Friday, October 23, 2009

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble

No one has said it, but I'm a tremendously picky person when it comes to religion. I realize that. I've been church shopping.

I thought it would be pretty easy to find one near our home. Silly, silly, Heather.

I had a choice of a few near our home. One looked promising, until I investigated the website. Red flags came up. 1. They believe in KJV only. That's an issue for me, because KJV is at a 12 grade reading level. Many people don't read at that level, especially my evangelism market. I hand out the NEW KJV - which is approximately 7th grade reading, Bibles, and ESV (8th grade level) New Testaments. I would have no problem handing out the "God's Word" translations (Good News), as that was my first Bible. They're at 5th grade level. I don't think the version matters - as long as you're picking up the Bible and reading it on a regular basis! For me, that translates to NIV and NJKV generally, although I do like the ESV, God's Word, and other versions. About the only version I don't love is the KJV!

The second red flag came up when I read the about the pastor page. Another page was marked "First Lady" so and so. Why does this bother me? Well, I'm getting out the misprinted NKJV paperback Bible I keep by my computer. Parts of Romans have been eaten off in the printing press, other sections were just miscut. It is a handy consult Bible, but I'd never give it away, it's too messed up. If I wanted to read a Bible when I was ill, I'd use this. Same with bathtub reading.

I will digress - I once read a lovely article on how to dispose of a Bible. The thought of sending one to a landfill with dirty diapers and all is just horrifying to me. It's God's love letter to me. One article suggested burning it, while saying a prayer of thanks for all the comfort it brought you. Lovely. If I ever trashed a Bible, that's how I'd do it. My personal favorite carry around Bible is waterstained from a water bottle leak - but it's completely readable so I plan to read it until pages fall out. Back to original subject:

The apostle Paul. What titles did he claim? He was one of the greatest evangelists of all time.

Romans: Paul, a bondservant of Jesus. A bondservant is little better than a slave, back then.
1 Corinthians: called to be an apostle
2 Corinthians: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God
Same for Galations, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy
Philippians and Titus: Bondservant of Jesus Christ
1 & 2 Thessalonians, simply Paul
Philemon: a prisoner of Christ Jesus - he also refers to himself thus in other books.

James - the brother of Jesus, also referred to himself as a bondservant.
So did Peter.
Jude - bondservant.

What example have the apostles set for us? That we are servants of Jesus. Servants. Not carrying regal titles, but simple friends and servants of Jesus.

No wonder the title "First Lady" puts my hackles up. I found that on not one, but two websites. No thanks. I have enough drama in my life without attending a church with a "First Lady". UGH. I just find the concept abhorrent and revolting.

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble". Actually straight out of 1 Peter 5:5b-6 "Be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."

God opposes the proud. So do I, apparently.

It's a shame, they were right on the bus line.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

As we forgive our debtors...

Oh, that little line in the Lord's Prayer. God's been laying it on me recently: I need to give up my grudges.

I carry bitterness in my heart towards various people: a woman who broke a commandment, people who swore I could depend on them and let me down when I reached out, an officer of the law who not only stole from my husband, but lied on the accident report - then came and said the accident was "All your fault because you let him out of the house." - I'm sorry. I didn't know my husband had to be LEASHED. I needed that money to pay the rent! Give me 10 minutes with that man - and immunity from criminal charges!

However, God provided, as He always does. I cannot carry around the anger and bitterness - it will affect my walk with Jesus. I'm sure Jesus is tired of watching me lug this backpack of resentment, hate, and bitterness. I lug it, and He asks me if He can take it. I yell at Him. He shrugs and walks with me, watching me grunt and heave the monstrous thing onto my back.

I told God, I can't do this on my own... and unlike some stories I've read the feelings haven't just evaporated. No warm cuddlies here! It's more like running a long-distance race. I'm struggling and heaving and I don't even see the finish line, but I know it's there... I just have to run to that pole.... now to the sign.

He laid it on me, that one thing I need to do is begin praying for them, daily. ALL OF THEM. By name.

