The Dangers of Compartmentalization and Faith

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

Matthew 3:5-15
Blessed are the…

 

Poor in Spirit
Those who mourn
The meek
Those who hunger & thirst for righteousness
The merciful
Pure in heart
Makers & maintainers of peace
Persecuted for right
Unselfish

 

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?

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Commit to the Lord

I do not claim this image.

It is after I believe I have strayed from this that I now stand facing a crossroads.

How did I get here?

Perhaps you have found yourself there too. The mess seems so wadded and knotted up that you cannot identify where the beginning of the strand starts or how to unravel it to move forward. You pull a section which tightens another and realize nope- not the one, try again. I am realizing I have to step back and

 

let God
I do not claim this image.

 

In this I have learned much more of what God goes through with me, the patience and hurt and love regardless the inflicted pain.​ I have also learned love is not enough.

God is enough, my portion is full. I could be so much worse off than I am. He has kept me in His hand throughout these trying times. I feel tempered and maybe sharpened. I know the pain deep within my chest is sharp but it is dulling.

My marriage- yes I got married and drifted from my writing- is failing. I loved someone and experienced the pain God must go through daily when… we choose not to follow… to show Him we love Him… we put Him on the back burner… when all He wants is a personable relationship. That is all I wanted, to be sought after and loved, given protection emotionally and physically- A team seeking to better ourselves and after God.

Instead what was found was neglect and abandonment, the lack of desire to improve or chase after what seemed to be anything than immediate gratification. It does not diminish my love but I am much more fragile than I was. Words spoken cannot be unsaid. They can be forgiven but the gashes and scars with ghost pains are still there.

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

~ James 1: 19

 

9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary,  repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

~ 1 Peter 3:9

I have been seeking a new place to live, gotten a new job, a promotion in the new job, the ability to go to school again, a dog, and the gaping option of transferring to a new location with the job… a $10,000.00 package for relocation with me being locked into a new home, a new city and state for a year minimum… Hearing it is much easier to promote faster by doing the transfer… There are better paying jobs that I may or may not qualify for but I get a payout based on productivity as an individual/company building that can come out equal to with decent benefits.

Do I stay or go- simply another job or another location away from everything I have ever known? Some parts of me think it could be good to start anew. Please pray for me and discernment- the patience and ability to wait on Him.

Act on Love

Love cannot be bought
Empathy cannot be taught
It is sympathy often sought

We disassociate by games and movies
And get stuck not feeling, going through the motions

What we need is a little more humanity
Turn away from all the vanity

Embrace your loved ones
Show your daughter and sons

Turn off the screen and look them in the face
Where is the empathy gone without a trace?

It should not take a word to spur an action
The injustice often goes without any traction

We should be outraged at the robbing of the poor
Perhaps we should reopen our door.

People stop going to churches because they don’t feel they belong
This community, I feel, has long been gone.

Replaced by a church of likes, yells, shout outs, self-worth in the limelight.
How have we become so blinded to our fellow man’s plight?

Never has walked in someone else’s shoes become so important.
For I feel our love, our hearts, our minds have truly become dormant.

Stop going through the motions, stop stopping because it hurts.
To live is to experience loss, but if truly lived there is joy.

Time is not endless and we are but chaff and we don’t know how long we have.
Quit putting off what is really important- the part that feels and the more important half.

Love is not just a feeling but a verb- it is time we lived our words and perhaps as a people we will feel again.

 

~ March 19

Just because I am Christian does not mean I have all the answers

In fact it means just the opposite and that I am admitting my imperfection… my humanity.

I am swimming in a sea of I don’t knows at the moment. I am being torn asunder and plunged into eddies beneath the visible surface, struggling to breathe.

God is my lifeline but over the last few weeks it feels as though the boat I am being tugged behind has a line too long or the raft attached just not buoyant enough to stay above the choppy surf.

I can’t afford the house payment this month. I have to get another housemate. I did not get the job that would solve my financial woes and yet again I feel helpless and useless…. a dead weight to my parents. I am willing to do almost anything and everything to make it but my health limitations, because let’s recognize them for what they are, hinder me from a broad span of them.

I am two years at a job that feels like it is sucking my soul out- I have never been at a job so unprofessional with such vindictive evil people and I try to love, I pray, and I wonder why I am here. The people here seem to hate the light and dislike me for reaching out to customers and being real.

