Surviving Wormwood and His Uncle Screwtape

Hello my friends-

As some of you know, C. S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors and I often like to quote his work. His book, “The Screwtape Letters,” is a classic and is so relatable. While I was researching online in preparation for this blog entry, to my surprise I found a theatrical adaption of the book being presented in the city I live in! I simply could not believe what I was reading. I searched for tickets and after some careful thought I decided to “Go For It” and I purchase 2 tickets for the event! It’s still a month away and I’m excited to experience the story unfold onstage.

My decision to write about “The Screwtape Letters,” had nothing to do with the theatrical presentation of the book but rather a personal connection to the story line and it’s characters. Over the past several months I have been engaged in a tug-a-war of sorts and I was becoming quite agitated with the whole situation.

If you have never read, “The Screwtape Letters,” I highly recommend it! Have you ever heard any one say, “the devil made me to it?” The main theme of the book follows the correspondence between a mentor (Uncle Screwtape) and mentee (Wormwood) as they attempt to corrupt people (The Patient) from the ways of God and Christianity.

For the record, there’s no evidence ever that “the devil made me do it.” The devil will, spread lies and cast doubts as well as provide one sided examples to confuse and mislead us to doubt things we say we believe. But the ultimate act is ours alone! The devil will lead us right up to line but the crossing of that line is all our own, and the devil…he’s on the other side just smiling.

Over the years I’ve shared my struggles with knowing the difference between “control” and “concern.” These two things can be easy to differentiate at a distance but when you find yourself entangled and engulfed, chaos likely will erupt. I’ve learned some very important things about myself over the past few years and some of it was unpleasant to face and admit. Life began to make a lot more sense once I figured out what I have control of and what I have concerns for; let me tell you, they are vastly different.

Most of my frustrations come from my expectations regarding specific components related to my job, not my job directly. I love what I do and I believe in the tasks I accomplish on a daily basis. I work with some really awesome people and some ok people and well, some who test and push all my buttons!#!

I wonder what this does?
Wow, let’s see what this does?

The problem is I am not the person in control, I answer to several others above me who make the decisions. I can absolutely have concerns and should care but I’m employed to follow directions. There’s always a right way to do things and a wrong way, the tough part for me is I sometimes speak with more passion than some are comfortable receiving. I am strong willed and I would never say it is a bad thing, I would however, caution when to present it. I take for granted that people know me the way I know me, “a loud bark and a bit feisty” but once I speak my mind and feel as if I’ve been heard, I’m ok. I think sometimes I feel like I need to be more brazened to be taken seriously. To speak to be heard, as to not be taken advantage of. All of this speaks volumes about me and the person I can be described as and it’s not the whole picture. I can also be quiet and accommodating, welcoming and inviting. At the end of the day, I am only responsible for my actions and my words. The truth is, I’m not everyone’s “cup of tea!” The world is filled with people with different likes, opinions, morals, ethics, political and religious theologies and I don’t have to be best friends with all of them or even like to be around them BUT, I am commanded to “LOVE” everyone.

That’s a tough one especially when we only see things from our own vantage point. What if we place ourselves on the other side of this viewpoint, I certainly want people to like me, I want people to respect me, I want to be heard, I want to be seen! And, yes I want to be loved. Things are not always what they appear to be. My lesson, which I’m still learning is “compassion” having it and extending it to and for others. I like that the word “passion” is part of compassion. To me, it means I do not have to compromise what I’m passionate about in order to be compassionate to someone else. Isn’t that wonderful (?).

Not everything is as it appears.

So, as much as I want to say “Uncle Screwtape made me do it” I cannot. At times, I think it’s actually Uncle Screwtape that’s “screwing” with me. Maybe so…this I know to be true, God loves me and freely places His grace upon me every single day. Each day I can start anew and ask for His guidance, His protection and His strength to get me through the day. Each night I can thank God for his abundant Blessings. My soul is safeguarded day and night, trusting that Jesus is my salvation. I’m not blameless, I’m not sinless and I am far from perfect and so is everyone else. I am constantly in need of reminding myself of this fact! The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3: 22-24 “For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

I’m a work in progress and I know my my interacting with Wormwood and Uncle Screwtape are far from over, I find comfort in knowing I am a child of God and that He will never leave me and He will never leave you!

