God is Good

“God is good”. Do you believe that? I have a hard time with it sometimes I will admit. It’s a topic that many will never say is true simply because they have never felt it. I can say it’s true because in the past I have felt Him. I have felt His arms around when I was hurting and crying out for acceptance and love. Then why is it so hard for me to feel at times now?

Maybe it’s because I am more grown up and more calloused with the world? Maybe I am too scared to trust anyone but myself? I don’t know but I do know that my trust relationship with God is one that always takes work on my side.

I know people say that if you trust someone that you will always trust them. I guess that I sort of true since I trust my husband 100% and my closest friends 100%, but why can’t I always trust God 100% if the time? Because I can really trust what I see. I trust my husband to come home and love me every night because he does and I can see him. I can see his face and hear his voice to know if there is something off about him, but with God I can’t see Him. I know He is there, but I so often forget to look for Him.

And when things go bad it’s even harder to trust Him. You want to believe that He is doing everything for my good, but I can see that at the moment. It might be years until I see the purpose behind the suffering I go through today. So I sit there and ask God why, when He isn’t ready to show to me what He is planning to do with me. I just have to sit and wait to maybe understand it someday.

But I just have to remember that God is always good even if it doesn’t feel like life is. He loves me even when I am crying my soul out or angry because life has thrown me another curve ball. He is good always.

 

There’s No Pleasing Christians Sometimes

Hello! I hope your day is going well for you. My day is going pretty good. Just getting a chance to sit down and do some writing about what’s going on with two movies right now and to point out that Christians are the HARDEST people to please. I mean think about it. There are two movies out (or almost out) right now: The Shack and Beauty and the Beast. Both of which have Christians up in arms.

Why? Well, for one, there is this gay scene in Beauty and the Beast I guess and The Shack is being call not well sounded theologically . Both I have to say I am shaking my head and rolling my eyes at.

I have read the book for The Shack and seen the movie. I have been hoping they would make the book into a movie for years. It’s a story that could help so many unbelievers see God in a whole new way, but they might not read a book. So when it was announced that movie was coming out, I was over joyed. Then the poop hit the fan about it.

Suddenly, Christians are boycotting their own genre in a movie because it might not 100% match what their pastor says. Let’s clear something up. All those people saying tend to have a Baptist or Southern Baptist background where God is kept in this little box and He is only able to be one way and that’s it. I went to Baptist churches for years and was so stifled by the legalism there it took me years of going to a healthy and thriving church to heal.

Now, I know I just pissed off a lot of people but I have to speak the truth. When I was in the Baptist church sect, my walk with Christ stopped. I might know a lot of things about the Bible now but there was a void missing when it comes to my relationship with God. I saw Him as something to fear and not loved by. Jesus loved me but God didn’t. I was actually very similar to the main character in The Shack.

I thought God was only out to get me and the Jesus was the only thing keeping Him back from destroying us all. And the Holy Spirit? What Holy Spirit. The time I heard about Him was when someone was getting baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So with this movie, yes people who are in that kind of background will find nothing but issues with the movie.

But, if you believe in having an Abba relationship with God and your know that the Trinity is one person and Jesus isn’t separate from the Father the Holy Spirit isn’t just out there wandering around, then you will see the gold that is in this movie. You will see that God is almighty and He loves you just as much as Jesus because they are one in the same. You can’t have one without the other.

Ok… so why is God and woman? I want to debunk this question now and forever. The reason God is a woman is because the movie is all about relationship and God says clearly it the book and the movie the reason He appears as woman is, due to Mac’s abuse history from his father, Mac would not have receptive to God if He appeared as a fatherly figure. That’s it. Period.

Now, if you have God in this little box then that seems like blasphemy and I very much would agree with you. But in this case it makes sense. God has appeared to me in different forms throughout my life, and they have been different every time. He is the almighty God and, if He knows that a motherly figure is what you need right now, then that is how He will present Himself as. I love how no one mentions the fact that He changes into a fatherly character later – just a side note.

