Monday, May 27, 2013

Three times.

These past few weeks there has been much on my mind. I don't count much of it worth sharing for fear of turning my blog into a "soap box" or a "wailing wall" for my own venting and lamentations. I want to write stuff that can inspire or encourage. There is a fine line between sharing a lesson I have learned and just yammering on about what troubles me. 

         I have been struggling as of late. I have felt unworthy to write to anyone and offer what little knowledge I have. Sometimes I leave bible class telling myself that I talk too much. Or I speak up too often. Sometimes I get in modes where I replay every mistake I've ever made, big or small. I replay what I could've done to make it right, or could do now to make it right. I truly, in the depths of my soul wish we had the power to forget. I suppose then we wouldn't learn from our mistakes. Forgiving ourselves is so hard. Sometimes I wonder how it is that God could use me. Just me. Within this fleshly chamber that I dwell, how can be worthy of Gods love and mercy? Honestly, I'm not. I receive grace and mercy. Things that are given to those that don't deserve them. I have to remind myself of that. We all do. When you are down and people ask the empty question, "How are you?", remember you are loved by God. You don't earn his love or his mercy, yet he gives it freely to those that seek him. He takes us, the unworthy creatures that we are, and makes us His. When we feel like we don't belong anywhere, he will always take us in. 

           These are things that I learn on my journey. I learn them over and over. Each time it reaches a little deeper into my heart. I more often than not, feel like I'm an outcast. Though my exterior can smile and shake hands, inside, often I am solem. I try to flood my soul with scriptures of strength, courage, and hope.  I try to take in as much of my blessings as I can each day. My family is my greatest blessing on this earth. I thank God for them every single day. Sometimes it scares me how short life can be. It is something I actuly think of often. Nothing gets you set straight in a hurry like being told you are going to die. Three times. That is how many times doctors have said I would not survive the night. Three. Times. These three times remind me that we are all here for a reason, and that we are also here for a short time. 

            The first time, was when I was first born. I was born with fluid in my lungs and a hole in my heart. Doctors told my parents to say goodbye to me. Yet people prayed, and God spared me. Then when I was 13, I started losing my vision during a Wednesday night bible study. I was taken to the ER where we were told that I should not survive the night. A CT scan of my head showed an aneurism in my brain. People prayed, and God spared me. Next, I was 18, and a newly wed. I lost consciesneness and started having seizures. I was taken to the ER where a CT scan showed a tumor on my brain. I was flown to a larger hospital in a helicopter and they found the same thing. My new husband was told to tell me goodbye. People prayed, and God spared me. He spared Sometimes, I struggle with almost a type of "survivors guilt". But, mostly I am overwhelmed, and want to use this life he has given me, my all. Every bit of my being, I want to belong to him. 

            I am here for a purpose....God's purpose. We all are whether we know it or not. When we feel alone, we aren't alone. When we feel rejected, we are welcomed. You are here for a purpose. God gave you this life for a reason. Don't waste a second of it. Serve him fully with your whole heart, until your last breath.  God is so good to us. We are never beyond the reach of his mercy.

            I suppose, we need to learn from our mistakes, then let them go. It is hard, so very hard. But it is possible. We want to be like Peter, not Judas. Both messed up, big time. Both were overcome with guilt. Peter learned from it and moved on, while it overcame Judas and he took his own life. Don't let satan use your guilt to convince you that you aren't worthy. No, rather let God help you learn from it and let it go. God loves you....yes you.....more than you know. The question is, will you let him?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Communication failed.

Have you ever pondered the evaluation of communication?

Let's just skip a little and go to when we started with mail. Snail mail that is. It was special and unique. It was a great way to keep in touch with people. Eventually it got overrun by companies, bills, and junk mail.

Then we evolved to email (but we still have snail mail). You were so cool to have your own email account. It was a great way to keep in touch with people. Then became overrun by companies, bills, and junk mail.

Then we moved to FB (but we still have email, and snail mail). It was a great way to keep in touch with people. Then it became overrun with companies, drama, adds, and junk mail.

Are we seeing a pattern here? Not only are we now bombed with snail mail, email, and FB (or the like) but we are having to filter through more than ever before. While we gain new forms of communicating we never really seem to drop the old. It all just builds up.

What about talking? We have gone from face to face, to telegraphs,to telephones, to cell phones, to texting and video chat. Ok, we don't use telegraphs anymore, but I think you get the idea though.

Yes, these all have good that come from them. But can we have too much of a good thing?

It used to be (long long ago) that if you were home you didn't hear much of anything about what was happening outside your walls. Even if you went to town you were ingesting things more slowly.

Now we have flashing billboards, Internet, texting, the news, tv, commercials, smart phones, emails, and on and on. I don't know about you, but I feel in some ways all of these "advances" in communication have left us regressing in our communication with each other. We now get frustrated when we can get ahold of someone right away. We are saturated with instant everything. Remember the days not so long ago, when if you weren't home, people just left you a message?Remember when it was ok not to have people get ahold of you every second of every day? I miss those days. Rather than communicating with those far off, people got to know those around them.

For such an "advanced" people, we sure are lacking. Lacking in human contact. We live in an information overloaded world.

Now here's the kicker. How well are we communicating with God? Prayer hasn't changed. We have time to surf, click, text, chat, browse, etc. Where is our time for God? Are we allowing all this information overload and devices in our lives to consume our time? Do we spend more time checking status updates, or checking the scriptures? Do we spend more time texting 5 people at once or talking to God about those people? Hmmmm. Now that is interesting, isn't it? Who isn't guilty? We all are.

This coming week I'm going to stay away from as many of the above things as I can and start cutting back on all forms of media. We need to step back and declutter the things in our life that crowd out our time with God and family. I challenge you to do the same.