I would go back to selling glasses but I need healthcare as my depleting savings/checking are a consistent reminder, 6 visits to different doctors and an ER visit later last September, through May of next year (just under tax exemption so ended up paying IRS to discover 2 months later and too little too late had the system been faster I would probably have been paid by the IRS). Add that to a house and car payment and utilities and my 40 hr job just doesn’t cut it anymore. I would be a server but… crosscontamination with celiacs is a real concern in that industry. No delivering pizzas for me.

I feel myself being called to work with children, that I am to use my gifts… but how? My money is His money… but what to do when it seems you are at empty? He is able, I am grateful… I have food and my parents will let me borrow… but what of next month when my housemate pays nothing on rent because it is her last month and she already paid for it?

I remove myself from the IMpossible and pray to let Him take over and allow it to be POSSIBLE.

I know it is when we are at our weakest that He can seem and be the strongest.. so I really feel about now that would be amazing.

He knows the plans He has for me. I have a dream and a hope and I am trying to keep my joy because it is a choice… I have to hand it over to the thief for him to attain it.

A Prayer for All of Us

Thank you for giving me what I need and not what I want. Sometimes You give me the nutrients instead of the dessert and I think I am lacking. What I do not realize is that You are shaping me… The me before the me now was shapeless and base… a part of the mire destitute and unsightly.

But then, You removed the muck and added purity to draw out the precious metals and gems in my depths- of You… before our imperfections. Now I begin to see the need of You and those around me also of the mire. There are those who see themselves more than the other pots when they are not of you… they are of coal and black and festering.

You call us to be more of You, less of us. I cannot cast stones for I was lost and bound to death but You gave Life… and You continue to those who seek it. I pray that You lead us in these times of need to You. This strife burdens my heart and I cry out to You- You are powerful, able, and awesome. I do not understand but Your grace, Your love is more than I could ever fathom. You are unchanging and steadfast in the gales which buffet my soul.

Turn our eyes towards You- draw us near and let us not lose sight of the goal and gift of life with You. I pray for my brothers and sisters taken, that they be under Your wing and protection. Those in Your hands cannot be plucked out. satan has already lost and I pray these children not. I weep for those in loss but hope they find Your grace.

I come as I am, as all of us must… for what can we give the Author of Life? Let us not lose sight of the real threat and remember that we cannot fight alone… When You are for us, who can be against us? I pray for the families, friends, and spouses- not just of Orlando but all Your people. Let us forget skin, preference, and let us remember… a servants’ heart… A servants’ love.

We are all one race: humanity ~~~ Prince of Egypt
ALL lives matter.

Rebecca St. James
You’re the Voice:

This time, you know we all can stand together.
With the power to be powerful believing, we can make it better.
We’re all someone’s daughter, we’re all someone’s son.
How long can we look at each other down the barrel of a gun?

You are the voice, try and understand it.
Make a noise and make it clear.
We’re not gonna stand in silence.
We’re not gonna live in fear.

It is not about guns… it is not about gay… it is not about the choices we make… we are His children and the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He comes to pit us against each other when he is the real enemy… but we are not able to fight him on our grounds.

Pray.

Love.

Pay it forward. We were given the ultimate gift- now to pass it on.

On another note people have requested updates for Heather, but she is distant. She has recovered very much but I know nothing beyond that. Another friend’s mother passed away from colon cancer and my cousin passed away from pancreatic cancer so I thank and ask for continued prayer for their families. He is good. He is Faithful and He is able.
Though it may not be the answers we want He does answer prayer… sometimes with a no, sometimes a not at this time, or sometimes it is that He has something so much better ahead.

He is Faithful

Thank you so much everyone for the prayers for my housemate’s daughter. She had entered a coma from sepsis and is making a recovery. Her kidneys were back up to approximately 10% and doctors are miffed because not only was she functional but she was speaking.

He is Faithful and He is able. Also another prayer was answered for a friend this week but will not go into detail.

Live, Laugh, Love

Prayer request for a friend

My housemate is leaving urgently back home and requested if I know people to please pray for her daughter who is ill, has been ill for a long time.

She is experiencing kidney failure.

I pray that God places His hands of healing on her- whether it be of spirit and or physical healing. I know He is capable and for His glory.

I also pray for comfort of her and her family in this time.

Thank you and God bless,

Crowned