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Talking & Listening to God

Dear God,
Can we talk?  Sometimes I just talk to you in my thoughts. Sometimes it is just a chatty prayer. I always feel you listen to me.  I also feel I hear you whisper to me.
 
When I read the Old Testament it makes me wonder if you talked out loud to them. Or, did you speak then like you do to me?

It is easy for me to get so lost in parts of the Bible.  Partially because I am so curious.  I have to know who wrote what, where they were in the world when they wrote it and how they fit into history.  The countries all have new names now. Esther a Jewish orphan who becomes the Queen of Persia which is now Iran. Then I wonder if I could be as brave as she was. 

Listening to the gospels every week at church, but never really studied the Bible, so please be patient with me as I dig deeper. 

I especially love reading some others interpretation by women who have studied your word longer. I am sure that is why You sent me to BIG. 

Today you spoke to me in this particular verse
“I pray that your love will increase still more and more.” – Philippians 1:9
and in Matthew 9:29
Then Jesus touched their eyes, “just as you have believed, let it be done to you.”

Dear God,  help me to continually deepen my faith in you. 

Dear John

I was just reading how John Meyer was so upset by Taylor Swift’s song ‘Dear John’. In my head I’m thinking “wa wa wa”. Poor John sleeps with these women, talks about it, then he feels badly?   Ok so now I haven’t just talked about it in my head, I’ve talked to all of you about it. 
So there I go again judging someone else, even it was in my head. Even if what he/they did was sin. Haven’t I sinned?  Didn’t I just by judging?
I probably do this more times than I’d like to admit. 
I have to tell you that I think I’m a nice person. A kind person. 
I’m becoming more and more aware of how often I make judgements in my head, if not from my lips. 
Why do I do it? Unconsciously I want to feel superior. 
Luke 18:9-14
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'”But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'”I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 
Geez I want to be exalted by the Lord. Why do I repeat the same trivial sins?  I am sorry. I know God will forgive me. How amazing is our God? Would I forgive so repeatedly. It’s hard being human. 

God Is Love

Have you ever wished you could really see yourself with God’s eyes? It kind of sends tremors through me, the very thought of God seeing me. I’m not worthy. Yet, 1 John 4:4 tells me that God sees me with loving eyes.

I have only to see how I look on my children to know I don’t look at them with critical eyes, but loving eyes. If I do that how can I tremble at the thought of God looking at me? Shouldn’t I feel that when God looks at me that it is as welcome as the spring sun coming out from behind a cloud? The feel of warmth on my skin that is so welcome, that translates to me as God’s love is something to bask in.

I do nothing to enjoy the sun’s warmth after a cloud passes by, am I not infinitesimally more blessed by the fact that even though I have sinned (the cloud on my spiritual life)that God sent His only son to die to forgive my imperfections? What does He ask of me?

1 John 4:4 says to me God is love. I should love. I should love my imperfect self. I should love others. No one is perfect, but they deserve love. God’s love changed me and continues to work on me. Perhaps my nonjudgemental love of others is a means to show Christ working in my life and through my life. Please God allow me to touch others with the Grace of Your love.

Right or Wrong? Simple?

Sometimes I fool myself as to where the line is. There are times when work and success created “…the end justifies the means…” like selling a very popular glazed donut for a fundraiser. Even though fatty treats are linked to the one of the causes of the disease?
The pitch was simple. “…we might as well get some of the money from these companies to help pay for the disease…”
This is just a mere sample of judgements both personal and professional that are made daily by many, not just me.
Would I like to say I’d do differently today? Yes, but I fear I’d be like Peter when he denied
Jesus(John 13:38) three times.
It’s easy to say, no way?
When you are a single parent and sole supporter in a bad job market, can it be that easy.
No it never is. There are budgets to meet. If not met, people who won’t get the help they depend on. Could I be the master of fooling (aka lying to) myself? Is that the war with Satan?
I believe now it is. Trust is a very hard choice for me. It always was growing in an alcoholic home. I learned to trust myself.
Today, I can pray. I can pray hard to trust the Lord. I am
certain that God will provide what I need.
It’s not always easy. It’s not always pretty. The results won’t
always seem to me that God is working in my life. I know He is.
I’m pretty sure we all make decisions we’d like to change if we
had a chance to live life backwards. I’m so grateful that God forgives.

Faith?

Raised with two brothers as a Christian in a family where beliefs were strong, but examples were less obvious.

Always Certain that was never the intention of the big people in the family. Alcoholism and emotional damage were illnesses that swirled around the children in my family of origin. There were also many blessings on the good days; some financial, some fun, love the best way these adults knew how, and much to be thankful to God in our lives.

