Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is Church Like Dairy Queen (Grill and Chill?)

A minister was recently saying that for some people church is sort of like Dairy Queen. My dad used to take my brother and me every Sunday night to Dairy Queen in the convertible car. It was like a “cap” to the end of the week to give us that treat when we were small. I’m glad I was very thin back then and I could eat ice cream! It was neat in the summer going on rides in the convertible. I guess a minister is saying that church is sort of like a end cap.

I really enjoyed our “family” time. We also spent a lot of time sitting on our back porch together in the summer. My favorite sanctuary now is my back porch swing.

I was talking to someone recently and they told me when they go to church, they like to duck in and out because they are in customer service during the week so they are not interested in fellowship. It’s really the opposite for me. Even when I was married, I enjoyed the fellowship afterwards. The church my spouse and I attended they had coffee and we would stand around and get coffee and fellowship with other couples in the church right after the service It was a nice “catch up” with them. I really miss that fellowship with couples.

Some people have complained to me that they go to Life Groups, but can’t get people to socialize much outside of a small study. They said in other countries people are more “people friendly” but they think in our society we are too busy.

I look to partner at a church. I’ve done some homeless ministries lately, and I found a small church in the Fountain Square area that does homeless ministries and nursing home ministries where I can partner in evangelism. A few years back, I partnered with a single’s pastor to do worship for a single’s ministry and socials at my house. He put my phone number down as a contact person.

I think it was Smith Wigglesworth who said that many people feed their body three good meals a day and their spirit one cold snack on Sunday.

When I go to church at times I get milk, vegetables or meat spiritually. I get most of my steak dinners on TBN and Daystar television. If I go eat a steak dinner at Outback or Texas Roadhouse for $50 then it’s nothing for me to pay for a steak dinner at a restaurant. Should it be any different at church? I’m a partner in the gospel. I think the most my spouse and I ever spent was at Ruth Chris Steakhouse or Red Lobster for the whole family was $150 or $200 so I can write a check to church because the whole family got ministered there. If I go get my nails done it’s around $60 to do that.

It’s neat to support a person to go to Haiti and bring fresh water treatment and know we can partner with that person in our finances. I don’t always get to go, but we can be the one sending. Paul talked about “my God” will supply all your needs after they partnered with him in an offering.

But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus Philip. 4:18-19

There were many times my spouse and I did not eat out very much, did not take elaborate vacations, and I never got my nails done because we had six children at home we were feeding. A lot of it is setting priorities.

Where are our priorities at when it comes to what we do, and what we spend our money on. I know people who golf and it’s $50.00 at times in green fees. Another one is concerts, they are very expensive. Do we see God’s ministry as a priority? One of my big expenses is gas for boating so the last two years I’ve cut down on boating, but I’ve not cut down on my giving to church.

Anyway to me, church is more like home base, like my house was at times. At times my house was like a war zone in raising teenagers or having certain people live in my home.

It’s always nice to have a “home” base. It’s where we feel safe. When we play baseball, the object of the game is to get to home base. In some sports, it’s to get to our field goal.

It sort of reminds me of the first Star Wars where Princess Leia is trying to carry the plans of the Death Star back to her home planet of Alderaan, but it gets blown up. It’s so they can launch an attack on the ship. It’s like having a launching pad for X-wing fighters.

I was in this group called, “Christ is the Answer” when I was 19 years old, where we did street evangelism every day. I was on the v-squad they called it where we witnessed in front of and picketed pornography shops on Friday and Saturday night.

It was always nice to come home back to our base camp after a full day of street evangelism. I enjoyed being with 250 other evangelists. Most of them were evangelists, we had a few people who were more called to helps ministry in the kitchen or mechanics crew.

When we are married, it’s nice when we feel “safe” at our own home. We go to bed at night and feel safe in our husband’s arms. Home is a haven where a weary soldier can come back to and rest after a long day at the office or out in the battlefield. A weary soldier can’t wait to come home to the US from Iraq.

