Serious Concern

desperate-2293377_1920So there is this virus and there is panic ensuing and people are buying up toilet paper like it will be their last roll before their socks are going to have to take a hit. Am I concerned? Yep, full blown concern here, but probably not for the reason that would lead me to hoard toilet paper.

My husband just started a new job. After several years of struggling with the powers that be at his other job this new place had things looking up. My husband works on commission at a car dealership. We have had to forgo health insurance because cobra was far too expensive for us to pay for 4 people. We thought that 90 days would go fast enough that we would be ok.

Enter Covid-19.

I am immunosuppressed so that is a concern. I have had pneumonia 3 times, bronchitis more times than I can count and I am diabetic. So contracting a virus that we know so little about and one that people are being so flippant about makes my heart beat a little faster. They are now closing unnecessary retail, and other businesses which means that no paycheck for us if his business closes. He can’t sell cars remotely, he can’t really work from home.

So don’t tell me to chill out. Don’t tell me that it’s no worse than the flu, don’t tell me that the only people that it’s deadly for are immunosuppressed and the elderly (my parents are in their 80’s and not healthy)…in fact kept double the social distance from me if you are going to say something like that because I might just reach out and……..

I am trying to hold on to the fact that God is sovereign over all. That we will all get through this. That, “6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8. I am trying to hold on, but I could use a little prayer boost if you think about it.

Moral High Ground

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This is not the first time that I have bumped up against both of the issues that I am about to explore, but they are wearing thin for me as of late.

Both issues that I am going to talk about make us, as Christians, look very hypocritical. They both deal with controversial topics. They both arise from the verses in Deuteronomy 18:10-14 “10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

In a Bible study we were talking about the above verses, someone mentioned about a “medium” who happened to be blessed by her local priest for what she was doing. I hear across the room, “It was Catholic? Figures.” Yes, according to my beliefs and the scripture I stand on the Catholic religion gets a lot wrong, but there are things that they get right too. What really bothered me is if the person has been told it was a Lutheran minister that blessed what this medium was doing would they have said the same thing? “Figures?” Maybe it bothers me more because my religion of origin is Catholic, or maybe that is where we becomes the “judgmental Christians”. We figure that everything that is bad comes from any religion or denomination that is not Protestant. What we should be doing is learning to stand on scripture so that we can combat bad ideas no matter where they come from and not automatically assume that it comes from a place like Catholicism.

The other situation that I am going to wade into is a bit like wading into shark infested waters. Of course Harry Potter was brought up when this particular passage came to be discussed. Yes, I know what Harry Potter is about. No, I do not believe in those things. Do I condemn those who like to read it or enjoy it for what it is? Not in the slightest. What burns me is those that will make a HUGE stink over Harry Potter, but will let their children/teens watch Frozen or The Avengers or Superman, Spiderman and the like. It’s the same thing! It’s hypocritical! Now does that mean that there aren’t people who shouldn’t watch these types of shows or movies or read these types of books? No it doesn’t. However, if you will notice in the above scripture it says, “one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. ” It’s about being wrapped up in the practices of these types of things, believing that they actually exist and can do what they purport to do. It doesn’t mean sitting in a Harry Potter themed coffee shop sipping a latte and admiring the replica of Harry’s wand or movie posters from the Goblet of Fire. Nor does it mean reading books about a little witch who does good things in her community or superheroes who save the world from a diabolical evil scientist. If you cannot separate the two them you probably need to stay away from it. Just like the alcoholic who should probably not go to a wine tasting or the gambler not go to casino night at the PTA.

We, as Christians, need to climb down off of our high horses and thinking we have the moral high ground all the time. It’s not a good look for us.

Unsettled

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Where do I start? I don’t know. I am still shook about the nasty message I got last night. Someone I not seen or heard from in forever storms back in and begins to berate me? Yeah, that is not sitting well with my soul. My inclination is to school them, publicly on a few things, but that is my flesh talking. I am sitting here pouting because the Holy Spirit has a restraining hand on my typing. It would not be profitable, but it sure would feel good.

I think in this life there are times that we have to create family because our own flesh and blood are not who we need in our lives to be content. I was rarely content when interacting with ANY of my flesh and blood family. Yes, some of my thoughts and opinions were colored by my parents and how they felt, but there were actions and deeds that tinted how I perceived things. There are most definitely three sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. My dad is a good man. He is patient, but most definitely aloof. My mom had an acerbic tongue and could cut you off at the knees, but she also had soft heart. Much like our home, when my dad would have rather not connected with his family, my mom was the one who prompted him to reach out. There were some to whom I know my dad was close, because it was never about the old feuds, it was just about love. Now he is just trying to keep his head above water caring for a wife who is leaving us piece by piece.

I need to let go of the indignation and the need to just “let it rip”, it is not what needs to be done. I long ago forgave the players, now I am being forced to let it go again. I was told that I was prayed for and I won’t turn down prayer, however, I too will pray, yet it is prayer to change how I see this person and others, so that I can be settled in my soul.

What Were You Expecting?

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So I have been forced this last week and a half to slow down. I had surgery on my toe to replace the joint in my big toe. Yes, they can do it, no I didn’t know it was an option either till just recently. There have been disadvantages to it and advantages too. I learned that I can get wrapped up in nonsense, be it the tv or Facebook or Instagram easily and that naps make it hard for me to fall asleep at night.

