When reading Philippians I have to wonder just how far I will go.
In addition to wanting to draw or sing for Disney I wondered how neat it would be to take pictures for National Geographic.
That is… until I saw the mosquito nets and realized from my hobby minimimalist photography practices, much like fishing or hunting, you have to wait for the right shot. They deliver AWESOME pictures but at a great price I am not so sure I am willing to pay.
I have been to Haiti with relative safety, mistakenly having watched Serpent of the Rainbow before we embarked. At 10 years old I strongly advise parents to not allow your child to watch this. The safety of tourists has become more questionable, including the locals as well. Our native missionaries were affected by the earthquakes and had a car stolen at gunpoint but things are advancing for the church.
I had a friend in high school who I loved like a sister leave with her family to China for ministry there and lost touch. For their safety we were not allowed to discuss their real reason for being in the country. Here in the states it is rather difficult to picture just how easy it is to worship whereas in China and other countries it is viewed as extremist and a threat to the government.
Meanwhile, here in America we talk of gender identity and toilets and Instagram and Facebook. It does seem to be venturing towards persecution of the modern day church and I feel many have already become submissive and silent. I strongly dislike talking of politics and candidates where I feel I vote for the lesser of evils and I have no desire to start now. I just know, judging by any media outlet, we need as many prayers as we can get.
Back around Sophomore year I can recall the debate of removing God from the Pledge of Allegiance. I remember when it became taboo for teachers to broach the subject of Christianity. I must admit I stewed a bit. I gathered friends of different religions and we made a study of it after school with friendly conversations and comparisons of the differences between our beliefs. Each person was given a meeting, once a week, to have the floor and open questions after. Not once was there a raised voice, cursing, or insult passed among us.
I do not pretend to understand the draw of bikini models and Lamborghini cars, man buns, Kardashians, and Jenner. I will not insult them either. I am imperfect and I am no judge. I just wish to know how a Mormon, Baptist Christian, Christadelphian, Wiccan, Methodist, and Atheist could get along so respectfully and then witness all the mayhem on the television…
There are some questions impossible to answer- or rather by any mere human.
What price am I willing to pay?
Can I see myself in a situation where I am faced with a gun and my answer to a single question decides my fate?
My Fate Versus Destiny
This word fate is only encompassing the now- till my death in which I depart. We put too much importance in our success through the Relativity of Time.
My destiny on the other hand, I would hope is to spend my eternity with God.
Approximately 2 years ago I had been applying for a job. I had put on my application to not contact where I currently was working, but the employer managed to do so anyway. Needless to say my manager found out. I remember hearing her take the phone call.
Not long after she and another coworker, my direct supervisor, attempted to fire me and that led me to finally take the plunge with documentation and proof of all the broken protocols and how they targeted my food allergies. As a result two were fired and a third nearly so but I had no desire to remain there.
I could have probably taken it farther. I questioned based on my faith if I had done the right thing at all. I had prayed they fall to their own trap and God keep me standing strong. I did not wish to be the one to execute the process.
Since then I have been working with another company and within a month of hire was training new associates in my role. I have, to date, trained over 200 employees and became a Managerial Assistant with the ability to try for Area Manager this approaching November.
But, I have to step back and let God. I cannot fall for the ruse satan wishes to become my focus. This never has nor will define me. First and foremost I am a daughter of the True King and my main concern should be furthering His Kingdom.
I have recently listened to the 9 Attitudes That Keep You Happy by Joyce Meyers. She brings a good point to the attention of the audience. By birthright and acceptance of Jesus we have power. We have the BIGGEST POWER in our corner of the ring.
Her main points are covering the beatitudes
Blessed are the…
Poor in Spirit
Those who mourn
Those who hunger & thirst for righteousness
Pure in heart
Makers & maintainers of peace
Persecuted for right
But, what are we doing?
Are we actively pursuing and craving after God or are we falling victim to distractions and comparisons of those around us? For us to activate and maintain that power we have to do the work.
I do not want to be a “yo-yo Christian.” I have been in a “yo-yo marriage” and I realize I put myself there. In this time frame I let the thief in to steal my joy rather than lean more on God. I am now closer and chasing doctrine, but, if we are diligent and pursue Christ wholeheartedly- wise as serpents but gentle as doves we will not falter as I have.
We cannot live with proof of fruit attesting to our faith if we are not first acting in and of faith. We have to give up the milk and grow up as Christians. Sometimes our faith may endanger our job or our livelihood but as Joyce beautifully articulates “It was God that gave you this job. If you are faithful to Him, what is to keep Him from giving you a better job?”
I sit on lunch break with people I hardly know as my schedule changed with my promotion. Not only is there the oddity of not knowing each other well, there is also the awkwardness of my being higher than them. I try and be as approachable as possible but I have been testing the waters as to their beliefs.
One man easily bad mouths Christians as people who “force their beliefs on others” or “believe in some magical imaginary being up in the sky” or, the latest, “don’t believe in evolution whatsoever.” Some people who claim Christianity do this.
We so often compartmentalize. We treat our parents differently from our coworkers from our church family to our closest friends who, if we really look, may not be drawing us closer to God. Perhaps this requires a change. I do not wish to ride on Joyce’s sermon, but it reiterates what I have already felt for a very long time. The front we give in church as our best self should be our only self.
We should treat everyone equally and not dish out punishment for evil given. Pray blessings over those who hurt us.
14 And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, encourage the faint-hearted, support the weak, be longsuffering toward all. 15 See that none render unto any one evil for evil; but always follow after that which is good, one toward another, and toward all. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward. 19 Quench not the Spirit; 20 despise not prophesyings; 21 [d]prove all things; hold fast that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5: 14-22
Her testimony is amazing and I can draw strength in that it is much like the movie “I can only imagine.” If we love the unlovable, is there really any better proof of God’s love and redemption?
Is this not what Christ did for us?