Still it could be confusing for the children. When you grow up in that kind of confusing household, it is your normal. Secrets of what goes on inside the home are taught not to be told outside the home. There were great times versus the scary times.

There were strong examples of people who believed in God on Sundays, but rarely spoke a word about Him any other time. Some teachers even assuring the little people they would burn in hell for doing anything bad that they didn’t confess to a priest. I always believed what I was taught. So my impression of God was this bipolar type of God. One that could be loving and kind, yet scary and mean. 

I always tried to live a good Christian life, but many times was far less than successful.  Would, or could God ever forgive me?

Whenever there were challenges I prayed for a particular outcome. Eventually, realizing it didn’t always come in the form requested in prayer, but always what was needed to grow in faith. 

Reading the Bible was something I never did. Nor was it something ever done in my childhood home  It was always heard in the readings and the Gospels at church on Sundays. Church was hard to understand as a child. 

The Bible reminded me of my emotionally bipolar childhood. The Old Testament full of fire and brimstone. The New Testament full of love and loving guidance. 

My functionally-challenged family of origin consists of two brothers who never speak to each other, who haven’t seen my mother in twenty odd years, or even showed up to see my father in his last days. My mother is now in the throws of Alzheimers and I’m learning to love her again as I care for her. 

It’s in the autumn of my life that I prayed for greater faith and signs of His presence. The first concrete sign was my best girlfriend who is a widow began dating a Pastor. It was the first time that I really understood through him that the Bible was God’s user guide for people like me.

Then, a decorating blog I followed regularly announced that her sister was starting a Christian blog called Sisters In Bloom. I subscribed to it. 

The Bible still left me with that emotional bipolar feeling when I’d read the Old Testament. Then, there was a wonderful guest blogger in Sisters In Bloom.  Salina was the guest blogger. Her words touched my soul. I went to her blog and wrote to her about what I believed God was telling me.
   
I never believe in accidents. Somewhere deep inside I always knew that God was and is working in my life. 

I wrote Salina and asked if I could join this group called Bloggers In God. I am learning so much more than I can give back at present. I only hope my journey in faith will allow you to know what a blessing all of you are in my life. How much I need to read and learn from each of you. 

 

WISDOM

Proverbs 4:6-7
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (NIV)

I love the way Wisdom is portrayed as a Woman.

More than twenty years ago, I was married and truly believed a marriage was till death do us part. I went for counseling. My then husband refused. My son was beginning his addiction which my then husband would buy beer for “the boys” for nightly fishing trips.

I don’t want to be seen as blameless in the marriage. I was not. The more my life felt out of control, the more I wanted to control EVERYTHING. Essentially, I was going crazy. I took my son for treatment, no one could help him until he did something, or wanted help. Does that sound like wisdom?

I continued with counseling and continued taking my son for counseling. It was, by the way, an hour by car each way to these sessions.

My husband asked for a divorce. Not much of a surprise since he’d
been out of work for a year without even looking for a job. I’d heard the talk in my tiny village and many women were ‘dating’ him. He’d
decided he didn’t want responsibility any more. I begged him to go to a Christian Marriage counseling weekend. If he still felt the same after the Counseling, I would let him go.
We’d book the weekend. He cancelled twice. He was now smoking up with my son who by this time was 17.
I locked my husband and son from the house. My son got in trouble with the law. I mustered up all the strength I could find and told them to charge him. He decided he would go to a recovery 6 month treatment program. Praise the Lord, God worked and my son worked hard. Sadly, my husband has not kept in touch with our children.

It may seem I side-tracked this story about Wisdom, but at the lowest stage of my life, when I questioned where God was. A lovely lady named Jannie told me God loved me and she would believe it for me. I’ve never met this woman other than on an online Al-Anon program. God worked a miracle through Her Wisdom. I came back to committing myself to our Lord.

We have stayed in touch a couple of times a year. Two years ago, her son who was my son’s age overdosed on drugs. This time, I could return the favor of believing for her.

We don’t always understand how God is working in our lives.

I can tell you that in BIG I know He is working in mine through the Wisdom of many of your shares. Bless you!!

We

There comes a Day a Daughter Must Become The Mother

Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ.

Today I went to see my doctor about my mother’s progressive dementia. She is about to lose more control. Control has always been my mother’s best sport.
She is being assessed to be declared incompetent. I’m not liking the role I play in this, but it was one I was given years ago when asked to look after her in her old age. I’ve always prayed that she would go peacefully in her sleep. God seems to have other plans.
My heart is sad, but I am at peace. I trust in my Savior. How blessed am I to have a roadmap for life? How blessed are you?
Janie