God never promised you a rose garden

I have been thinking about this for a while now. 

Many of my friends have Christian leaders giving encouraging words on their Facebook feed. I want to start out with saying I am all for uplifting and encouraging.  God knows  that we should encourage each other.

There seems to be a lot of “feel good” preachers. They will tell you that if you do this or that…  then God will make you rich. They will tell you that life is going to be wonderful… that there is good just around the corner!  They will tell you that all you have to do is ask and believe. 

These are the reasons that I always caution people who lean on those promises and many others. 

First, only God has the right to promise you anything. I don’t care what Joel Osteen promises you.. if God didn’t promise it then it isn’t a promise. 

The Bible tells you there WILL be trouble in your life. John 16:33.  He just says that He has overcome the world. 

God views us as children. Now I don’t know when the last time was you spent time with a child… but there are things that just upset Wyatt’s world and he is just sure that it is the end. We as adults know that the thing he is crying over will be forgotten in 15 minutes. He will come to me and want to be held while he cries…. this is EXACTLY the relationship we have with God. He knows what is important to ETERNITY and that the things we are upset about will be gone in ETERNITY.

Yes, people will hurt. People will die young, There will be horrible things. No way around it. 

So Wyatt falls and skins his knee. I clean it up, put a bandaid on it,  dry his tears and say …”good as new” God views death so differently than we do.  We see it as being away from our loved ones. God sees it as his child is coming home! I LOVE when my kids and monkey are here. When we get sick, even terminally, God promises us he will make us “good as new” actually He will make us BETTER than new. All we can see is now, he sees this as a vapor …. so short is our time here. 

There are people who truly believe that blessings are ONLY money or material things. How sad! How truly, truly sad. Oh, my blessing breath and walk and talk and hug me. Another blessing laughs with me and wears blue makeup. Another blessing is that I am able to stay home and be the homemaker I love to be. Another blessing is that we have more than we have enough… in food, shelter, clothes.  Blessings can be found everywhere…. you must have an open heart. When they are told “give me your money, and God will make you rich… well we have all heard stories of people giving all their money to evangelists . The thing is that the people start to wonder when the money doesn’t show up… does God hate me? Am I not giving enough? This is NOT a God promise, he NEVER promises you money.

Oh then there is the faith thing. Faith takes trials, it takes practice and a lot of prayer before you can do it on first instinct. So you hear “if you just have enough faith God will give you a new car, or house, or boat whatever”.  If you just have enough faith God will heal you” If you just have enough faith… So more promises that God didn’t make. Now the people are assuming that they don’t have enough faith. They try harder… nope…. another thing…. nope … so now what do these people think? Doesn’t God HEAR my prayers? Why doesn’t God like me? It has to be me, that is failing! 

Sigh.

So if you think life will be easy and a great time is just around the corner …. go get your Bible. Now read Job. Job was a Christian and Satan got permission to do anything to Job to prove that he would curse God. He lost EVERYTHING… I mean EVERYTHING…. family included. Yet, Job stayed true to God.  In fact he leaned on God more.  God uses trials and hard times to bring us closer to Him.

So you may think… doesn’t God want me to be happy? Sure he does… just like a child, he likes to hear you laugh and “a merry heart doeth good, like a medicine”  He just also wants you to remember this old Earth is NOT your home. He doesn’t want you to get too comfortable. He wants you to long for home. Oh I don’t mean you get up in the morning and say “I hope I die today” but that place in your heart that will never be whole until you see God. 

I DO understand the need to encourage… but I also worry that people who are not Christians that study the Bible will believe that stuff is from the Bible and God. It isn’t.  God is more concerned with your soul than your body.  He is more concerned with your eternity.

*** I used Joel Osteen as an example but there are many****

What are you gaining?

I love watching documentaries, and I spent all day yesterday doing just that. I watched one on the Amish. I am not on the same page as they are as to theology, BUT there are some things about them that I admire. They are very accepting of God’s will, and live a life of service to others. Both of those are good of course. They are also show forgiveness… now yes, I know that you don’t really know what is in their hearts but their actions show it.