Lord, take care of A., please forgive me for treating her badly. We both sinned.
Lord, take care of S. You know I had so many issues with her, it's so easy to clutch that hate... but I can't do that, You want me to be better than that! Help me to see her as Your daughter, because I don't think I can love her any other way.
Lord, take care of that thieving repairman we trusted for years. Hey, howya doing, and the numbers never added up until we took away his key. Please help me to forgive him and redeem him from his sins, if it's Your will.
Lord, please take care of A & T. They both sinned... but we allowed them to hurt us. Please help me to forgive them, myself, and Ron.
Lord, please take care of the people who gossiped about me after Ron's accident. I am so ready to repay evil for evil but gossip is a sin, and I'm not to do that.
Lord, please take care of Officer B - the one I mentioned. I don't know how he could do what he did. I know Ron has forgiven him. I just relive that moment where he blamed ME for the accident, not a careless driver, I want to get out of that moment and move on. Help him to know You, if it's Your will. If it's Your will, please hold him accountable on Earth, too, for his theft and deception. You can make anything work for good, and in this case You allowed other people to rescue me in my hour of need. Thank You for teaching me humility and trust. Help me to see this man as Your child, precious in your sight. You died for him, too.
Lord, please help me to forgive those who said hateful things about me and gossiped to Ron's caregivers after the accident. They did it out of fear, You have shown me that. Ron was very scary at the time and they were trying to protect me when they did what they did. Please help me to forgive them for letting me down when I needed them. You did a wonderful job of providing for my every need, Lord, every single one. Had I depended on them, they would have saddled me with a tremendous burden of obligation and duty I never would have escaped. Help me to remember that they did me a favor. I don't believe they are saved, Lord. Please guide them to You.
Lord, please help me to forgive all the mental health professionals I saw, who simply couldn't see I had bipolar disorder. I suffered for three decades, Lord, and I know You cried with me everytime. Thank you for allowing me respite from my illness, with such affordable medications! I will always thank you for the third element, Lithium. Please allow me to see that it was Your will I remain the way I did for so long. All I see is decades of misery, but You saw it as a time of trial that tested and refined my faith. I guess I needed all that misery to become who I am today. Help me to forgive them.

Hopefully, as I continue down this path I will learn to truly forgive them. Now, it's something I know I need to do - like taking my vitamins. I hope God will fill my heart with love and compassion for these people as I pray for them on a regular basis.

It's not an easy thing to do.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I was battling another depression recently and decided to knit and watch "Ghost Whisperer" tonight. I experimented with a variation of my pumpkin pudding (not horrible, not delicious).

As I sat there watching the actress bring "closure" to all the families, it dawned on me that I, also, have some things to say. Why not say the public things?

So what do I plan to do? First, I have to say that while I woke up depressed, after 3 lithium total today I feel great, a little draggy but "good" overall. I know, that as a child of God, He has plans for me and I'm not to meddle with them. So I don't.

I do have a blue flash drive. I keep it on my computer desk. I will be writing letters for people.

I would also like to create a slideshow with photos and the tune "Don't you forget about me".

I would want people to know, that while I carried burdens, Jesus was with me every step of the way. I would like the "Footprints" poem put in the bulletin. I would want people to know that I loved my life and I LIVED it a thousand percent.

I really only got my sanity a few years ago, but how I've enjoyed interacting with people! I've loved my husband, my family, and freinds. While I complained about it more than once, I loved my body too. It has served me WELL.

I've loved blogging my thoughts and feelings, and I've loved everyone who's responded. I love God and I am honored He chose me to hand out Bibles to everyone I meet.

When I die, I don't want flowers. Send the money to an evangelism program, like Open Doors, Gospel for Asia, or the Gideons. I'm gone - I don't need tokens to know I was loved.

If you are craft-inclined, knit or crochet a Linus blanket for a child in need. Donate teddy bears to the fire department or paramedics to hand out to children. Buy a case of paperback Bibles and hand them out, or leave them out in the breakroom with a "Please take me home!" note.

I don't want a circus-styled funeral. Fax a notice to Yellow Cab and Metrolift - "Heather ___ has gone to Jesus, memorial service ___ at ____". Put up a note at work - in fact, print this up also. Rent a hall, get some cake (chocolate and vanilla!), and fill up a punchbowl. Hand out sodas if you want. Show my slideshow, maybe read a poem or two. Read the Bible Passage "We live by faith, not by sight" - one of Paul's passages about "Away from the Body, at Home with the Lord". Emphasize a salvation message and the fact that I got saved at age 8. While I never lived a perfect life, my sins are forgiven me through grace.

Please. If you want to cry, cry, but realize I am home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Not bad for cell phone posts! I guess I was tweeting the last week? I dunno. Glad to be back online! Yeee-haw, what a fast horsey I've got now!
Doc doubled dose on Risperdal. It works and wont make me fat or goofy. Doc said - Very proud of (my) weight loss-. Now w-mart 4 pills.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Odd but true - watching -I didn:t know I was pregnant- on TLC makes me cry over poor Mom, who didn,t know she could hurt me with alcohol while pregnant.
Day Out. Mall, bunless burger, sporting goods store (cute t-shirt/NEUTRAL jacket). Cute baby-cat @ store but said no. Rain-med jacket ROOMY! Nevr gets old.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No computer. Maybe thursday? I would rather wait on an awesome job. Really tired but mood OK.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Laid up w/a nasty migraine for 29 hours. Now i need to catch up on chores and get eating again! Tomorrow w/b better.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spanish Bible Handout

Today was my all Spanish Handout.  I thought it would be interesting, but never could I have dreamed how odd it would get.  I had trouble ...