Monday, March 28, 2011

I Don't Want To Hurt God Anymore.

I taught a class today and we discussed how and why to make right choices. I asked the question, "What helps us make the right choice?" Various answers were given such as prayer, Bible study, knowing God's Word, and relying on the Holy Spirit for guidance. Then one of the women spoke in a small voice," I don't want to hurt God anymore." I'll never forget that childlike, sincere answer to that question. I'll always remember the way she sat there looking down at the table while she made a simple but profound statement. A statement that warmed my heart and spirit. I couldn't help but smile and I knew just what she meant because I felt that way too. This sweet soul just knew how to put it into words.

While the rest of us had all the "grown-up" answers, answers that were true nonetheless, she had the one answer that made the most sense to me. Make the right choice because we love Jesus. A love that is rooted in the love He first gave to us. Make the right choice because we don't want to hurt Him anymore. Simple but perfect and true.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What Not To Say To The Grieving Person

I got a call from a friend today. Her dad passed away. I could hear great sadness in her voice although she said she was doing ok. She told me she was trying to comfort herself by thinking about his long, healthy life (he was 87 years old)before the cancer struck, and that he was in heaven now. I said, "It doesn't help much does it?" She replied, "No." I tried to give her a little hope and said,"Eventually it will help. It just takes time."

You know I've said before I believe that it's necessary to walk in someone's shoes before assuming how that person feels. Well I've walked in shoes very similar to these... twice. I was there when my dad took his last breath. Then I sat by my mom's hospital bed and waited for hours after the machines were turned off until she finally let go of this world. These were the hardest days of my life.

There were many well-meaning family and friends who commented "he's in a much better place now", or "she's no longer suffering and we should be thankful."
Both true statements but at the time I didn't want to hear those things. I guess I was just hurting so much I couldn't imagine my life without them in it. How would I go on without those long talks my dad and I used to have early in the morning over coffee? How would I survive life without my best friend and shopping partner, my mom? These were the thoughts running through my head. Life would never be the same and I knew it. My heart was broke in half and for someone to remind me I would never see either of them again just deepened the pain. Believe me I have said the same things to those who were grieving because I felt it would help, good intentions and all. Maybe this offends some who have made these comments, please know this is meant to help not harm.

As time went by eventually I truly could say it and believe parents are much better off in heaven with Jesus than they are here in this place. I know they would never want to come back here. God has helped me release some of my selfishness of wanting them here and I have allowed Him to fill the emptiness.

As for those well-meaning friends and family they really did mean well and I'm thankful for them. However I have learned a different way to comfort from that situation. When someone I know experiences the death of a loved one, I listen, offer my help and give my love and support. Sometimes a lot of words just aren't necessary. You'd be surprised at how far a hug, or an "I love you" will go at a time like this.

I'm praying for my friend at this time of loss and would appreciate your prayers too.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort 2 Corinthians 1:3

As far as The Georgia Girl Writes, well it's under construction. I worked on the website most of Saturday. Ran into quite a few kinks because I'm an amateur trying to do a professional's job. But I promised a little bit of info., so here it is: I have written my first book! It's a family biography, soon to be published. Now it won't be on the bestseller's list but it is the first book that will be published with my name on it as the author!

Also, I've written a children's book and now I'm looking for an illustrator. I love the story but what's really fun is it has some extras other than just reading.
How will I publish? Praying for guidance but most likely self-publishing will be the way we go with this one.

Have an awesome night!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God's Wrath On Japan

Did God take His wrath out on Japan using an earthquake and a tsunami? If so what was the reason? Some say it's because Japan is mainly a godless nation with 84% to 96% believing in Shintoism, which is described as being a way of living in harmony rather than a religion, and Buddism which is considered a religion but does not have a god. I even heard on Youtube that they are being punished for their part in WWII. Wow, wonder if and when America will suffer something of this magnitude for dropping 2 nuclear bombs on Japan and killing men, women and children What I'm saying is will He not "get" us if He is "getting" them? Thankfully part of God's character is patience and He is giving the world more time before He brings everything to an end. How would I possibly know this?

2 Peter 3: 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

Scripture tells us here in 2 Peter that the Lord is being patient with us. Why? He doesn't want anyone to perish, He doesn't want anyone to be eternally separated from Him but wants everyone to repent and be with Him forever. Since this is true it does not make sense that God would bring such devastation on the people of Japan to punish them before His patience has run out.