Friends, thank you for continuing to follow me and read my posts. We are all in this great big world together and I’m excited to be on this journey with you. Your support continues to amaze and encourage me. I love to write, I love to read and I love sharing God’s good news with all of you. To those who know me well, thank you for loving me, loving all my imperfections, my feistiness and my overreacting! I am grateful to have you in my life. You add value to mine!

~Peace~

When the Heart Breaks and the Soul Rejoices

Dear Friends-

My heart is heavy, I learned this week two dear friends have lost loved ones. The first news I received was of the passing of a beloved grandmother, my friend of many years having to say goodbye, while explaining death and dying to her own two boys who will undoubtably miss their great-grandmother. There will be sadness and crying as well, but what a legacy to remember. To know the wisdom that has been shared through these generations and memories to last a lifetime. Then, just today I received news from a friend that her brother had not recovered from a recently illness and had passed. I can’t even imagine the loss of a sibling, my prayers go out to her and her family during this time. Many times when we face death, we tend to brace ourselves for the impact of emotions, deflecting them if possible, just to power through the things that must be done. There’s no right way or wrong way to grieve. I don’t have any special knowledge to share or the perfect way to prepare for death, I do know that no matter what, God will be with us always. As a Christian, I sometimes think we get the whole birth and passing emotions tangled up. Both can and should be a celebration of life. We even shed tears at each occasion. When we are born, we are the living, breathing creation of God. God knew us long before our births and when we pass away from this human existence and earthly form our souls will be reunited with our Creator. Heaven rejoices and God welcomes His children home! And for those of us left here on earth, we feel the void and emptiness while weeping at the loss of our beloved.

David writes in Psalm 30:5 “…Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

This is not literal in terms of hours and days, we all grieve differently as well as experience the stages of grief differently. My experience taught me to be patient with myself. I have been to a lot of funerals, lost many individuals close to me and there’s no such thing as getting over it! Death’s grasp was not fully felt until I lost my mother, I was not prepared for the immediate void, it was cruel and painful. That was my initial state of mind. I made it about me, my loss, my pain, my injustice…I went straight to anger mixed with a bit of denial. Once I was able to process the situation I was able to look at things more clearly. (It’s been over seven years and I still feel the sting of losing her.). I am thankful my mom did not suffer, she would have hated being cared for and taken care of. I know she believed and trusted in God and that she is no longer suffering. The point I’m trying to make is…be you, listen to your heart, your voice and take notice of your emotions. Be true to yourself, love yourself. Trust God!

One of my favorite authors writes a lot on the subject of grief, below are a couple of quotes I would like to share with you.

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” C.S.Lewis, “A Grief Observed”

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” C.S.Lewis, “A Grief Observed”

I have included some references below for grief and grieving.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Friends, (DW & BW) you are in my thoughts and prayers.

~Peace~

References:

https://astillsmallvoice.org/solemn-joy-sweet-sorrow/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/

The 5 stages of grief and loss are: 

1. Denial and isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance. 

People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them.

https://griefresourcenetwork.com/crisis-center/hotlines/

https://www.crisisnetwork.org/find-help/behavioral-hyealth-conditions/grief-and-loss/

Books:

A Grief Observed by C.S.Lewis

Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Lose, Love, Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change by Dan Moseley

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-for-overcoming-grief/

2019, So Far…

Hello Again My Friends-

I wanted to take some time and just BREATHE and to say THANK YOU!

