I struggle I thank Him for the peace and life I have in Him.

 

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Does Your Food Pantry Empower or Oppress?

Ecclesiastes 4:1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed – and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors – and they have no comforter.

Since I am out of work I figured that I should save the little money that I have left and utilize food pantries. This has been very humbling and yet very enlightening.

I went to one pantry with a friend and at this church they had somebody sit with you while you waited your turn. This person was there to get to know you, hear your story, give you resources and pray with you. This made an uncomfortable situation so much less uncomfortable and it left you feeling like they cared about who you are and not just your need. The food there was balanced so you could make meals and very little of it was expired, but it is only enough for about a week and you can only go once a month.

Another day we went to another church for fresh produce. I received about 5 lbs of cilantro, really rotten broccoli and 5 eggplants. Nobody asked me about myself or if they could pray with me and just wanted to hurry me out of there.

So today I told myself I was going to try one of my local food pantries by myself. I didn’t really want to go so I kept telling myself that these people are here to help others, it brings them purpose and they won’t judge me. After all this was at a local church and these people know God and love others. I also see this as an opportunity to see how others live on a daily basis and what they have to go through.

So when I showed up it was immediately dark and sad, I could feel it in the air. Everyone was roaming the tables with their heads down, not one smile or kind word from anyone. Then I saw a worker who had her head down and she was very focused on wiping a table that looked clean already. I was roaming around for a bit not knowing where to start and had to get her attention to ask what the process was. I was pointed to a hall where another very cold volunteer asked me what my name was. Thing is she wasn’t asking because she wanted to know me but she wants to make sure I am in the system so I don’t come back for another month. She asked if I was on food stamps and I said “No”, I was expecting her to give me information on applying but all she did was hand me a card saying I can’t come back until Nov 12th and then she told me to pick 8 items from the rack behind me. Then she screamed “next”. So I turned to collect my items and moved down the line. Another volunteer said “two” and pushed two bags onto a counter. I just stood there and then she stared at me and I said “are those mine”? In a very nasty tone she said “You do have 2 in your family, don’t you”? I then said “yes”. Thing is that I had 8 boxes and bags in my arms and now I had 2 large bags to grab, so I said “Can I leave this here and grab a cart” to which she replied “no, they aren’t allowed in here”. So I said “Okay, thank you”, she said “Your welcome” but she didn’t even seem to mean it. So I went back and forth outside of that area and put all my stuff on a table so I could get a cart. Then I was able to grab other items and leave.

When I got home I set everything on my table and checked the expiration dates. This is what I was sent home with…

Meal Items
4 frozen chicken fajita meals
2 boxes macaroni – expired
4 cans of chicken
2 packs of Quinoa
1 pack of green beans
1 box of pasta
1 can of spaghetti sauce – expired by 5 months
1 can of soup- expired
Snacks/Desserts
9 ice cream bars
12 packs of mini cinnamon rolls – expired
1 pack fudge bars – expired by 6 months
2 boxes of candy
1 pack of oatmeal cookies – expired by 10 months
1 bag vanilla cupcake goldfish – expired
1 pack sugar cookies – expired
1 pumpkin cookie mix – expired
1 box corn flakes
1 pack of gum – expired
3 pies – expired

So as you can see most of what I received was expired, which would tell me that people in my situation get the bottom of the barrel, the items not good enough for those at stores to consume. I got enough actual meal items to make 2 different dinners that would last 6 nights. I also have candy for dessert. So I get the bottom food supply and I can get fatter. Plus, how I was treated will bring shame upon people when they are already full of shame and make them feel like even more of a burden to society.

I am not being ungrateful by any means, I am just telling it like it is. Food pantries are one of the main avenues in which the Church serves the impoverished. We think it is so easy to utilize a food pantry and government program to have all of the impoverished people’s needs met. But it takes more work to survive than it is to have a full time job and pay for your own stuff. I would have to go to at least 3 more food pantries to hopefully provide dinner for my daughter for the next month. Which means 3 more opportunities to be put further into oppression. I say this because I have heard that most pantries are like the last two that I visited. Where is the love? Where is the empowerment? Where is God?

So my worst experience with visiting these pantries was not all the expired/rotten food it was the lack of God and the presence of the enemy (oppression).

Jesus said “Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. John 6: 49-51

So shouldn’t we be viewing food as an opportunity to treat people in a way that will lead them to the living bread, instead of a way to check off our serving box so that we can sleep better at night?

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