In 2006, a man went into a school that was much like a one room school-house was. Every student and the teacher were Amish.The Amish as passive people, they do not fight, and unless they are hunting they are not armed. He released all the boys, and since the Amish only go to school until the 8th grade he was left with only little girls and a teacher. All told 5 were killed and 5 injured.

The very day of the shooting a grandfather of one of the murdered little girls was telling the boys not to think evil of that man. That he had a mother, a wife, kids and a soul and was now standing in front of God. Members of the Amish community went to the homes of the killers relatives and told them that they were forgiven. In the midst of all this pain on both sides there was still love and mercy. The Amish community was ridiculed a bit, people said they forgave to quickly, and that there was no remorse shown. When Roberts (the killer) was buried 30 Amish showed up at the funeral to show love to that family.

I gave you all the back story so you can understand where I am going.

First thing I noticed was … they didn’t give the hate and anger a chance to take root before they started to show love, forgiveness and yes mercy to the family of Roberts. Second they didn’t hold his family responsible. One said the person that should remorse is dead.

One of the mothers of a dead child said, you forgive but you don’t forget. It isn’t easy but it is God’s will that we forgive. That means I give it to God and I give up any right to vengeance.

Then she said something that has really been bouncing around in my head. She said “Why should I hate him and be angry… I GAIN NOTHING FROM IT.”

BAM!

So I started to think about the relationships I have that are not in good repair…. mainly family and I started to think WHAT AM I GAINING FROM THIS? hmmmm  I won’t go into it all because it isn’t relative, but I am carefully examining each bad relationship that I have and saying… What am I gaining by having this negative feelings, what am I gaining by being mad, what am I gaining by hurting them back, what am I gaining by cutting them off, and what am I gaining by being angry? Hard questions for sure.

I don’t have the answers to these yet to be honest. It is easier to hang on to being mad… I hug it to me like a child with a blanket.

I just thought that it was something that I should share as it really made my head snap up and think wow, I never thought of it that way.

I seem to have lost my way.

Let me explain. About a year ago I started to take a medicine that makes me crave sweets. I fought the cravings for a while. I had some pretty serious hip and back pain in the early part of last year and was put on another medicine that helps with the pain, but has a couple of side effects. My hands swell… that makes my knuckles hurt and the arthritis worse. I can’t keep a train of thought and I can’t recall the words I want when I am talking or typing. I often toss in words that don’t make sense at all. I will go back and read something and it makes no sense at all. Often I will see something I posted the day before and don’t recall it. I am fully alert in the moment but, it is looking back that there are gaps.  It also makes me forget where I put things, having to have Sam call my phone so I can find it after looking for it for half an hour. Trying to remember if I have taken meds and oddly enough if I have eaten. Judging by the fact that I am up a size in jeans I am forgetting that I have eating and so I have been doing it again just to be sure. I even have trouble praying. My mind just wanders off, reading the Bible I have to read it like 3-4 times for it to make sense sometimes.

It is cold and I fight depression. We have been sick so much this winter and we are cooped up. I take Vitamin D put it isn’t the same as the sunlight. I don’t tolerate milk so that makes it worse.

I remember feeling good. I remember having energy.

I feel draggy and tired. I have no motivation. I was watching a show about addiction, and that they have a physical need for whatever they are addicted to. I feel that way about sugar. I get up and I think… today I am going to just make it though the day without it. Just one day. By noon I have already given up, so I beat myself up all day.  I just can not seem to help myself. I have never, nor do I now, blame weight gain on a medicine. I ate the sugar. It made me want it, but I made the choice. That medicine doesn’t have 500 calories in, that candy bar does!

I know that part of how I feel is because my body simply doesn’t operate well when there is sugar involved. I KNOW this. So why do I do it to myself? I want to feel good and have energy, yet I can’t do the very thing that would make me feel better.