At times in the Civil War, people wanted to come back early before they were released, but they would be deserters. That is one thing nice about God’s army, is that we don’t shoot or Court Marshall others for desertion.

I left ministry for quite a few years – pulled out of the race because of a divorce. Sometimes I’ve pulled myself out purposely. I did not pull out this time after losing a spouse. At times, I’m back to those “first works” like it talks about in the book of Revelation.

Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:5

Like the prodigal son, the Father is always looking and waiting for the wayward son to come home. With Peter, Jesus actually went looking for Peter and Jesus cooked his disciple’s breakfast. We are told if a brother bids us to go one mile, we are to go two miles for our brethren.

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Matthew 5:41

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Come Boldly


 Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

One of the problems I run into a lot with some Christian singles is a “self-condemnation/self-rejection.” It makes me think about what journalists criticize Joyce Meyer for her high self-esteem. It’s because she does not have false humility.

Right before I was remarried when I was 35 years old, I read that book "Search for Significance" and it's a book that I probably should keep reading over and over. It's about knowing our identification and significance through Jesus Christ. Not finding our importance through people, our mates, our jobs (ministries) or things.

My manager got rifted and there was a big turnover at my former job and I was reassigned several times, around 15 people left in one year, then there was a turnover of a pastor and many people at a church I attended, next I've lost several family members and my spouse.

Sooner or later, I find the only stability in life is building our life around the revelation of Jesus Christ and who he is (our identification with him). Jesus said the “gates of hell” will not prevail against his church and that revelation.

(He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I say also to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:16-18)

That is where our importance or significance lies. Not in what we do or what people think about us.

So whenever I hear Christian people putting themselves down or putting others down I think of this scripture:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Roman 8:1-2

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Tears of a Clown (Fighting a Goliath called Depression)

It's a blessing making people happy --making people smile especially children. I love taking children of single parents out on my wave runners and hear them squeal like a little piggy with delight-- "Wheeeeee"

I inherited a clown suit from my mother while I was working at Methodist Hospital, and I would go on the wards and pass out candy to sick children in my clown suit. I also wore it to outreach at a church I was attending. For awhile I was thinking about doing clowning.

Everyone is different with loss and depression can be "different strokes for different folks." Robin Williams' children were grown so I'm not sure what exactly was the root or cause of his depression don't know if empty nest was a contributor.

Now, even more so with technology is a feeling of being more and more isolated. I can't even imagine adding get away from Paparazzi to have a normal life how that contributes to more isolation.

My dad had problems with depression and I know it stemmed from not getting the love he needed from his mother in feeling rejection.

When I met my spouse, he had problems with depression from losing his college sweet heart (his first marriage) and having a baby die of SIDS. One of the things my spouse told me is that I brought joy into his life.

I find it's very neat to bring joy to another person. So at the top of my list is bringing happiness or joy to other people.

The only problem is that is an external thing. If my happiness is based on bringing joy or happiness to other people and there is not a lot of activity going on then that decreases my joy. It tells us "it's more blessed to give than receive."

Recently I was going through a bout of depression for no apparent "reason" on the weekend. I had a good job interview on Friday. I have a potentially good roommate from Hong Kong I am happy about to live with me.

But it was this "rush" of thoughts and this is the way it went down. Who cares about a new job---so what? I've already had a good marriage, I've already been on Mt. Everest, I've already experienced all the joys I care to experience and there really is nothing left I want to do on this planet.

There is nothing worth living for.

So I was sitting on my deck when all this negativity came against me and I was thinking. "God what should I do?" I could go to a movie and I can escape into fantasy land and get some rush from the movie. Or I can go shopping, or there is just a lot of things I can be doing."

I started singing this song, "Send us the rain Lord, send us the rain, send us the latter rain" and it was the wave of the Holy Spirit came into my soul and it healed all those negative thoughts and they left.

I realized that many times I try to handle depression which is a spiritual battle in my life and I try to get rid of it in the flesh rather than letting the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit take care of the problem.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. Isaiah 10:2

What I have learned is not to let my happiness be based on external stimuli as far as usually on Saturdays I would be like a zombie from the work week and it took me all Saturday morning just to snap back from the work week. My late spouse usually worked to at least noon so my being a zombie was fine, but now I don't have a person who comes home from work Saturday and is a "kick" in the seat of the pants.