At the time of writing this I am sitting in my car, enjoying the gentle breeze and gazing at the big fluffy white clouds in the sky, listening to the sounds of the city, cars and trucks hurrying to their destinations, I even saw a plane making its descent to the airport!  I hear the rustling of leaves in the wind, as fall has already crinkled them with bright sunlight and chilly mornings.  The rose bushes are in full bloom and dancing in rhythm with the breeze. The sun is warm as it kisses my skin.  God Almighty has blessed me today with extraordinary gifts of nature, sight and sound.  Everyday is a BLESSING from God, being alive and able to share the love of Jesus is a BLESSING!  
The best way to start every day is with saying, “THANK YOU GOD!”  Life is nothing, worthless if God is not central to all we do and say.  This is a reminder for me as well as a message for you.  I get busy, I get lazy, I forget, I get in a hurry, I rush…all excuses.  It’s our nature, our human nature to be self-absorbed.  We don’t mean to leave God on the desk or the nightstand, but we do, I do!  We need “Intentionality!”  It takes less energy and sugarcoats the responsibility by saying “I forgot.”  Intentionality is PURPOSEFUL LIVING!  That’s what I want, how about you?   Note, I did not say (PERFECT), I said “PURPOSEFUL.”  There’s a huge difference, perfection is something that will waste your time, it’s impossible.  It is completely unattainable in our humanness here on earth and God is not asking for perfection.  He is asking for submission, faith, service and truth, name a few.  God’s grace covers our imperfections.  God knows each of us inside and out, and you know what (?) He still died for YOU and ME!  He loves us unconditionally, we did not earn His love and we cannot work for His love, He loves us because we are His creation, His children.  He’s our Heavenly Father, He gave His only Son to ransom us from sins hold on us, Jesus willingly gave His life so we could have eternal life in Heaven.  I am not worthy of such a great gift, thank God for His loving gift of GRACE!  I’m not perfect, a lot of days I’m not even purposeful but every day is a new day to begin anew! Today, I am being purposeful and sharing God,  talking to God and most definitely thanking God.
Today is a new day, whatever day it is…it can be day 1!
Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”https://youtu.be/Qq2Tp3asLU8

Psalm 31:7-8, “I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.”

3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts.”

Psalm 103:1, “Bless the Lord , O my soul, all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Psalm 42:5, “You feel hopeless because there’s so much despair in the world. Remember that you are in the world and not of the world. The Holy Spirit within you can stir up hope if you will believe in the sovereignty of God in spite of the wickedness of the world.”

Psalm 143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

I hope these verses are helpful and encouraging to you as you choose “Purposeful Intentionality” in your time with God. We are all in this together, look for ways that God is showing Himself to you, in the world around you!

~Peace~

References:

Lift Every Voice

Hello friends,

Below is what I shared with the women at the Disciples Women’s Conference held at the Abe Martin Lodge/Brown County State Park on August 25, 2019. I wanted to share it with you and pray that you are encouraged to life your voice wherever you are in the world. It was an awesome weekend filled with testimonies of strong, confidence and courageous women. The presence of the Lord and the Holy Spirit were in the space!

Good Morning Ladies –

It is a privilege and an honor to be sharing with you this morning. When I was first ask about participating I responded with a quick, YES! And, then I said to myself, “What exactly did I agree to do?” The quick answer of “Yes” to sharing was something I clearly saw as an invitation from God and the Holy Spirit.

I’ll admit there’s a level of nervousness about speaking but there’s also equal fear of not. So this is in a manner of speaking, giving birth to “Lifting a voice!, My Voice!”

I want to give you a little bit of background to who I am and what I do. I am a member of Avon Christian Church, where I am currently serving as an Elder in my second year. I participate in teaching in a variety of ways through Adult Sunday school, Wednesday Morning Bible Study and I am active in two women’s groups called Esther’s Circle and Juliet’s. Esther’s Circle meets once a month in one of our homes and we share in a devotional (usually) but always in conversation and in support of one another and this involves pre-meeting snacks and concluding the evening with coffee and dessert. The other group meets once a month for lunch at a different location just to share a meal and support one another. By the way Juliet’s stands for (Jolly Unique Ladies Informally Eating Together Somewhere)

I work for the Department of Homeland Security/TSA at the Indianapolis International Airport and have been there for 14 years, previously I had worked with at risk youth for 5 years at the Indiana United Methodists Children’s Home in Lebanon. And prior to that I worked for 13 years with adults with disabilities in residential services.

I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and Biological Science from Judson University in Elgin, IL (a christian liberal arts component of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary). I attended High School at Grace Christian Academy (an ACE Accelerated Christian Education Program). *I have met very few people who actually know what ACE is and 1 of them is in the audience today, Pastor Paula from Avon Christian!

I am also an aspiring writer and have had a few poems published and I started a blog in 2013. I attended a writing conference in March of this year, where I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with renowned author, Barbara Brown Taylor. I found the following quote from her book, “Learning to Walk in the Dark” and felt it appropriate for today!

As created beings, we are all individual and unique by God’s design. Each of us can and do have different perspectives and experiences, the my hope is that we not only see our differences but that we see our similarities too. First and foremost, we are all God’s children! My experiences in life have taught me that I am the most scared and fearful of the things I do not understand. Fear and hate are fed through insufficient knowledge and/or denial of said knowledge. The more you know, the more informed you can be to form educated risk assessments.