But, what about the He came to save everyone part? God made and loves ALL of us. Yes, Romans talks about the elect but Jesus didn’t just come to save good people. Read the Gospels, there are tons of examples of people that who wouldn’t have been judged as the right people to be saved, but Jesus welcomes them in like He does with all of His children.

God gave us free will, like in the garden with Adam and Eve, we, even after we have been saved, can walk away from Him. I did not say lose our salvation. I said walk away, and with a legalistic background, why wouldn’t you walk away? It’s hard living under legalism and you will never add up enough under that mindset. But there is freedom with Jesus, and this movie really points out that, even though we don’t think someone should be able to be saved, God still has a plan for them and He wants they redeemed.

I am glad that there is freedom in Christ because we all deserve hell. There is no denying that. So if you don’t think that there is freewill, why were you so much better at the time of your creation? And don’t you say ‘because hells needs to be filled somehow so that is why there is the elect’. Worst defense ever! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. the whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. That’s John 3:16!  Case closed. So for people getting upset because God loves everyone, seems like a poor excuse not to go see the movie.

Now another movie that is about to come out also has Christians upset and that is Beauty and the Beast. I want to first say that I NEVER saw this movie appropriate for anyone under thirteen. It would be WAY too scary for my daughter. Second, it’s a secular movie! If you don’t like it, don’t see, but don’t say that I am a horrible Christian if I do. Honestly, I think Christians are are showing horrible face concerning it because of the gay scene. Why? Let me explain.

IT’S NOT THE FIRST GAY CHARACTER IN A DISNEY MOVIE!!!! That felt good to finally get off my chest. No, it’s not, but for some reason now people are getting all upset about it. Do you have any of these movies in your house?

  • Cinderella
  • Pocahontas
  • Tangled
  • Anything from Sophia the First
  • The original Beauty and the Beast
  • The Lion King
  • Bambi
  • Lilo and Stich
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Frozen

These are just a few and every single one of these movies have a gay character in them, and many have multiple. But what makes this movie so different? Because there is a “moment” in it and it’s people.

First, it’s PG so the farthest they can go is a kiss. Second, it’s not a movie for kids anyway. Have you seen the preview and how dark it is? If you take four year old Lacy to see it, it wouldn’t be the gay scene that would be making me raise an eyebrow. This movie has a deeper story, scarier effects and, fine, a gay scene. Not for kids! I see it as Beauty and the Beast for adults.

Second, how are you ever going to show the love of Christ to someone if you never go to their level? Now, once again, coming from a legalistic background, you are taught to never go down to someone’s level because they will drag you down too. Not all bad, but there is a reason why there aren’t very many thriving legalistic churches and that is because they don’t out and harvest. Church is for “sick people” people who lost and need Jesus. IT is not just for preppy Christians to meet, say they made quota and go home.

You don’t have to see the movie, but somehow telling the LGBTQ community that God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them is vital. They are just lost people trying to figure life out on their own. That is it. So if we boycott and throw a fit, then where is the love?

Now, I don’t agree with the lifestyle, but I will say that I love the people. I don’t think that the movie needed these things add in particular because it had too much gayness in it back in 1991. The character is question, Lefou played by Josh Gad, was gay in the first place. But back then they were just called effeminate. I challenge you to watch the animated one. It’s beyond obvious that Lefou is in love with Gaston. So to say that this is the “first Disney gay character” is bull poop. There have been many and it’s just because the blinders are being taken off that people are noticing.

If you are going to take this kind of stand against gays then you need to throw out EVERY movie that has a gay character in it. I think you will find that there aren’t many left after you do. But you need to stick to the stand you make because that is important too.

So, now we have looked at the two hot buttons for Christians and I have to ask, where do you stand?  I hope that you will give The Shack a chance. I get why you might not see Beauty and the Beast, but don’t forget that the community is full of living breathing people who need the love of Jesus brought to them. Hey! Take them to see The Shack and have it soften the soil to talk about Jesus and how much He loves them.