Since my physical issues are in weight-bearing joints the extra pounds just make things worse.

I just feel so blah. I also know that there are people who have waited years for me to gain some back, so I will save them the trouble I have gained 30 pounds. I know that this is beatable, nothing has changed inside me as to how things are processed… my eating has changed and my activity level has changed. Fear of hurting more is a real fear for me, yet not doing anything and gaining also brings more pain.

If you haven’t figured it out… I am in a catch 22… as I said I have lost my way.

Lost and looking at a huge mountain in my way…

Submission

A few months ago Gabriel Reese said in an interview that she is submissive to her husband. The media was all over it. In the last few days Candace Cameron  has said the same and the comments to articles about her as so typical of this world.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5 22-24

The Bible makes it pretty clear. The chain of command is God… then Christ… then the husband… and then the wife. So many people misunderstand what this means, and frankly I think many do it on purpose. They want to paint a picture of the woman as some sort of slave. They want to make the woman a doormat. Nothing could be further than the truth! It means that you discuss the issue and ultimately the man should be praying about it along with the wife and then he makes the decision based on what is best for the family as a whole. Ultimately the man is the one that answers to God for this not the wife. If a woman truly loves her husband she will not make things harder on him by pouting or fighting, or competing with him.

Women have decided, then raised girls to believe that they are the same, or BETTER than men. So being submissive to a man is insulting to them. They have basically told men they are not needed. The thing is that women are as good as men, but they are DIFFERENT than men. They are physically different on many levels. Many of the things that make us women are looked down on by the modern woman. The all-consuming love of your children and the way you want to nurture them, the way that we feel the need to make a home, the way we want a peaceful home. God intended women to be partner of men and thus to fit like a puzzle… each one having what the other does not.

God is also clear on the man’s part in this.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7

The husband is supposed to honor you, that means to treat you right! To listen to you. It says that if a husband does not that it will stand in the way of a full and clear praying relationship with God. Now back to the first verse I shared, the chain of command… if the husband doesn’t treat the wife in the way he should the he answers to God. There is a burden there.

Now for this to work in the way God intends the wife has to submit, but the husband must set aside his selfish self and do the best thing. Both partners must do their part, sadly it seems that it doesn’t happen often. I think that few women have seen it in action in a way that it works, so they get the idea that it is slavery for women. I am so glad when I look at my daughter’s marriage that she learned something along the way.

I was once one of the scoffers. I was 16 and dating Bill. Bill’s mother was very controlling and her best friend taught my Sunday night class at church. She would make it personal … Gina you will have to SUBMIT to Bill and do what he tells you and when and why and how…. on and on. As you can imagine that went over like a ton of bricks. I have learned a lot in the nearly 29 years we have been married. I learned there is power in meekness, there is a power in serving, there is power in standing back and watching Bill be the man God intends. Bill seeks God’s word and God’s will. He makes the decisions after we talk about them, because he wants to be in God’s will. If you  strive to be the woman God, wants the husband will want to protect you, and treat you like treasure. He will cherish you.

It is sad to see what the world thinks. It is sad to see the world rip apart Christians. This is the reason that God says

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  John 15:19

In the grand scheme of things, count it as good if the world despises you.

 

Change of thought

So yesterday I was talking to both Bill and also to a sweet Christian friend about Romans 7 and how we are born with a sinful nature and how when we are saved we receive the Holy Spirit. These two halves will fight each other for as long as we live in the present form. Paul, who wrote Romans, talks about how he wants to be good but that he is unable and how the things he despises are the things he does.

The more time we spend with God the easier it is to say no to the evil and the less time we spend it is easier to do bad things without guilt.

The Bible makes it very clear that there is no way we can earn our Salvation. Period. It also is clear that the things that we do to try to be good in his sight do not impress him. Only the things done in us through Christ matter.

When you are a Christian and in fellowship with God, your life should show it. It bears fruit as the Bible says. The fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. So, the more time you spend with Christ, the more these things should be a part of who you are.

