Monday, November 23, 2009

Don't tell them what to do!

It doesn't matter where I was at the time, but a few incidents came up recently.

I believe I have already blogged about one incident, where an obviously mentally ill person got very upset at me for taking my medication. She had a physical disability in addition to the obvious mania. I had gotten dizzy from medication and stumbled getting into the vehicle. Since I don't "appear" sick she asked me what was wrong. I believe the exact question was "You aren't SICK [contagious] are you?"

No, I told her, my medication had me a little dizzy. She asked me what I took and I told her. "For Bipolar disorder". She proceeded, in typical fashion, to tell me manic-depression was a "made up illness" designed to "Get you hooked on their drugs. You're addicted to those drugs!"

Uhm, how many blog entries have I bitched about horrible side effects? How many times have I typed out my resentment at losing brain function, just to have a functional mood? How many compromises between mood and function? Noting a theme here of LOSS OF FUNCTION on the meds that are not addictive, and possibly damaging to my health. I also resent being termed an addict - I'm only addicted to caffeine.

I just kind of cringed in my seat as she expounded on the theme: A Good Christian would fast and pray, throwing away the evil (life-restoring) pharmaceuticals. I nodded wisely as she flung her hands around, gesturing wildly, one word falling over the next, thinking to myself "You're manic. You need the exact drugs you disparage".

I know, with absolute certainty, God needs me exactly the way I am. He cannot use me otherwise! If I could drive, I wouldn't be handing out Bibles at the bus stop!

In another situation, a person felt called by God to hand out tracts. Another person denigrated that desire, calling it "A waste of time". Why? I have heard many stories of people getting saved by reading a tract at home. But many would-be "Evangelists" believe God has to be shoved down someone's throat, kind of like pilling a cat:

You saw how well that worked! [laugh]

Everything I have read in the Bible says that Jesus had a lifestyle witness - the way he lived His life was so compelling, people had to follow him. In our case, being mere humans, we should live a life so compelling, so unusual, that people just have to ask "What's your secret?"

We should be praying for our enemies and those who persecute us (Matthew, chapter 5), we should be happy when we're weak, because that's when God can use us! (See 2 Corinthians 12:9-10) We're only passing through, and it's our actions we take with us when we die.

Are we making Jesus proud, or embarrassed? He told us not to judge: Matthew 7:1 (Judge not, lest you be judged). The Apostles told us not to judge: James 4:11, and let's not forget, Jesus himself said "I do not come to Judge the world, but to SAVE the world." (John 6:44)

Don't be ashamed if you have an infirmity of some sort, God makes every tool for his purposes (me). Sometimes, God may need an odd-looking tool the world would deem "useless" or "Worthless". We may be making a huge statement, just sitting there.

Many times, I have seen people gape at me and my husband, wondering "What's their secret?"

Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible, not the one humans make him out to be. I sure wouldn't follow that guy!

God bless you and take care, I'm praying for you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How I do it

I'm fully medicated so I might not be clear and concise. However, that's just the price tag of being medicated.

I was thinking today about the time I spend with God - how I do it, how I manage it... where I rise and fall.
First, let me introduce you to my tools.
My pocket size NKJV Bible - it has a read your Bible in a year plan in the back. It is very well loved, waterstained, and marked up. I have a simple cover, index cards with Bible verses, and other items stuffed into the carry pockets.
"Read your Bible in a Year" tract
"Morning and Evening" devotions by Charles Spurgeon
A few rather sad paperback books; picked up at thrift stores:
The One Year Book of Bible Readings; based on the Living Bible "To my friend Kirk, Love Beth"
and Daily Light from the Bible KJV "To my Grand-daughter Tasha, Read this book daily, it will give you the strength that you need to face the many different challenges that are a part of everyday life" - after reading that flyleaf inscription, I had to buy it. It is a cherished family member.

NIV hardback One-Year Bible - it is about 5x7. I bought it with Christmas money from Grandma.
God's Daily Promises, NLT-

First thing in the morning, I get up. I pray, asking God to give me a clear head to understand what He wants to show me for the day. I also ask Him to take care of "them" - them encompassing a wide gamut. I read the morning reading from Morning & Evening; and Daily Light from the Bible (they each have an AM & PM portion). I read the other devotions - just one per day. I read the Old Testament part of the One-Year Bible.

During the day, I read the portion from the NKJV Bible I carry, the section in the back, and the chapters from the "Read Your Bible in a Year" tract. I usually cover that spot waiting on a ride of some sort; but if the trips are good I may miss it. Still working on that - I do like having some Biblical Meat at the bus stop.

