New Background

Can You Hear Me Now?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Evolution of a Dummy?

First of all I know no one will read this because there are no 'dummies' here. I just got to thinking about all the Dummies books in existence and what it means to us as the consumer of these products.

After a bit of online research I found that the first Dummies book was published in 1991 and it was on DOS, one of the original operating systems...not a fun one from the user end. Since then there have been over 450 titles and they are millions of these books published in 5 languages.

I think they appeal because of their very basic language. It's a way of catching the 'dummy' in us; up to the amateur or even expert user of whatever lesson we're learning. My husband bought the "Dieting for Dummies", before embarking on his first 'official' diet. That is a life lesson I already had from a lifetime of dieting (maybe it's a gender thing). He also had the "Golf for Dummies". that I purchased for him when he graduated College.

I've personally read the "No-Brainer's Guide to Jesus" and the "No-Brainer's Guide to the Bible". They are both very information books with a bunch of GENERALIZED and fairly 'bipartisan' (if I can use that term) information. They are written by professionals and individuals who have researched these topics extensively. There are interesting facts and figures included in these books that would be helpful in any game of Trivia.

My whole thought process revolved around the evolution of these books. Before we became so diverse and technical and ever 'evolving' on the mother-earth, we existed and learned things from teachers and by trial/error. We have become people who dissect everything we can think of and UPGRADE as many things as we put our hands on. We also want the most generalized, concise information we can get.

Why do we do this? I wonder if it's a God-lesson. I wonder if it's the enemies interference and way of distracting us from our purpose. Sometimes I think we become so focused...even overly focused on UNDERSTANDING everything, that we lose site of the lesson, the experience of learning and the depth of a real education on the subject.

I'm not saying these books aren't helpful or hilarious to read, because they are and there are millions of published books that help defend that hypothesis. What I am saying is what price are we paying in our quest for worldly knowledge? Are we sacrificing our quest for Godly wisdom?

I think Satan has us running circles as we upgrade phones, computers, televisions, cars, etc... so much so, that we have closed our Bible and our mind to the everlasting lessons that are held between those gild pages. I hope my personal evolution doesn't end as a DUMMY!

**side note: We went up to see my sister, niece and nephew yesterday. It was a 'full' day. The hubs was busy all day doing stuff with the nephew. I spent the day with my sister and niece. My niece is doing okay. She is still in pain, both physically and emotionally, but she KNOWS God has her back. She knows God has this baby because it is HIS creation. Thanks to all those who have prayed and are praying for this broken family.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Growing Pains

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1

My precious niece had a miscarriage today. The pregnancy was not planned, but the baby was already loved in abundance by both my niece and the whole family. She had even been brave enough to ‘break it’ to my parents. They took it hard and cried many a tear over both my niece and that precious baby. She was about 9 weeks along.

I’m not sure what to think or say. I know I’m hurting for her and I can’t begin to image the pain she feels right now.

The well-known verse above is part of our church’s weekly reading. Not ironic, but God timed I’m certain. The first phrase really stuck in my head when I got the call about the baby.

Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen.

Faith IS the SUBSTANCE (essence, reality) of things I hope for AND the evidence of things unseen. I can’t see where that baby is now. But I have an absolute assurance that he or she IS WITH GOD. My faith tells me so…every part of my ‘essence’ tells me so.

We all know growth comes with pain. I know my niece is in pain right now…and I know she’s growing! Her faith will grow. She has a new, albeit extremely painful, life experience that God is walking her through. She will take this day, this experience with her and it will forever be a part of her ‘testimony’ a memory to hold and cherish of the baby God gave her…for only 9 weeks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Key to Asking

God spoke to me today so clearly in church. The pastor was speaking about focusing not on HOW, but on WHO! ONLY when we focus on WHO can we realize our potential. The HOW may seem like only a trap the enemy sets to keep us from God's purpose; but I have seen in my own life choosing to focus on the HOW rather than the WHO and drifting aimlessly and unhappily through life.