I don't have anyone on earth to motivate me to do better or get up in the morning or keep me going and than I get hit at times with despair or hopelessness and In my mind it's over -- life is over.

But in God's mind and God's plan -- it's not over until He says it's over! When God says it's over then it's over. I don't need the devil telling me it's over, I don't need my circumstances telling me it's over and I don't need anyone to tell me my life is over -- hang it up -- you got nothing to live for lady!

I find that I can call on the presence of the Holy Spirit when these thoughts come in my mind that tell me that life is over. We are promised that Jesus said he would not leave us as orphans. He would send the Holy Spirit.

So I've called on the Holy Spirit because when these discouraging thoughts hit its like needles hitting my mind. I heard a minister say that since we are "seated with Christ in heavenly places" that is part of having the Holy Spirit within us to tap into the vine.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

I had a dream right after I lost my husband that I was choking an evil man and he was choking me back and than he was doing Chinese torture in the middle of my mind. I know the torture is those thoughts that my life is over.

In Ephesians 6 it tells us to stand on the evil day, but I find that "standing" can be a long time. I've been standing now for almost seven years, but I had a warning by God that as Egypt had seven years of famine and the seven years of famine overpowered the seven years of plenty, all memory of the good years with my husband would be overpowered by loss.

I'm depending on the Holy Spirit to see me through these times. Elijah had depression and God sent him a Raven to feed him. Ravens usually eat food not bring food. Jonah had depression and God sent him a plant to give him an analogy of Nineveh, but when David got depressed, he encouraged himself in the Lord.

As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:10-11
Photo: The Tears of a Clown (Fighting a Goliath called Depression) 

It's a blessing making people happy --making people smile especially children. I love taking children of single parents out on my wave runners and hear them squeal like a little piggy with delight-- "Wheeeeee"

I inherited a clown suit from my mother while I was working at Methodist Hospital, and I would go on the wards and pass out candy to sick children in my clown suit.  I also wore it to outreach at a church I was attending.  For awhile I was thinking about doing clowning. 

Everyone is different with loss and depression can be "different strokes for different folks."  Robin Williams' children were grown so I'm not sure what exactly was the root or cause of his depression don't know if empty nest was a contributor. 

Now, even more so with technology is a feeling of being more and more isolated.  I can't even imagine adding get away from Paparazzi to have a normal life how that contributes to more isolation.  

My dad had problems with depression and I know it stemmed from not getting the love he needed from his mother in feeling rejection. 

When I met my spouse, he had problems with depression from losing his college sweet heart (his first marriage) and having a baby die of SIDS.  One of the things my spouse told me is that I brought joy into his life.  

I find it's very neat to bring joy to another person.  So at the top of my list is bringing happiness or joy to other people.  

The only problem is that is an external thing.  If my happiness is based on bringing joy or happiness to other people and there is not a lot of activity going on then that decreases my joy. It tells us "it's more blessed to give than receive." 

Recently I was going through a bout of depression for no apparent "reason" on the weekend.  I had a good job interview on Friday.  I have a potentially good roommate from Hong Kong I am happy about to live with me.

But it was this "rush" of thoughts and this is the way it went down.  Who cares about a new job---so what?  I've already had a good marriage, I've already been on Mt. Everest, I've already experienced all the joys I care to experience and there really is nothing left I want to do on this planet. 

There is nothing worth living for. 

So I was sitting on my deck when all this negativity came against me and I was thinking.  "God what should I do?"  I could go to a movie and I can escape into fantasy land and get some rush from the movie.  Or I can go shopping, or there is just a lot of things I can be doing."  

I started singing this song, "Send us the rain Lord, send us the rain, send us the latter rain" and it was the wave of the Holy Spirit came into my soul and it healed all those negative thoughts and they left. 

I realized that many times I try to handle depression which is a spiritual battle in my life and I try to get rid of it in the flesh rather than letting the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit take care of the problem. 