For many that crosses too many lines and it makes me sad. I wish that Christians would stop nit picking at things and just get the love of Jesus out there. You can either bring Jesus to people with a movie that you believe is only sort of right or you can waste your salvation by sitting at home being “right” and doing nothing. I would rather bring people to Christ.

And with the Disney movie, it’s your choice, but don’t forget the love. The best way to shut someone’s heart up is if they don’t feel like they are loved, belong, or believed in. Show the LGBTQ community that Jesus loves them and reach out. It just might be the thing someone needs the most.

Love you and God bless.

I Am a Goat and a Sheep

I had a funny thought today. I saw on Facebook that people are sheep and just follow whatever someone says. Well, I was raised to have critical thinking skills so in that case I don’t usually go with something just because someone told me to. I think about the situation and come with a reaction based on my own opinion shaped by information I am given. In that case I am a goat. But the Bible says that I am a sheep, and I am. How can I be both? Let me explain how it is possible.

See, we people are sheep because we walk around not really knowing what is going on. Ok, for all you of who have never seen a sheep, the reason why people are called sheep is because sheep are stupid. They have no ability really of taking care of themselves. I had growing up a couple of sheep and the analogy finally made sense. Our sheep were so dumb that they would run away when we threw the hay over the fence and, if the goats didn’t eat it, the sheep would have probably starved because they didn’t have the common sense to come see what we fed them. They needed leadership to know what to do, and that is how Christians are supposed to be. We are read God’s Word and live by Him in order to know how to live our lives.

But there is a switch that happens when it comes to people who go against the grain in the world whether or not they are Christians and they are called goats. How to explain a goat? I would say smart, intelligent, troublesome, loud, and bold. They are awesome animals really. I like them personally more than sheep since they do have a mind in their head. But they are very hard to herd. If a goat wants to go one direction, guess what, it will only go in that direction no matter how much grain or hay you shake in their face. That is why in the Christian terms, unsaved people are called goats. They think they can do it on their own and more than like they will be eaten because they didn’t listen to the goat herder.

But where does that leave me? I am a Christian but I go against almost all of the culture around me both locally and on a wide spread scale. I don’t participate in local logic like the way city dwellers treat the world around them, and I don’t like the widespread issues like abortion. My Facebook wall shows that I am right winged and hate it when entitled people whine and complain when they don’t get their way, but the world around me says that I should hate white people, cry because my presidential candidate didn’t win, have so much debt to keep up with the Jones’ I should be drowning and should be ashamed to be an American. Most people just go with the flow and live their whole without having a single individual thought in their lives.

You have heard the analogy of the five monkeys right? five monkeys are put in a room with a banana on top of a ladder, but whenever a monkey goes up he is sprayed with water as are the rest of the monkeys. So whenever a monkey goes up, the rest start to attack him because they don’t want to be sprayed with water. Then slowly all the monkeys are replaced and each time a new monkey comes in, they rest attack them. When the experiment was at the end all five new monkeys wouldn’t climb the ladder but none of the monkeys really knew why. It was always done that way. That is how our culture has been formed in the last fifty years. We have strayed from the roots because someone like me decided to climb the ladder anyway and find out that the banana was worth it.

So what am I? I am a rebel and a follower. I am both!

I am a sheep because when it comes to life I need the direction of Jesus to show me how to live and love on people which then turns me into a goat because it is the opposite of what the culture around me says. How’s that for a mind bender? Never thought you could be two animals at once, huh? What would I be called then? A sheot? A geep? A goeep? I don’t know, but it is a very interesting animal. I can lead and follow, I can talk and listen, I can make decisions by thinking through but being open to other people’s ideas. I think being a sheot isn’t so bad. Are you with me? 🙂

When You Need to Be Happy For Others

I had an interesting thing happen to me this weekend. I was blessed to be invited to one of my dear friend’s baby shower for second son who is due in April. It was interesting because her first son and my daughter are only three days a part. So we were pregnant at the same time in 2014 but this time we aren’t, and everyone knows why. She has had her own road, and, trust me, I am SUPER happy for her and her husband. They are great friends and parents and I feel so blessed to have them in my life.