You will always remain scared of the dark, if you never turn the light on. The smallest hint of light will always illuminate the darkness. The same is true for just about anything and everything we fear, as knowledge is gained we start to chip away the unknown and it’s power over us is diminished.”

Reminds me of the NBC slogan; do you remember…

Commercials…

And, for all the Star Wars fans…a quote from Master Yoda…

So…

As I was contemplating the theme of this conference, “Lift Every Voice” I had a moment of clarity as if struck by an electrical current, it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. This clarity was as if a great light had been turned on and scattered the shadows away, the things I’ve been avoiding were now in plain sight. I have never wanted to be “a voice” or as I have called it in the past, “a poster” “a neon sign” for any one cause or group. Simply ignoring something does not cause it to cease to be and certainly does not change it from being factual. My choice of not being a voice and remaining silent has potentially been more harmful than I anticipated. My lukewarm, mediocre attitude towards being a voice has the potential for a fertile breeding ground for innuendos and misinformation and I have a responsibility to speak “truth” at least my truth. My life is a worthy cause and a cause that deserves its truth to be said, especially since I want to be known for truth. Just as we are individual created beings and will be judged accordingly, I must accept the responsibilities of such. I now realize that God is not asking me to speak on anyone else’s behalf, only for my own life. And just maybe that will encourage someone else to claim their voice.

With my voice, I am a Christian, an aunt, a child, a cousin, a daughter, a great-aunt, a sister, and a woman. I am also a woman, who is attracted to other women, I do not hate men, and find many of them attractive as well. There’s different names that people and our society has chosen to use in describing such a relationship and I must confess none have ever felt right for me. I’m not offended if someone refers to me as gay or lesbian, and I’ve never considered myself bisexual for that matter, these labels just have never been important to me. Love is love. But, with that being said, they do matter to some and that’s okay. The LGBTQ community encompasses many individuals and their need to find community, as we all desire to have such community to meet our needs. The things I would like to be called or known for are; she’s nice, she’s caring, she’s compassionate, she’s giving, she’s friendly, she’s humble, she’s selfless, she’s loving, she’s forgiving, she’s supportive, she’s patient, she’s smart, she’s funny and she’s kind… I want people to see Jesus through my words and actions, I want people to see Jesus in me and with regard to my sexuality and sexual orientation…I want it to be no more and no less important than the color of my eyes. Which, by the way are brown! 😊

Of all the things that I am, there are just as many that I am not, and I’m okay with that. We are all sisters and brothers, in Christ and my hope is we begin to care for one another as Christ cares for us.

Lift Your Voice, You are Worthy!

The Bible gives us many examples of loving one another. Jesus tells us in John 13:34-35

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

“Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor.”  -Romans 12:10

“And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we do for you.”  -1 Thessalonians 3:12

“Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly.”  -1 Peter 1:22

“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”  -Ephesians 4:32

“Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”  -Philippians 2:4

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.”  -1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”   -Galatians 6:2

“For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.”  -Galatians 5:13

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.”  -Philippians 2:3

“Be hospitable to one another without complaining.”  -1 Peter 4:9

“And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works.”   -Hebrews 10:24

In closing, it would not be me if I didn’t impart a few lines of C.S.Lewis to you:

“Friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

Thank you!

Thank you Disciples Women!

And a special Thank You to the women, my friends, my family at Avon Christian Church!

God Bless you-Amen!

~Peace~

Memory Lane, Moving Forward

A story of three strangers who met a long time ago…

Friends-

It’s been awhile since I’ve written so I wanted to share with you some of my birthday experiences. I’m happy to share that I celebrated my birthday on July 30th! My first “shout out” goes to God! God is so good, God is always GOOD! I am so blessed to have so many loving and caring individuals in my life and I thank each one for making this year’s birthday celebration so memorable and fun!