And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. Isaiah 10:2 

What I have learned is not to let my happiness be based on external stimuli as far as usually on Saturdays I would be like a zombie from the work week and it took me all Saturday morning just to snap back from the work week.  My late spouse usually worked to at least noon so my being a zombie was fine, but now I don't have a person who comes home from work Saturday and is a "kick" in the seat of the pants.  

I don't have anyone on earth to motivate me to do better or get up in the morning or keep me going and than I get hit at times with despair or hopelessness and In my mind it's over -- life is over. 

But in God's mind and God's plan -- it's not over until He says it's over!  When God says it's over then it's over.   I don't need the devil telling me it's over, I don't need my circumstances telling me it's over and I don't need anyone to tell me my life is over -- hang it up -- you got nothing to live for lady! 

I find that I can call on the presence of the Holy Spirit when these thoughts come in my mind that tell me that life is over.  We are promised that Jesus said he would not leave us as orphans.  He would send the Holy Spirit. 

So I've called on the Holy Spirit because when these discouraging thoughts hit its like needles hitting my mind. I heard a minister say that since we are "seated with Christ in heavenly places" that is part of having the Holy Spirit within us to tap into the vine. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

I had a dream right after I lost my husband that I was choking an evil man and he was choking me back and than he was doing Chinese torture in the middle of my mind. I know the torture is those thoughts that my life is over.  

In Ephesians 6 it tells us to stand on the evil day, but I find that "standing" can be a long time.  I've been standing now for almost seven years, but I had a warning by God that as Egypt had seven years of famine and the seven years of famine overpowered the seven years of plenty, all memory of the good years with my husband would be overpowered by loss.  

I'm depending on the Holy Spirit to see me through these times.  Elijah had depression and God sent him a Raven to feed him.  Ravens usually eat food not bring food.  Jonah had depression and God sent him a plant to give him an analogy of Nineveh, but when David got depressed, he encouraged himself in the Lord. 

As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:10-11

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Got Bitten At Church

Got Bitten at Church? 
 
I was listening to Sid Roth's, "It's Supernatural" and a man was talking about how he got hurt at church and the Lord apologized to him about God's sheep biting him.

Sheep do bite. Maybe God's children are teething or something? Children many times bite when they are getting their teeth.

For me it was Christian men. I got bit by Christian men who did not walk in Agape love. I can understand why Paul's instruction in marriage is "Husband's love your wives." Than he compared it to Christ laying down his life for the church. It's hard sometimes to find a man who will put his wife and children above his own needs.

I had a relative who built a pulpit for the pastor and when some people criticized it, he never came back to church. He was a very young believer at the time. I think it's sad he let a couple of critical people with Pharisee attitudes run him off.

I would much rather see people jump ship (go to another church) than completely not attend church at all. We are the church (the lively spiritual stones) that make up the church. But we are also told not to forsake the assembly of ourselves together as the manner of some is.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
Photo: Got Bitten at Church?  I was listening to Sid Roth's, "It's Supernatural" and a man was talking about how he got hurt at church and the Lord apologized to him about God's sheep biting him.  

Sheep do bite.  Maybe God's children are teething or something?  Children many times bite when they are getting their teeth. 

For me it was Christian men.  I got bit by Christian men who did not walk in Agape love.  I can understand why Paul's instruction in marriage is "Husband's love your wives."  Than he compared it to Christ laying down his life for the church.  It's hard sometimes to find a man who will put his wife and children above his own needs. 

I had a relative who built a pulpit for the pastor and when some people criticized it, he never came back to church.  He was a very young believer at the time.  I think it's sad he let a couple of critical people with Pharisee attitudes run him off.  

I would much rather see people jump ship (go to another church) than completely not attend church at all.  We are the church (the lively spiritual stones) that make up the church.  But we are also told not to forsake the assembly of ourselves together as the manner of some is. 