Where the test comes in is, am I happy without jealousy? You can be happy for someone but still have jealousy in your heart. I remember, before I was pregnant with my daughter, we were told we were never going to be able to conceive a baby, and you know those times where you are told you can’t have something it seems like Satan shoves it in your face? Well that is what happened. It seemed like with every turn I took there was another pregnant woman who was more than likely complaining about how much her pregnancy was inconveniencing her life. I used to get so made at that because this woman was complaining about something that I wanted to go through and couldn’t. I had to learn to not let it get to me and just let it go.

That was the hardest thing I have had to do in a long time. It was a real growing time for me in my life to not be angry and not to turn bitter. I had to spend a lot of time in prayer and surround myself with the right kind of people or I would have become a not very nice person to be around. I had to look at the women’s faces and the not the bulging bellies in front of me. Only then was I able to be happy for them.

Well fast forward two years, I was blessed with a miracle baby, (I am going to write a post on that next so stay tuned) and she is about to turn two. I am so blessed and excited to be with this little girl everyday. I am so thankful that God gave her to me. I just have to be OK with the fact that she might be our only blessing. Just because God gave her one miracle baby doesn’t mean that I am entitled to another one. I have to be able to be happy and content with what I have to be able to be blessed  more. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean having another child. It could mean my daughter going to school or my husband getting a job promotion. As long as my hands are full, I can’t expect to take on any more. And that is how God works with his blessings.

All that to say, when I went to the baby shower, I had a choice. I could be honestly happy for my friend and the fact that God has blessed her with another baby even though He hasn’t blessed my womb, or was I going to be jealous and make the experience miserable for myself? Everyone one there was going to make it about my friend, was I going to or was I going to moan and groan about losing my three babies?

I am happy to report that I was able to enjoy the baby shower with full happiness and joy for my friend. She is such an inspiration of how to be gracious and beautiful. I really admire her.

So anyway, I am still not perfect but I can feel that I growing in this area of happiness in the mist of infertility. May God keep giving me the grace to keep moving forward. I want to be His hands and feet. I am His servant, and, what He wants, that I will do.

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My beautiful daughter during on of her recent nap times. I am so blessed!

 

The Importance of Community

I can just live me, myself and I. That’s what I thought growing up. But I couldn’t be more wrong. We need community to survive. I mean look at what happened to Tom Hanks on Cast Away! You can’t live forever on a deserted island for your whole life.

I never thought much about it but now I can see the importance of community and friendships on a daily basis. I just had coffee with a sweet friend of mine on day and a crochet hang out with another and it was so awesome! If I just hid in my house and became a hermit, I don’t even want to think about what an unhappy person I would be.

Now these relationships take work. I have a friend who moved across the country and sadly I don’t cultivate that relationship as much as a should since she isn’t local any more. But that doesn’t mean that having friends local will make the relationships blossom any more. You need to take time out for people and get to know them. Show them that they matter to you. Because at the end of our road, we want people to come to our funeral right?

OK, maybe that isn’t the only reason to have friends, but think about it. Wouldn’t that be depressing if no one came to your funeral because you had not taken the time to invest in anyone but yourself? Because having a  group of friends around you will make you better (as long as they are the right friends as mentioned in my blog posts Love Your Body Part 6 and Love Your Body Part 7 ).

So go create your own community and enjoy those special people in your life 🙂

True Inspiration

This is going to sound odd (actually most of my posts sound odd at first) but I found true inspiration for life the other day. I was sitting by my gym’s pool, reading a good book, and watched out of the corner of my eye the aqua class going on. Now what do you think of when you hear about an aqua class? Old ladies in skin tight hats doing a synchronized swim thing? Close. Mostly old ladies do aqua but I have taken a few classes and it is not as easy as it seems. Anyway, not the point. The point is that, after the class was over, I watched the women (and the one man) who took the class come out of the pool.