First off, I had dinner with several friends from my church at one of my favorite restaurants. We shared in a great meal and some awesome cheesecake (birthday cake). Then, I was able to attend a minor league baseball game and pre-game party with all you could eat/drink for free! All with a great group of people who work on keeping the environment safe for everyone along with family and close friends. And today, I traveled to the Chicago area to visit two very special people in my life. I’ve known these individuals for more than three decades and I just love them! Several years have passed since we’ve seen one another face to face but they have always remained in my heart. We met the first year I started college, and well I guess one could say they rest is history. But, it’s more than that! I’ve probably never adequately or appropriately told them just how thankful I am to be friends with them! And, do you know what the best part of our friendship is…truth! I can say that now, after all these years and it’s the foundation of our friendship, they have never had any pretenses of who they are or who I am. I love that! They are very near the top of the list of people I’ve known the longest in my life and with whom I completely trust. Looking back I can now see the artistry of God working in our lives, God working through the years and even today with bringing us together. My heart is filled with happiness!

Memory Lane, Moving Forward
A story of three strangers who met a long time ago…
As the sea washes the shore line sand clean with its ebb and flow
So did the decades of time and space evaporate when we met again face to face
Friendship never lost through the years only paused from time to time
Life, kids, jobs, school, college, travel, weddings, family, just things and stuff
Never forgotten, always close at heart, closer still in prayers
Friends connected at the heart are never far away
Conversations, experiences, sharing laughs things that time doesn’t change 
Closeness and connectivity are not bound by proximity, matters of the heart are limitless 
Friendship as full and fresh as the day it started so many years ago a blessing then, a bigger blessing now 
Memories come flooding back and new ones made they all warm the heart
Looking back it seems so long and short like a blink of the eye
Meeting you, becoming friends has forever changed my life, our lives will continue to change and grow through the years, our friendship is a priceless treasure that only grows in value as the years pass by.  
~C.A.Robinson ©️
   07/31/2019 11pm

As the sea washes the shore line sand clean with its ebb and flow

So did the decades of time and space evaporate when we met again face to face

Friendship never lost through the years only paused from time to time

Life, kids, jobs, school, college, travel, weddings, family, just things and stuff

Never forgotten, always close at heart, closer still in prayers

Friends connected at the heart are never far away

Conversations, experiences, sharing laughs things that time doesn’t change

Closeness and connectivity are not bound by proximity matters of the heart are limitless

Friendship as full and fresh as the day it started so many years ago a blessing then, a bigger blessing now

Memories come flooding back and new ones made they all warm the heart

Looking back it seems so long and short like a blink of the eye

Meeting you, becoming friends has forever changed my life, our lives will continue to change and grow through the years, our friendship is a priceless treasure that only grows in value as the years pass by.

~C.A.Robinson ©️

07/31/2019 11pm

“Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.” -Proverbs 18:24

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.” -Proverbs 17:17

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

 

 

Living Your Best Life

Every day is a gift, not any gift but a precious gift from God.

“In the presence of God, who gives life to all things…” -1 Timothy 6:13

“The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.” -Acts 17:24-25

Friends-

It’s quite easy to say the words that every day is a gift from God. It’s equally just as easy to tell others that every day is a gift from God. The challenge for the speaker of these words is to believe for themselves. And even more so, it takes courage to be authentic in accepting the truth of the statement, that each and every day is a precious gift from God. When we are authentically true to ourselves, we can say with clarity that “yes” today is a gift from God and I struggle with life. Both can be true at the same time. God is not asking for perfection and sinlessness, we are born sinful and imperfect. His love is not dependent on any thing we can do or offer. God’s love is unconditional, period!

Living Your Best Life!

What does that even mean?  To me, the understanding of this statement is to be true to my beliefs and my values in accordance with my convictions from the Holy Spirit and that I strive to live my life in a manner pleasing to God.  Sounds easy, right?

Life often throws us curve balls, it has bumps in the road and more than once we will find ourselves staring at a crossroad, not knowing for sure where a given road might take us. It’s called the future and it can be exciting, scary, stressful, joyful and adventurous. Some of us go boldly charging carelessly into the future, while others of us can be timid and very cautious, even skeptical. No matter where you may fit into this vast spectrum, the two things that matter most are: 1.) Keep moving forward; 2.) Be “YOU” authentic to who you are. I used a quote the other day and just like this blog post, I believe it with 100% of my being…BUT, living it authentically is at times a struggle.

Just the other day, I told someone that I felt broken. Clearly, if I believe this quote by Maya Angelou, I should never feel like I’m broken, worse yet it sounds like I’m accusing God of making a mistake. A better descriptive and authentic statement would have been to say that, “I’m struggling with insecurities, I question my purpose, I create unrealistic scenarios of life, all this and more because I allow my imagined fears to compromise my authenticity and I give my courage away.