I pray whenever I feel led to pray. It often isn't very articulate, but the Bible says the Holy Spirit can work through us. I envision myself opening a channel to God, and focusing strongly. If I have a request, I make it. I try to be very thankful for all the good things, and I will often phrase it like that: Thank you for all the good things in my life. When I urinate, I even thank God for healthy kidneys!

In the evening, I cover the evening portions of my books, the NT/Psalms portion of the One-year Bible, and re-read the daily devotions for the other books.

I forgot to mention I often light incense when I am at home, praying and doing my Bible study. It makes the experience more pleasant. I am well aware God doesn't need a ritual, but I enjoy it.

I give God the good times if at all possible, my medication causes a serious IQ drop. I do my best to focus my energies, the best of Heather, on Him and he often allows that healthy energy to carry on into my other activities.

The more time I spend with God, the closer I feel to Him. I feel the time spent makes me a better child of His, a better wife, and a better all-around human being. Time well spent!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Called to Evangelism by Christ Jesus

"For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any 2-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

"No one can come to Me (Jesus), unless the Father who sent me draws him...'They will all be taught by God.'. Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to me." John, 6:44-45

My Mom talks about my "Ministry". I don't call it that... I'm just a saved sinner handing out Bibles to everyone. But if my "ministry" had a theme verse, it would be the above two. I don't tell people they're going to hell. I don't order them to repent. I don't preach salvation - but I put a "You're Special" salvation tract (either English or Spanish), a handwritten note ("I'll be praying for you daily!"), a Footprints bookmark / 10 commandments bookmark / and a "Read Your Bible in a Year" tract into the Bibles I distribute. People love the add-ons.

To my knowledge, I have not led one person to get saved. I've handed out Bibles to homeless men living under overpasses, scary looking thugs with gold teeth and baggy "draws", every bus and cab driver I meet, shoppers, people at bus stops, scantily dressed women, and every Child of God I encounter.

I can tell when someone should get a Bible - the Holy Spirit kind of gives me a little "bump". I get out the appropriate Bible (living in Houston, I carry both English and Spanish), and say "I'd like to give you something!" and give it to them. Sometimes, I have to show them the REST of the Bibles before they'll take it. Virtually the same thing happens every time: I get a big grin, a "Thank you!", and if they're waiting at the bus stop, they start reading it then and there. I also put them out with a "Please take one" notice at work, and work has hundreds of people. Work has "eaten" over 100 Bibles to date.

As long as I've got a couple bucks in my pocket, I'll keep bringing them. I've been screamed at, reviled, thrown out of a grocery store, and shot in the leg with a BB gun (fortunately the velocity was pretty slow and it bounced off) as I carried a couple dozen Bibles to the bus stop.

My only regret in THAT case was not being able to give the thug a Bible, and tell him I'd be praying for him. Whenever I'm about to run out of Bibles, He always sends me more. The stories can be very interesting! The time I left the house with $40, and when I got to my destination I had $60. The time I found $60 lying in a parking lot, flat and face up, on my birthday. The check my Mom sent me that enabled the purchase of 20 Bibles and 50 New Testaments.

God wants me to do this, and I won't stop 'till I'm dead. I am called to evangelism by Christ Jesus, and I consider it an honor to serve.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chicken Little Fact Check.

Today, at work, a grown man was almost in tears at the thought of "Swine Flu". About 4 people have died in the last month in Harris county.

You know what I find a lot more alarming? 1191 people will die today, of smoking. Yet it's legal.
Over 118 people will die today, in a car wreck. Yet, I got into a car not once, but twice today!
232 people are going to be killed by alcohol, yet my husband drinks, and so do all my loved ones.
Up to a thousand people died today of obesity related complications, and I still filled the vending machines with fattening goodies!
29 people were murdered today, and I still left the house.
Eleven, out of every 100,000 women, die due to childbirth in America, yet women are still having babies.

It's all about perspective. Here's my source:

I hate to see someone of average intelligence fall into the Chicken Little trap due to "News Poisoning". If the media covered all the choking deaths, no one would ever eat! Eleven people a year die in America, due to dog attacks! Where is the outrage?

Come on people.... yes, you're going to die, but you're a lot more likely to die of cancer.

A visit with the parents

So, my Dad's in town.  Along with my adoptive Mom.  Say what you will, she did raise me.  I slept pretty well last night - no noise.  ...