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25

Monday, July 28, 2014

God Cover My Behind




I find life is like a school lesson. It's required that I show up to class, that I pay attention, and that I learn my lessons.  After Adam and Eve sinned, instead of their covering their shame with fig leaves, God used animal skins to cover their nakedness.

There are times in life I've made poor decisions. It can be in choosing a marriage partner, a job, fortunately not a roommate (knock on wood), where I spend my money, who I choose as friends, and various other things.

We can make unhealthy choices about what we eat, drink and smoking. There are poor judgment calls.

Michael Jackson made a bad call in getting a doctor to inject him with drugs. Read the statistics of rock stars. Party like a rock star? There were many that never made it past their 27th birthday. I had a high school classmate who developed liver cancer from drinking alcohol too much. He quit, but it was not soon enough as far as it did irreversible damage to his liver and he passed away at age 55 years old.

When I was in my 20's, a former spouse and I were headed back from full time ministry in Wisconsin and I was driving late through Atlanta, Georgia. I was behind a semi truck that slowed down and I wanted to pass it. I hesitated and within a few feet there was an overturned car in the left hand lane with no emergency vehicle on the scene. If I would have passed that semi-truck most likely we all would have been killed, I was 7-months pregnant with twins.

It was my temptation to be inpatient. Jesus told us to pray, "Father lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

I don't want to live my life in the fast lane, I'll live in the middle lane. Like Joseph Prince said turtles live over 100 years whereas animals who are very fast like Cheetahs have a very short life span.

I had a similar incident with a semi-truck three years ago as I was turning left in front of the truck just past an intersection, a young college student was in a hurry and he clipped the bumper of my SUV. No one was seriously injured, but I had a "rebuke in my spirit." I heard, "Why did you turn left in front of the semi truck? Don't you remember your experience with one in the past? How people get inpatient around semi trucks?" My insurance got sued and my rates went up.

The Holy Spirit brings "all things to our remembrance." I wish I would have been more cautious, but recently when a semi truck stopped in traffic, I made the decision to go down and turn left at a stop light with an arrow, I'm not taking those chances in life anymore.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26




Monday, July 14, 2014

The Secret to Life is to Look Up

Look: It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's Superman: What to do after tragedy hits---

Right after I lost my spouse to a sudden death, there is just something I noticed about the clouds.  It sort of reminds me of when I was a child lying on the grass with my neighbor boy and we were trying to guess what animal the clouds looked like.

When I left work, about 2 l/2 weeks later, the whole sky was lit up in orange over work, and there was a peace in my heart -- it was like "everything is gong to be okay." At times in life, I don't have that divine assurance that everything is going to be okay, like I had that day.   I like going boating on the lake because the clouds I noticed in the sky over the lake are so beautiful.  Whenever I see a rainbow it's the same thing.

I was talking to a man recently who was telling me that his father who was a believer passed away suddenly from an incurable blood disease.  His whole family prayed, but they still lost him.  I told him the same thing happened to my neighbor across the street.  Her husband was very healthy at 60 years old, and then had flu-like symptoms and her spouse died in three days in the hospital to a blood disease.  He said he also found out he was border line diabetic and he was talking about how his sister was having a hard time getting a job in this economy in South Bend.  He said they are both having trouble with believing in the goodness of God.

I was listening to this man talk on television how he was in a tornado that hit his home.  He plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars football team.  He said that he could not "hold on" to his girlfriend tight enough.  The tornado picked the whole house up and the five of them in a closet and threw them in fields and he survived after several broken bones, but his girlfriend died of a broken neck.  He said that even if he would have broken into his neighbor's house who was not home, and got in their basement, the house collapsed into the basement so they would have not been better off going next door to their neighbor's home.

I completely understand because I find it's very hard to hold on to several of my loved ones in life I had to let go to cancer and other deaths.

I was thinking about all this tragedy in life and I went into Target and I was asking where their Pharmacy was to fill a prescription for my daughter and the clerk showed me that it's directly in the middle of the store and if I just "looked up" I would have seen the big "Pharmacy" letters in red.