Now to the point… I have blogged the last two times about how I feel that I am eating because I feel vulnerable and need protection…. It all centered on how *IIIIII* was going to do that which I see as good! I have been warring with myself. In fact I been since I was a little girl. I am saying that in order to be stronger and be able to say no to a destructive behavior I need help. That helps come from God. If I ask Him and I LET Him, he will help heal the hurts that are at the root of this.

It is so like us…. we think we are so in control. We think it is all about us and what we can and must do! We think we can do it all by ourselves thank you very much.

I want those Fruits of the spirit to show in my life. I want my tree to bear more fruit. I am tired of the sinful, human part of me winning more than it should… in order for that to stop I need to let Him work on me. After all He IS the Great Physician!

 

 

Choices

It is easy to simply say that life is about choices. Every single day we make choices… what to wear, what to eat, where to go and how to get there. We choose our words, often without thinking. We choose everything, and most of it is so engrained in us that we do it without thought.

There are other choices that we make that require not only thought but action. There are things that we choose to change about ourselves. Those things often require carefully thought out choices.

I am making a conscious decision to trust God and fear less. For me at this time it is HUGE. It is a conscious choice every time I want to eat to create a buffer (food and therefore weight) I am thinking about what I am doing. I want to change and change doesn’t happen on its own. A rock rolling down a hill will only change direction when it meets another rock or tree root. I used to just let life happen to me, thinking oh one day things will be better… but I never put thought or action into getting there.

Getting to where I want to be means that everyday for a long time I will be making the choice over and over all day long.

Life is CHOICES … where are your choices leading you?

 

Long time no write…

It has been a while. I got away from writing things that I needed to get out and I have been … eating them to be honest. I cannot let the things that I carry inside control how I live. I pray and I try each day to do better and lean on God, but to be honest I seem to lose far more days than I win. I got too far from God in my anger over losing my baby. I can carry a grudge a long time… 8 years on this one. Anyway it is hard for me, not God as He never left me but I ignored him until the last year or so.

I used to trust and turn to Him so easily. To pray without ceasing. To lean on and call on Him. I will be honest it is taking me a while to have that be my first response to things again.

As I have said, rather than write and pray, I am eating too much and things I should not. I know myself, I am NOT dealing is what is happening. I always used my weight to protect me. I sometimes feel after the loss I feel vulnerable turning back to God. I am trying to protect myself again. Sitting here crying because I just figured this out!

Most of you know this… after wanting and trying for more children for years we eventually accepted that God only wanted us to have one child… then I got pregnant. Our daughter was in her first year of college and excited wasn’t even close to what we were… God took that baby. To me that was cruel, why do that? It was just mean, it seemed. I decided he wasn’t going to hurt me again, so I turned away.

I need time to ponder this because it just clicked as I was writing.

I feel that I am in a situation in which I am in over my head. I feel that someone is turning to me for guidance and I am inadequate. I want so much to give Godly advice but I am emotional vested on so many levels. I want to be careful not to let my situation with people that we are both connected to color my advice. On the other hand, I feel that he is being … treated badly by the people because they hate me. I am truly humbled and, well I feel that I am not a good source. I just want to love and that is all. Sigh… praying.

Things in our house have been kind of … out of sorts for a while. Thanksgiving then time off then sick and sick and Christmas and New year and now I am kinda sick and I feel a bit beaten down. I hope I never complain about be bored from the same old same old again.

Christmas was a bit sad, I guess people do not send cards much anymore, a few do but everyone used to. I did my favorite thing… random acts of kindness that was fun. We spent Christmas morning and day with the kids and it was sweet to see Wyatt learn about Santa. I don’t know I guess it just seems people are more caught up in their own  things every year.

I know that I have a lot of work ahead and even more prayer if there will be a change in me. That is what I plan to do… pray hard, learn more and take better care of myself. Looking at things now it seem so silly to be afraid to trust God, who became a man and then was beaten and died FOR ME. I do not know why God did what He did… but He does.

Enough rambling for now