I was amazed at what I saw. Most of these women had to be in their late sixties and early seventies and they were still so full of life. All the experience they had acquired seemed to bring joy to them. I heard a couple ladies talk about how love used to be more personal in their day and dogging on the dating web sites we have now. Others were jabbering about politics and how things used to be so much more black and white. Now there seems to be so much more confusion and noise in the world.

Not to sound like a complete stalker, I did really enjoy listening to them. I hope I am like that when I get to be that age, Lord willing. Because I look at the stuff around me and I see only so far ahead. How is this going to turn out for good any fashion? The country is in the toilet and no one seems to care about each other any more. But these women had seen the full cycle of a lot that has gone on in their life times. They know that things may not make sense in the short term but in the long term they will work out vice versa. Somethings looked great in the short term but in the long term they have turned out to be  disaster.

So these ladies made me smile and gave me the push to keep moving forward in my life. Because today might look grim but there is always tomorrow.

Love Your Body Part 8

To me, social pressures are the worst part of life but they are the things that can make us grow the most. How? Because when things are good and you fit into society’s circle, there is little room for you to grow since there is nothing to push you to be better. On the other hand, if you are not in the circle, you have two choices. Yay! Choices.

  1. You can make yourself to fit into the circle
  2. You can grow and better the circle around you or be really picky who with the circle you are around

The first choice is one that is easy and most commonly done but where does that leave us? I know when I did this to fit in with the girls growing up it felt horrible. They had none of the same interests or goals as me and I felt stifled. I wanted to grow but there was this type of barrier that was keeping me from growing into who I was meant to be. That was because who I was meant to be was not in line with how that certain social circle was going. What happened? They rejected me and I moved on to find better circles and to have a happy life.

Which leads into the second choice and that is to make yourself better to make the social circle around you better. In my case I had a lot of growing up to do and I had to go through a lot circles after that first one before I was able to learn anything God was trying to teach me. He wanted to go one way and I wanted to go another. I wanted to be with the popular girls in my circle but He wanted me somewhere else.

Don’t get me wrong, some of my closest friends came out of the social circles that I am no longer a part of, but still, I had to leave the majority to grow in the direction God wanted me to be.

Would I go back to those social circles now and try to be friends with them? Probably not because they weren’t healthy for then and I am not sure if they would healthy for me now. Any type of stress to your body isn’t healthy for it. Memories can bring on stress and in that state, there is little good to come out of it. But if you really want to go back to circle from your past and be friends with them, by all means give it a try. People change as they grow and mature so things might be different. Just don’t get yourself in a situation where things have not changed.

If they haven’t changed and you fill the same feelings you did as before, I say pray for them and move on. You never know why God might be saying “no” to that group or even single person, but He has a reason.

Because words do make a difference. Have you ever been in a group where you are the center of the jokes or you know for a fact that you can’t say anything because it will be gossiped behind your back? I know I have. I am comforted by God’s Word that these don’t go unnoticed by Him in Matthew 12:36 “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak”. Since, as stated in previous posts, friends make up a lot about how we think of ourselves and the ability to love who we are. That is why it is important to hang around the right social circles.

Now that is just talking about personal social circles, but what about societal circles in like the media and the big picture? What about if we don’t fit into those circles?

I know that I don’t fit into the media’s “perfect woman”. I don’t wear a size 4 jean, or do my hair in the latest trends, or spend tons of money on make up and keep the perfect house. These are all unrealistic expectations that can’t be met. Even is we tried our whole lives, we couldn’t match to what society says we as women should be.

I am not going to restate things that I have already said since the design of these posts were to build on each other, but I think you as my wonderful readers know what I mean by not giving into society and its lies. We don’t have to be a size 4, we don’t have to have the perfect look in order to be beautiful. Life happens and some days the house just doesn’t get cleaned. And some days, the last thing you might want to do it apply make up in the morning. Those are all OK. Of course for me the clean house is an area actually I am working on to not be so up tight about since I can be a little OCD about it. Just ask my husband.