It's because I'm looking directly on the Horizon (my line of sight) in front of me.  Lot's wife looked behind her -- she did not have faith that God could bring her into a better city.   Abraham was trusting God for an eternal city so he and his son continued to live in tents.

By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:9-10

They made a movie called "Silver Bells" on the Hallmark Channel and it's about trying to get people to look up more at the wonderful architect in the city and the silver bells were over the door of a church, but no one ever looked up and noticed them but a boy photographer.

To really get through this life in tragedy, we have to start "looking up" and not at life and how everything in life is temporary, it's not eternal.  Jesus said that "heaven and earth will pass away" --- it's going to happen but his words are eternal.

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.  Matthew 24:25

We are told when things start getting worse on this earth we are to look up.

Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:27-28

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Life Is Totally Awesome (Not Worrying About the Rules)

I was sitting at church a few weeks ago and this little four year old boy was behind me singing, “It’s totally awesome” His dad said he had bought the new Lego movie. I took my future granddaughter to the movie, and I really enjoyed it. I especially liked the part about them being robots and having to follow all the rules.

If we try to follow all the rules all of the time, a person will be a miserable person. I've tried it -- living with a perfectionist, working a job for a perfectionist and being a perfectionist at one time.or another in life. I find with a perfectionist is that I can do 99 things right and they will focus on the one thing I do wrong.

Many people can't seem to wrap their minds around the grace teaching.  All we are saying is that the only reason we are breathing is because of the grace of God. Every blessing, every talent, and every breath I take is the grace of God. Paul said he worked harder than anyone, but it was not him, it was the grace of God in him.

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me--and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 1 Cor. 15:10

When I left my job I thought it was interesting that I was not commended on 12 years of staying late on Fridays, working on vacation and at home authorizing students to register. Starting with a new school when a lot of procedures and programs were not in place -- having to call to different departments and get training by the Graduate Office to figure out what i was doing since there was no instructional manual.

I was commended on making a couple of Thanksgiving meals for International students. An idea I believe that God put in my mind to do in the first place. It's very hard to take credit for an idea I know that God gave me.

I had to pray that the old turkey roaster would not conk out that used to be my mother's since I was getting hit with insecurity that the turkey would not be good. My manager said it was the best (moist) turkey he ever tasted. Maybe food is the way to a man's (manager's) heart.

When we go out boating, we have to follow the rules of the DNR, or we can get a ticket, but than I have my own rules is ten minutes on a wave runner. Invariably a new person will come or some couple will idle for a "lover's lane" and then they burn up all the gas while we are sitting on the beach in the hot sun.

Then I'm praying, "Father I forgive them their trespasses against me, even as you forgive my trespasses against you." I seem to be praying that a lot lately...LOL

That is why it says, "the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." Galatians 3:24. We are now under the law of love. God is sure teaching me a lot of patience.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Cor. 13:1-8"

Many people remind me of robots, including Christians. They just mimic like a parrot what their pastor said. It’s all from their head, not their heart. The Berean Jews did not blindly follow what Paul preached. It says that they “were of more noble character” because they searched the scriptures daily.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Act 17:11

When it says that “faith comes by hearing” and hearing by the word of God. Its talking about first hearing it with our physical ears and than our spiritual ears.

Many people mentally ascent to the word is that they hear it and than they don't act on it so it's meant to be heard first, understood by our spiritual minds (we have been given the mind of Christ) and than acted on.

We are told in James if we don't act on the word (obey it) than we deceive ourselves. When I find something in the word, I like to do it --act on it. It says to feed the poor so I go feed the poor, it says widows are given to hospitality. I've tried to take people in my home, but I find if people are not respectful of the rules of my house than it does not work well for me to take in people in my home. A person keeps me up all hours of the night talking loud, or smoking a cigarette outside. Rules are a "safeguard" and we do many things out of respect or love for another person.

I find it better when I give and do something out of love (an attitude of my heart) than a blind obedience. Even dogs and cats seem to have a mind of their own at times, but they do like praise, affection and attention from their master. Paul referred to himself as the "love slave" of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1

It says that God "loves" a cheerful giver:
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:6-7