Verse 10 gives confirmation that the day of devastation will come but as of yet we have not seen the heavens disappear, the elements destroyed by fire and everything on earth laid bare so we are not there now.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

God gave His Son out of His love for the world. Jesus died, was buried, and resurrected so we the world could have eternal life and until God has given us every chance possible He will not reign down His wrath. Jesus was given to us out of love and grace and that love and grace is holding back God's wrath at this time.

I believe natural disasters happen because the earth was created to work on its own. Why doesn't He stop the natural disasters? I think its because He doesn't want to interfere with earth's natural order of things. Could He have stopped the earthquake? Of course. Why didn't He do it then? I don't know why He does or doesn't intervene, but I am certain He is not passing out His wrath on people today, He is passing out His incredible love.

I don't understand all there is to know about my God but I know His love is immeasureable, incredible and attainable.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Still Hungry or Satisfied?

My English Bulldog Lola thinks about three things all day and night, when she’s not sleeping. Food, food, and food. It seems she can never be satisfied. Her belly cannot be filled. No matter what I am eating she will eat it too. I know I am bad for giving her table food but have you seen her face? She’ll eat lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, onions, toast, ice, and dirt. Of course Lola loves all kinds of meat like chicken, steak, pork chops, hamburgers, and especially hotdogs. (The more I write the more I realize I have got to put this dog on a diet.)

The point is she is always hungry when she’s awake. I began comparing this to my own spiritual life, and wondered what if…. What if I was always hungry for God’s Word? What if I couldn’t get enough of His presence? What if I could not be satisfied with mediocrity? What if I were bursting at the seams with the power of the Holy Spirit?

If the what ifs were true of me then wouldn’t you see Jesus in me all the time? Wouldn’t He be glorified in everything I say and do? Isn’t this the place every believer wants and needs to be? Wouldn't I have three things on my mind day and night, Jesus, Jesus and Jesus?

I want to be desperate for Jesus, for His fullness, sooo hungry for His presence in my life…. The thing is that this is the woman I really am, who God made me to be. So if I'm not hungry it's because I'm getting fed by someone or something other than Jesus. The question is: Are you hungry?

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

Monday, March 7, 2011

Depression: The Secret Suffering

This is my weekend link up for The Red Dress Club. It's one of my favorites about depression.

Statistics show 1 in 8 women develop depression sometime in life for various reasons like stress, life experiences, hormones, and believe it or not there are women who actually have a real chemical imbalance because they have very little serotonin surging through the brain... like me.

Those of us who suffer from depression seem to carry with us a stigma that we are weak minded , that our faith is weak, that somehow, some where we have failed and we just “need to suck it up” and get right. It’s much like telling a person with high blood pressure that it’s his/her fault for having the illness.

I have adopted the belief that if I haven’t walked in someone’s shoes I try not to assume I know what they are going through. I just want the same consideration from others. Instead of assuming I have brought depression on by feeling 'sorry for myself' try to be understanding. Instead of telling us that depression is sin, try doing a little internet research and find out for yourself that depression happens to some because of a chemical imbalance. Saying this makes some of us feel embarrassed, ashamed or angry. Even if we do sometimes get depressed because of life experiences, hormones, stress, etc. try giving some love and just listen to how we feel without making us feel like we need to keep our suffering a secret. I dare to say if this hasn't happened to you it will one day.

Yes, there are many times counseling, medication, and exercise and help us move into a more enjoyable life but there are also times we need prayer and a shoulder to lean on instead of judgment.

Depression can improve or go away all together, thank you God, but in the event that it last longer than you think it should, be an encourager for your loved one or friend. Be willing to walk beside her until the dark cloud passes, urge her to get the help she needs instead of suggesting she put on a smile and be thankful for everything she’s got. If looking around at everything she had would cure her she would have done that by now. When someone is truly clinically depressed it doesn’t matter how wonderful life seems on the outside, there’s something on the inside that keeps holding her down. She can’t explain why she feels the way she feels, it’s just dark, gloom, nonfunctioning, barely existing, life.

God intends for me to serve Him and in a full state of depression I can’t do that in a way that is worthy of Him. However, if medication helps me function with a full life of peace and joy I’m thinking He’s okay with it. One day I look forward to going ahead in life without meds. but until then or "if" maybe it doesn't even happen I will live this life to the fullest. And I'll do it with a little help and understanding from my friends and family and a lot of love from my great big God.

It’s time for the secret of depression to come out of the closet. What do you think?