The next thing God told me very clearly was about our prayers and asking for God to reveal himself, and asking for God to bless us, and asking God to heal us, and asking God to teach us...

God simply whispered into my ear: RECEIVE.

The key to asking is RECEIVING that which He has given.


Friday, September 19, 2008

10-Years Ago Today

10-years ago today I woke up and felt the hope of a new beginning.

10 years ago today I dressed to the nines

10 years ago today I was surrounded by friends and family.

10 years ago today I walked down the aisle.

10 years ago today I met him at the altar.

10 years ago today I said I-DO.

10 years ago today 1 heart stopped and two hearts began beating together.

10 years ago today my life began anew.

I love you Paul! You will always represent the sweetest memory of yesterday, the love of today and the hope of tomorrow.

And I would marry you again in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Warrior of Worry

Worrying has been on my mind for a couple of weeks now. It started when the small group we attend was discussing the definition and clarification of worrying. There was some consensus (not by me) that 'concern' is not the same as worry. I think they were splitting hairs. I believe worry could be classified as uncontrolled concern.

I started thinking about it then and apparently my ears have been attuned to any talk of worries. I hear it at work: Co-workers worried about work issues, worried about home and money and bills and kids and school and layoffs and gas prices and every little and big thing a person could worry about.

My mother is worried about my sister. My father is worried about my niece. My niece is worried about her mother and life in general. My nephew is worried about his mother and grandfather. I begin to fall prey to the worry around me. It takes a physical effort to retrain my thoughts and prevent the worry from seeping in.

Then I listened to complete strangers in different settings and I heard worry there too. People worried about the election, more worry about gas prices, the stock market, grocery prices, unemployment, disability, bankruptcy, murder, and every other thing people worry about.

Then I listened to our guest pastor this past week and he spoke about worries of finances and health and he led us all to pray about debt cancellation and physical healing for sick bodies. He spoke directly about worry and how it can 'trip us up' in our faith.

Needless to say it's been on my mind. The study I do each week, called "Hiding From Love", also talked about how worry can affect our lives and marriage and faith. I'm pretty sure they will soon talk about how worry can be the precursor to much of our hiding.

I'm really trying to focus on what the word says and it's clear that Satan knows this is an area that could trip ANYONE up, so he uses it universally. I'm going to have to speak these Scripture to him aloud and remind him I am the daughter of a KING!

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:24-26

I love that the Word specifically tells me I am more valuable than the birds he cares for and feeds and that worrying will essentially add nothing to my life that is good.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

I love that in this Scripture Jesus tells us that in focusing on God's kingdom and HIS righteousness and worry will be a non-issue. He goes on to tell us that the physical act of worrying merits nothing for us.

So here's to a worry free Wednesday!

In the words of one of my favorite songs: "Don't worry, be happy!"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Safety Glass

I've had a hard time coming here lately...well not so much coming, but leaving anything when I do come. I'm going to try to be better about it.

The beauty of this blog has always been the ability to be the REAL me, yet still covered. I can peel back the layers at my own pace. I can continue to cover the scars with a band aid and not fear exposure here behind this screen.

I have found incredible encouragement at times. I have also found TONS of judgment and criticism. I almost have an easier time accepting the negative because that is how I'm programmed.

In God's perfect timing, I've just started a study with a friend; "Hiding From Love" by John Townsend. A really good book if you haven't read it. The first week of this study is about how sometimes when we choose to hide from evil, we also begin to hide from good out of inability to discern the two in our hearts.

I'm hopeful this study will help me allow God to heal past hurts and be able to accept encouragement as exactly what it is and not some hidden agenda that the enemy tries to convince me it is. I'm hopeful I'll find my way from behind the safety glass of this screen to develop real relationships with everyone God chooses. And that once and for all, I can just be me...good, bad and everything in the grace of God.