I died again and no one cared

There seems a never ending list of people these days, who disappoint me daily. From friends who never pick up their phones when I call, or only call me when they need something, to my husband, who, in finding out that I had the flu, peeled out of the house as fast as he could to go on a business trip clear across the country for 5 days.
Every time I turn around, someone is letting me down.

It’s very difficult not to feel hurt, not to feel let down by those around me. I’m not going to lie.  I feel like most people in my generally vicinity suck. That’s the long and short of it. And I could, very easily, fall victim to a mindset of getting back at them. Ignoring them, making life difficult for them, all because I hurt.
But I choose not to.

Self centeredness is something that every person, Christian or not, will struggle with until the day we die. When we are self centered, nothing spiritual gets through. Any blessing, any breakthrough, is bogged up, like a clog in the line of the drain from Heaven to Earth. Sure, you can justify your hurt all day long, telling yourself that others deserve what they get from you. After all, they’re the ones who forced you to act this way.
But no one is forcing you to act poorly. It’s just an excuse. It’s a demand that self centeredness requires to keep you in bondage.

The Apostle Paul said that he died daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). He didn’t mean that his body physically died, but that he had to choose not to be self centered every day.
The cure for self centeredness is God’s Word. To replace your thoughts with God’s thoughts.
And God’s thoughts are not of this world.
Renewing your mind with God’s thoughts requires the death of your old mind. It’s constant and dynamic, requires choice on your part and a willingness to do the work.

Proverbs 14:12 states “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”.
We live in a modern world where 144 characters can define our moods. Where we have 1000 opportunities a minute to be offended at the very slightest thing. We talk at each other instead of with each other, each waiting for their turn to get their points across.
But no one ever gets their points across because we are all too busy making points.

I choose not to be offended, because God has shown me that in doing so, I will have peace.
His peace.
A peace that surpasses all understanding.
Quite frankly, it’s too much work now to get rankled over every little thing. For the length of time I’d spend being angry, hurt or plotting revenge, I could spend that time more productively, at peace.
I’m not perfect, not every day. There are days I would much rather cut someone than love them, much rather pick a fight than walk away from one. But those days come less often than in the past.

I could’ve spent the 5 days my husband was gone, moping around angry. Instead, since I was down for the count anyway, I CHOSE to renew my mind with God’s Word. To replace the anger with His Peace.
I CHOSE to die to self. And I am grateful for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The world may promise but only Jesus delivers

1-19-2017

I sat at my kitchen table this morning, eating breakfast as usual, checking the weather on my phone. The app said 10% chance of snow.
The weather at my house apparently didn’t get the memo, as I sat watching fat flakes tumble to the ground.
How many times does the world get it wrong?
Many.

Did I mention that I really like snow and that warm weather had melted all that had previously fallen? That our area’s 7 day forecast is more warm weather to come? Or that it was technically too warm to snow this morning? Did I also mention that I am usually not up at that hour, that circumstances arose to get me out of bed earlier than normal?

The Holy Spirit whispered to me: “All things are possible to those that believe”.

Jesus Beyond Church Walls

How does God speak to you?
Many people don’t know, they never thought about it. How many people go to church every week, check off the “church” ticker on their “to do” lists, and don’t revisit the “God thing” until the next week? Maybe some add a few nightly prayers into the week. Some might even go to the church masses on a daily basis, but never open the Bible outside the church walls. Or never actually have a conversation with God.

Let me ask a question: does God want your attention only when you’re in a designated building, designed for prayer?
I found that answer in my own life to be: no.
He wants my whole life, every day. He wants me to know that He’s there, always and forever, and He wants me to rest, knowing that He’s “got it covered”.
What “covered”?
Everything.
It’s called Grace and it’s there for everyone who is willing to receive it.

I grew up in the Catholic church. Every week, I went to church because I was supposed to. My parents took me there. I sat in the pews and listened to what sounded like the equivalent of the grown ups in the Peanuts cartoon (wha wha wha wha). Jesus was mentioned, but I didn’t really know Him. Most of the time I spent silently assessing people’s outfits or demeanor, during mass. Hats were of particular interest, especially the really elaborate ones.

I also went to church school on Tuesdays. I didn’t mind that, because I got to leave school, and most of the time in church school, we just fooled around and got into trouble with “Sister Judith”. Fun times.
But not really educational.

Later, after much soul searching, studying and truly finding out who Christ is, what He did and why, I have come to the point in my life of much freedom.
I get it.
Most of the questions that I had growing up, that never got answered by the people I asked the questions to, are now answered. Those that aren’t answered yet, I have faith will be, some day. And there are some that God plainly says are “Not to be answered now. It’s not your business”.
Because I trust Him, that’s okay with me. He is never going to do anything in my life that would result in harming me. In any way. Ever.

I also learned that God speaks to me through nature.
Recently, I had a conversation with my brother about how God speaks to us. For him, it’s through music. For my other brother, we were both guessing that it would be through written words, although, he hasn’t yet come to know God very well.
Yet.
The point is, God speaks to each one of us through a unique channel. Even though He might speak to many through a medium like music, it’s not the same process, the same conversation or the same message. Each individual has a different experience, even though it could be the same medium, the same genre, or even the same song! God knows each of us individually. For some, the conversation begins, and may stay, in the church walls. That’s okay too.
But if you are not being fed the proper spiritual food, don’t just starve. Purpose to find out how God wants to communicate with you. He wants to communicate with you. In fact, He probably reaches out hundreds of times in a day, but it’s chalked up as “coincidence” or “that’s weird”. Those are the moments to pay attention to. He’s there, always patient, waiting with His hand outwardly stretched and inviting all to grasp it.

Now I pray in the middle of a field, while walking my dogs. (I still “go to church”, but I don’t limit my time with Him to just that) That’s my favorite thing in world, to be in nature, talking to God. He shows me things that other people never see. Sometimes, other people come with me, just to humor me, and come away amazed. “Wow! I have never seen that before!” is oftentimes repeated afterwards. “That was amazing!” or “It’s just so….so….beautiful out here!”.
I know. It’s God. He wants to show you those things too. Just ask Him to.