Moving forward from this is not easy, it can and will most likely be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but aren’t most things that truly matter(?).

Whatever is keeping you from being completely you, authentic you is so worth discovering and conquering. The things that hinder our growth and the purest form of ourselves was most likely developed over time and the same is true in conquering it.  So be kind to yourself and accept God’s grace. With each sunrise comes a new day to start new, renewed by the forgiveness given to us freely by Christ. You are so very loved.

One last thing, if you are anything like me…I seem to apologize for a lot of things, even things I haven’t done because at some point in my life, the true lines of responsibilities, ownership, shame and blame became blurred. Definitely apologize when it’s appropriate but be honest and straightforward about what you’re apologizing for. Over time “sorry” begins to sound a lot like, the boy who cried wolf, one too many times.

You are too valuable for that to happen, let your words be truth, let your sorry’s be true and sincere, and let you love be pure and free.

 

My prayer for us;

O Holy God, thank you for your love, your compassion and your forgiveness. I thank you for strength and growth that I have gained through the struggles I’ve endured, You are the One True God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I pray for the individual reading these words, not my words but the words that the Holy Spirit placed upon my heart to share, may your Spirit intercede with them and may they feel your presence within their being. I pray for healing if that is their need, whether it be spiritual healing, physical healing or emotional healing nothing is beyond your power. I pray the eyes of their soul be open to you and your will in their life. Be with us wherever we are around the world, praise be that you are always with us, we are never alone. I ask all these things in the name of Jesus, Amen! Peace to you!

~Peace~

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1507-life-a-precious-gift

http://www.read.gov/aesop/043.html

 

 

 

A Child’s Wish

Hello friends –

Below is a poem I wrote nearly ten years ago and I wanted to share it with you today. I have learned and grown over the past ten years and in many ways this poem has helped me along my journey. When I read it, it plays in my mind as a video, most always in black and white. I have found some pictures online I am going to include that are similar to the visions in my mind. I have referenced the ownership of them below since they are not my handiwork. My struggles in life are not so different from life experiences of others, meaning no one persons experiences rivals another, we all have them just in a wide variety of places and degrees. I am no more or less special than you are, we are all special. We are all individuals and yet we are all part of human existence. We all have emotions and ownership of them. More importantly, we are created and born with a purpose and a plan. Too often we allow ourselves to concentrate on the things we lack instead of the things we have. We are people made for community and togetherness, life was never meant to be traveled alone. We need brotherhood not dominance. We need more love and respect, less violence and pain.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” -John 14:27

May the Peace of God be with you always!

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.” -2 Thessalonians 3:16

~Peace~

A Child’s Wish

I look at you and I just want to pick you up, put my arms around you

Squeeze you and tell you everything is alright, tell you that you are safe

Caress you hair and sing you a lullaby, while gently rocking you

I want to whisper sweetly “I love you” and tell you I will protect you from the dark

You are scared of so many things, all the while trying to be a superhero, too

Slow down;

Take a deep breath, the world will not stop if you slow down

As a child and during my youth and even sometimes still

I would often wish for someone just like me

Someone to play catch with

Someone to talk with

Someone who understood me

Someone who really knew me

As I sit here now, knowing what I now know about myself

I have been wishing and dreaming

Pursuing my own reflection

The child I saw scared and alone,

It was me

There are so many things that I keep myself from doing, because inside

I’m that scared child

How can I reach her

How can I heal her…

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I just want to pick her up and put my arms around her

Squeeze her and tell her everything is alright,

Say to her, you are safe now

I want to caress her hair and sing a lullaby and rock her gently

I want to whisper “you are loved” and I will stay with her in the dark

I want to tell her being a kid is the best fun ever and that I will be her superhero

I want to take her by the hand…walk, run and skip through life with her.

-Charlotte A. Robinson

 October 7, 2010

 2:12pm©️

*Updated 06/27/2019 3:51am©️

References:

https://www.paigeeworld.com/post/59043e942c586aeb0ecf3ee1/swings-alone-girl–semirealism-drawing-by-catsmeow43

https://paintingvalley.com/mother-and-daughter-drawing

https://www.pinterest.com/

https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

Patience and Waiting

What is something you find hard to do?