What? You were expecting some Brainiac insights into my character, or the world today? Ok well here are a few…..

When you say you are going to pray for someone, do you really do it?
If someone asked you who you were would “child of God” top the list or is it further down than it should be?
Do you truly stand on scripture or do you massage it to fit the “modern day view”?
Do you listen to too many podcasts by teachers who only have a message instead of teaching verse by verse and read too many other things instead of the source material?
Is it more important to you to be the “cool kid” on earth instead of the saint in heaven?
If you stood before God right now and He asked, “My child what did you do with the talents I gave you and the gifts that were yours?” What would you say? What could you say?

We are so much closer to Jesus returning than we ever have been in history, but we are also further from the cross than we need to be to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”  I plan to do something about that…I am just not sure what it will look like yet.

Scared

french-bulldog-4278114_1920I am going to need surgery on my foot. There is no more cartilage in the joint of my big toe on my left foot. My right foot is headed that direction but hasn’t quite caught up. Funny thing is I am scared. I have had multiple surgeries and even a serious one in my back and none of them bothered me like this one is. I had a peace with all the other procedures, but I am not as peaceful with this one.

I know that God has got this, and yet I almost can’t stop myself from saying, “Yeah, but….” something I abhor when others do. This, what seems minor, problem had caused a myriad of other issues. My thoracic region in my back is sore and I cannot turn to see over my shoulder easily, my hips ache and I am more tired than I want to be. So the fix is necessary…..hasn’t made the scared go away.

Guess I need more quiet time and discussion with “Dad”.

Frayed

stress-2061408_1280“I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world…

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left”

These two verses from the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North are really about how I have been feeling lately. I seem to keep saying, “I don’t like people…” I add today in there, but it has gotten to the point that it’s not just today.

Even people who normally would be those I would consider friends have either disappointed me or just plain ticked me off.

Just the other day I got caught in the crossfire of a power struggle between two people and got seriously wounded.  I never thought I would be spoken to by this one person in the manner that they spoke to me, and I most certainly did not deserve it. I was trying to simply do what I was told to do. It reminded me of my car accident several years ago, I did everything right, but still wound up with a totaled car and an injury that would later cause me to have surgery.

The funny thing is, this all happened in church. Now I know you cannot expect perfection when you put a bunch of sinners under one roof. It can sometimes look like a refuge camp at Sinner Town with the same attitude of a toddler who hasn’t had a nap. However, for quite awhile now I don’t feel like I can do much right and it makes me not want to step out and serve for fear of snap back.

Yes, I am fragile in the feelings department. Living day to day has become a little harder than I expected. Slowly losing my parents, still trying to raise my adult children, and losing bits and pieces of me with each surgery or malady that comes along, it makes for someone who is easily hurt or angered depending on the day.

But I am tired, I am worn…and I am crying out with all I have left.

People are just messy.

Weight Limit

suitcase-4410369_1920If we are honest we have all struggled with our faith or even had a crisis of faith. Let’s face it sometimes when we really don’t understand what is going on the very foundation on which we stand can feel a bit shaky. I know there have been times that I questioned whether God was really in the mix or just sitting by letting it all happen. I have been having one of those times lately, yet I know if I let go of my faith, what do I have left?

There have been a few people in the news recently that have stated that they are moving away from the faith, because what they are believing now is reality or real. You know what? Have at it, but not at the expense of others my friend. A leader in the church no matter how big or small is held to a higher standard and I guess it can weigh heavy on a person’s shoulders, but don’t try and take others with you when you essentially defect to the other side. I can hear the words, “If you put so much faith in a person than you really weren’t worshipping God, but man.” You know what to some extent you are right, but what if that person was the one who helped lead you to Christ? What if their music helped get you through a rough time and turned you to Christ when you had been running away? What then?

Romans 14:21 tells us 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Now I am not saying that a person does not have his or her right to their beliefs, what I am saying is there is no reason to “take them out” with you. To publicly declare that you no longer wish to believe that Jesus died for you and you will have an eternity with Him and that the world offers so much more and things will be great if you are just a “good person” THAT IS WRONG! If you feel this way, as I said, have at it, but go about your business quietly so as not to shake another person’s faith. It’s like taking someone out on a boat and then deciding for BOTH of you that you need to take a swim.

John Cooper of Skillet addressed this in a post and I personally think he was spot on. He said, “Why do people act like ‘being real’ covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier.”  It is cavalier, you are now taking people to a place that they don’t belong. Fellowshipping with the saints does not require others to follow you into the pit, but to help pull you out of it.

Cooper goes on to say, “As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying ‘I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.’ So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.” Again working a bit like Satan roaming about looking for those to devour.

I say to these people stop trying to shake my faith. I wrestle with enough on my own thankyouverymuch without you, the “faces of the faith” coming out and saying that the world’s idea of love one another is so much better than God’s. I will just say it, what sin are you trying to hide or get in front of before it is discovered? God sees it and it will eventually come to light. Was your thinking that you could make it look less ugly if you disavowed what you have been learning and teaching for decades? If so as a fellow Christian I stand with people like John Cooper and call you out on your baloney. Leave me to struggle with my own faith without carrying your baggage too…….much like airplanes, I have a weight limit and you have reached yours.