Any way that is not the point. The point is, we are beautiful and wonderfully made. I hope you can see how God loves us and He has created us to be the people we are right now. We are to love our bodies since He made them. He is the one who actually owns them and we are His temples. Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body”. So no matter what society, your friends, the doctors, your family or anyone else in the world says; you are God’s child and He loves you so much more than you can ever imagine. As long as we remember that it is the Holy Spirit living inside us (which is part of the trinity) then we remember that God is there too.

He wants us to go about our day know that we are loved. Maybe we don’t look how we would want to, and that is OK. It is good to try to make ourselves look and feel better for the glory of God. He wants us to have those moments of happiness and contentment but as long as they don’t replace Him. Because society’s opinion changes with the seasons on what is in and what isn’t but God doesn’t change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” Hebrews 13:8. So no matter what size you are today or in six months, God will love you. And when you know that then you will be able to love your body too.

Love Your Body Part 6

One area that is important to loving our bodies believe it or not is – Friends. I couldn’t believe it either until I read “The Daniel Plan” by Rick Warren Buy it here and one of the chapters was full about how the right kind of friends can be good for you and are necessary.

I know when I was a kid, I was not that great at making friends. All my friends had four legs and ate a lot of hay. (I grew up riding horses in case that didn’t make any sense.) They were great friends too, as long as I kept the fed and watered, I could talk to them for hours and they would agree with me every time. Of course that is not a real friendship. Building a real friendship takes talking back and forth creating a lasting bond.

I have to laugh at myself really because my daughter is watching My Little Pony right now and the theme is all about being a good friend and the bond of friendship. She thinks the ponies are funny and the colors are nice and bright but the message is what I hope will stick. I didn’t have time for things like that and, even though it is a cartoon and the controversy of letting children watch TV is there, I know I couldn’t come up with the cute ways they do about being a good friend. The show covers, honesty, loyalty, kindness, generosity, and laughter throughout the episodes. All of which are needed to be a good friend. Magic is there too and I’ll have to have a conversation with her later but in some ways friendship is magic. Just not the kind that they use in the show.

Any way, I thought I would just share that little tid bit. Even a purple pony can teach me a thing or two. But how do friends effect you loving your body? If you surround yourself with the right friends, they will only make you feel better about yourself with just their presence. I know I feel good whenever I hang out with my friends and I have some really great ones. It gives me a sense of worth and balance.

Now if you pick the wrong friends and just hang out with a crowd to be accepted then that is the bad way to go. Good friends will help your well being but bad friends will only suck the life out of you. I have had some pretty bad friends growing up and the only reason I hung out with them was because I wanted to belong. I didn’t want to put the effort into making a good friend and my body suffered a lot from stress and anxiety being around them.

Bad friends will judge you, talk behind your back and bring you down instead of building you up. Good friends do the opposite obviously. As Proverbs 27:17 states, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” and Proverbs 18:24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Are your friends sharpening you or dulling you? Are you surrounding yourself with people just to belong somewhere or are your relationships solid and true?

Of course there is a friend that we can all have. He will never let us down and will always be there when we need Him. Psalm 25:14 says, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant”. God wants to be your friend no matter what circle you run in. He wants to have that connection that you will run to Him for advice and worry and the good times as well.

Many times God was my only friend since I hadn’t taken the time to make many and I am so glad He was there. He gave me the courage to go out and make more friends. He was the one that opened my heart when it wasn’t very open. He was the one that showed me to the people I needed to be with and those from my childhood that I had let slip through the cracks. He showed me through His word and through His people how to be a good friend. Or at least I am trying to be. I have to admit that I can still be very lazy and not a good friend by not speaking to my friends for weeks at a time but I still love every single one of them. Many of them live across the country so that is why there is such a silence, but I know that I can just call them up and it would be like we have never been apart.

I am thankful for all my friends. Without many of them, I don’t know where I would be. Is that the same for you? What friendships maybe have been slipping through the cracks? Are the friends you have now being a good example of how to treat yourself with love or are they being harmful to you? One way to show your body love is by surrounding yourself with people who care about and who respect you for who you are. Don’t let your good friends get away.

Here is a little song that I love that talks about having good friends   🙂

Circle of Friends – Point of Grace