Mine is waiting, well it’s actually patience and waiting…that’s at least two things I find hard to do! Haha!

According to Merriam-Webster: Waiting

• to stay in place in expectation of

• to remain stationary in readiness 

• to remain in expectation

to pause for another to catch up

to look forward expectantly

to hold back expectantly

to be ready and available

to remain temporarily neglected

• to remain unrealized

According to Merriam-Webster: Patience

the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient

The Bible tells us a lot about waiting and patience. *See link below for more references.

“For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.” -Habakkuk 2:3

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” -Romans 8:25

“…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” -1 Corinthians 1:7

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” -Philippians 4:6

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” -Romans 12:12

“…but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” “Isaiah 40:31

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:6-7

I read something about patience a couple of days ago and it’s been on my mind ever since. I like to think I have a lot of patience, this may be true in some areas in my life but I definitely struggle with waiting and having patience from time to time. I am more aware of the abundance or lack of it now in my life than ever before. For example, traffic usually doesn’t bother me much unless I’m in a hurry or running late; bad serve in a restaurant, I tend to put myself in the servers shoes and think maybe they are having a tough day. When I’m excited to do something I have a tendency to overwhelm. I think I’m being patient and I think I’m being “cool.” Truth is my patience is disproportionate to real time. I have friends that I joke with and describe myself as going from A to Z, quickly. The problem with that is I miss all the stuff in between that brings depth and meaning. This can also be called “putting the cart before the horse” and other like metaphors. There’s many reasons people tend to quantum leap through things…learned behavior, this is what was learned over a period of time usually with similar results; fear of the unknown which is also a learned behavioral response typically from actual experience. It the feeling of, “I know how this ends, so let’s just get it over with and move on.” And sometimes it’s just, unfamiliar and uncomfortable and your just a little unsure or possibly scared… Let’s be honest, those feelings are all part of what makes us human, they can be empowering when we face them and see where the roads take us. Imagination is a wonderful thing but it’s a poor substitute for real, reality. Take hold of opportunities, when you find yourself racing through something for the sake of getting it over with (or) through it…ask yourself “why?” Try giving yourself the gift of patience, the gift of waiting, the gift of the experience and all the little surprises along the way. Life is a journey, not a destination. Above all, trust in God, seek His will in your life and where He leads you.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.” -Lamentations 3:25

“Patience is not quite the same as waiting. While waiting is something we do, patience is something we offer. We wait because we must — we have little choice in the matter. But patience is our gift to our Father while we wait. In the silence, in the waiting, patience chooses to declare, “Lord, I love you. I know I don’t love you as I ought, but I want to love you more than your answer to my prayers. I will try to offer you my patient heart as long as you ask me to wait on this.”

What is patience? Patience looks like perseverance.”

—Jani Ortlund

According to Merriam-Webster: Perseverance

continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition 

• the action or condition or an instance  of persevering

Friends, may you have peace in you waiting, hope in you patience, faith in your perseverance as well as forgiveness and understanding in your zeal.

~Peace~

References:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dictionary

https://www.openbible.info/topics/waiting

https://www.openbible.info/topics/patience

https://www.biblegateway.com/

 

 

God’s Time is Always Best

This past week I was able to reconnect with a friend I had not seen in over two decades. We had been coworkers and friends back in the early ’90’s and our lives for no particular reason went in different directions. We both took different jobs, pursued life changing relationships and lived in different cities and states. During the past couple of years we were able to reconnected on social media and had tentatively planned to meet about a year ago but circumstances caused a delay. That all changed this past week, we were finally able to meet face to face for dinner and attend a music concert. We enjoyed quiet conversation over dinner and shared in the events of the past two decades in a condensed, very condensed cliff-note version of what had transpired in our lives. Obviously, we could not hit all the high points or even the low ones. I didn’t want the time to end, I wanted to hear and share as much as possible. The time for the concert came quickly it seemed and that kind of environment does not lend itself to conversation but it was a great experience. My friend had never seen this artist in concert before which made it that much more exciting. We had a blast! We both had obligations to get to after the concert but we are hoping to plan to meet up again sometime soon. I had a two plus hour drive after the concert which left me with a lot of thinking time. I found myself thinking of our friendship way back when it started and trying to remember the last time we actually saw one another and the past conversations we had shared. Those were all great memories and as great as they are, I certainly can’t allow myself to think in the past tense. I’m so hoping to get to know my friend as she is now, we both have experienced many things over the years and each experience and event has molded us into the individuals we are today. And although I am very biased, we both are doing pretty darn well and striving to live as authentic as possible.

I had shared parts of this story with another friend and she made a comment that brought me much joy, “it’s good that we can still experience “first’s” in life. Referencing my friends first concert. I thought about that for a long time and she’s right, as we go through life it can be easy to think of all the things that we will never experience again as a “first.” But there’s so much more to life than keeping count. Don’t get me wrong, remembering first’s can be very satisfying, like your first love, first plane ride, first date, first car, first house, first job, first trophy, the list is endless. What’s even more important is to know that every day is a new day, a chance for another first…take today for example it’s the first Sunday of my life that is recorded as 06/23/2019. It may seem silly to you to think of this as a first and I’m ok with that. What I really want you to know is, never give up or give into what the world or others might tell you to believe. Every day is a blessing from God and is an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with someone who doesn’t know him, for the first time, it’s an opportunity to show kindness to someone, in need of kindness for the first time, it’s an opportunity get to know someone new or again for the first time, and in regard to my friend, it’s an opportunity to get to know who she is now for the first time.

Firsts are best because they are beginnings.

-Jenny Han

Most of life’s big steps require a certain muddling through, a trusting that no one really knows the magical formula for the big firsts in life.

-Cusi Cram

-Lamentations 3:22-26

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.

-Flavia Weedn
~Peace~

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

http://goodreads.com/

PhD-level Christianity-What Is That?

Hello friends~

I recently read an article, the title caught my eye, rather the spirit opened my eyes to it! I found the information rather intriguing and insightful, my hope is you too might find something useful for you.

I will include a link below for the article as well as list the twenty resolutions below.

Resolved: 20 Decisions for Surviving the Church with Your Faith Intact

JUNE 12, 2018 BY JAYSON D. BRADLEY

Resolution #1: I will not confuse discernment and judgment. I refuse to devalue anyone based on my convictions or preferences.

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”—Philippians 1:9–10

Resolution #2: I will not shy away from being the dissenting voice to keep the peace. The majority opinion is not necessarily the right opinion, and I won’t be shamed into silence.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”—2 Corinthians 10:5

Resolution #3: I will not meddle in the lives of others where there is no relationship and invitation.

If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.” 1 Peter 4:15

Resolution #4: I will not focus on outward behavior over inward transformation — in myself or others.

First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”—Matthew 23:26

Resolution #5: I will not make conformity, theological or otherwise, a prerequisite for community.

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

Resolution #6: I will not exalt any theological principle or duty above love.

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.“—Galatians 5:6b

Resolution #7: I will not penalize others for being honest and transparent.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” — Ephesians 4:25

Resolution #8: I will not conflate Christianity and nationalism.

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales . . .” — Isaiah 40:15

Resolution #9: I will not behave as if truth only exists in my denominational or interpretive cul-de-sac.

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”—1 Corinthians 2:2

Resolution #10: I will not confuse forgiveness and trust.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”—Colossians 3:13

Resolution #11: I will not treat people as stereotypes.

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”—Ephesians 2:14

Resolution #12: I will not shy away from difficult questions or apologize for my doubts.

Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.”—Mark 9:24

Resolution #13 I will not cultivate a theology that ignores the experience of Christians around the world.

We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”—Ephesians 4:14

Resolution #14: I will not get embroiled in arguments that reduce complexities into simple black and white issues.

“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.”—Isaiah 55:8

Resolution #15: I will not serve or do good for recognition. Whenever possible, I will practice spiritual and benevolent behavior in secret.

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.“—Matthew 6:1

Resolution #16: I will not demand that Scripture conforms to the theological framework I’ve already embraced.

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.“–John 8:32

Resolution #17: I will not succumb to a treadmill of perfectionism, or expect it from others.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.“—2 Corinthians 12:9

Resolution #18: I will not demand that the culture around me conforms to my ideals.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?“—1 Corinthians 5:12

Resolution #19: I will not idealize the past or fear the future.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what I is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”—2 Corinthians 4:18

Resolution #20: I will not promote the idea that Christian community exists for the civilized and dignified.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” –1 Corinthians 1:26-30

~Peace~

References:

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jaysondbradley/2018/06/surviving-church/