Wednesday, May 04, 2016

MTOC ~ Day Three ~ Choice


“When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism, misguided opinions, walking away is the best way to stand up for yourself. To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude.” ~ Dodinsky

I have laid my past to rest and crawled out of the darkened pit with my fingernails intact as well as my dignity. While I could have lashed out at my sister for her insensitive ignorant remarks toward me, my son and my husband, I CHOSE the higher road and continue on with my life that I have built for myself. Not with the help of any blood family members who remain anchors that weigh me down. I now look to my Spiritual family to lift me up on a daily basis. 

We ALL have a choice and while some will cling to the bitterness that shapes their life, I CHOOSE not to allow anger and bitterness to define who I am now. THAT my friends is God in me. It isn’t any scientific psychological mumbo jumbo, nope it’s that God mumbo jumbo that I keep telling people about. 

I have a friend who over reacted to something she had seen. Apparently Kirk Cameron is doing a tour giving HIS testimony of Christ. While he has the star quality that I don’t have, his words are going to be faced with pretty much the same criticism I’m faced with in my testimony. Us God people are just freaks of nature. I along with millions, and possibly billions are all wrong and all freaks of this ‘God’ we speak of. 

What did Kirk Cameron say that ticked my friend off? 

He said, "Wives are to honor and respect and follow their husband's lead, not to tell their husband how he ought to be a better husband," he says. "When each person gets their part right, regardless of how their spouse is treating them, there is hope for real change in their marriage."

She raged on, (I won’t share her entire post for privacy reasons) but this is some of what she said:

“If this is what being Christian means, then I don't want any part of it.” 

What she said, loosely, is that she heard Cameron say that women are to be servant slaves to their husband. His sister Candace said that she agreed with Kirk and is submissive to HER husband but what my friend missed was the CHOICE of the entire message. I think she missed the point that we, men AND women, are to love, honor, respect and cherish one another. Not be slaves but to honor one another.

I don’t judge her for her opinion on the matter because it is what I see as a national problem with the message that Jesus was trying to convey. People mix the Old Testament with the New Testament and make confetti of the words and dish out what suits them. They dissect the word to fit into their little world, they use the words like wet clay and try to form those words into a belief system that suits or doesn’t suit them. To ME, it looks like they’ve made an ashtray out of the Word of God.

They try going to church but again, they’re met with confetti and don’t understand what is being said. They’re looked over, gawked at and made to feel like an outsider so they flee from the church never to return. They hear people TALK about the Word of God but for some reason, they don’t SEE the word of God working in people. Is that because the Bible bearers ACTIONS are not equal to what they are saying? 

It’s a fine line sure, but also, it is a matter of CHOICE. When you look at the starry sky at night lit up like diamonds scattered on a sunny beach do you see a disorderly array of stars or do you see things like Cassiopeia, Orion or the Pleiades hiding within the astrological signs? This is the same thing when people hear the Word of God or people speak of the word of God. Others hear a disorganized message or they hear a divinely orchestrated message hidden in there. 

Last year when my dad passed away, I couldn’t make it back home and it gripped me for months, the guilt, the hurt, the suffering pangs I felt. My sister in her obvious dislike for me (I’m not going to pretend otherwise) had said, “Well YOU made the choice to leave here!” I rightfully said, “Yes, yes I did, I chose LIFE over death.”

I had suffered back home and nearly lost my life on more occasions than one, so leaving my husband WAS a choice of mine, a CHOICE of survival. Those people enslaved me and kept me bound by their misfit whims of dysfunction and I just assumed that that is how life was supposed to be. I prayed often for deliverance from the hell I was entombed in. 

It wasn’t until I found freedom in the land of Texas was I able to see the outside world and after months of suffering anxiety attacks nightly, running off hyperventilating on the dark streets of Texas, I slowly got a grip on what reality looked like. My years and years of prayers were finally answered; I was free from enslavement. 

God put me on a path and only because my choice was Him did my world start to turn around and I saw the light of day. When I tell people of Christ, it isn’t from a high and mighty pedestal, it isn’t from a wealthy sculpted upbringing, it isn’t from being shaped by a defective family, no, it is from a woman who CHOSE God over living to the conformity of man. Yes, the same men who wrote the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments. 

I live for the mysteries of God. You’re right people, the Bible is a bunch  of words, supposedly the divine intervention of God Himself, but it isn’t until you CHOOSE the Holy Spirit to live IN you will you ever grasp the meaning of one word or message from the Holy Bible. 

Acts 15:7 “And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.”

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

MTOC ~ Day Two: Laid To Rest

Job 22:29 “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.”

My Testimony of Christ

Okay, where was I? Read yesterday’s post.

My mother and sister had a disagreement this weekend and in dysfunctional familyesque form, my sister told my mother that she died when I was born. Mind you, my sister was three years old when I came along. I was the sixth child to be born and better yet, I was born on my mother’s birthday. I ruined my sister’s life by being born and paid for the anarchy that ensued in the following years.

My sister felt slighted from that day forward. She was no longer daddy’s little princess because this new baby came along with a shining smile and stole all of her limelight. I guess I was THAT cute from birth. That was sarcasm. 

I’m not here to tell my sister’s story. But I will say that when my mother told me what my sister said it hurt; another wound on my skin, another scar to add to the fold. I was angry, enraged, bitter and wanted to go on facebook and announce to the world that my sister was a total piece of …

I stopped, “Dear God help me!” It’s all I could do to calm down. I said yesterday how He took me in and saved me, so in my times of distress that is all I know to do, turn to Him. I sat and prayed and as I did memories came flooding back; memories I would have rather laid to rest but they resurface anytime my sister takes out her sword and stabs me with her jealous needles.

I have a friend who told me once, “You have to put the past behind you and leave your blood family behind. We’re your family now, your spiritual family!” No truer words were ever spoken. My family doesn’t know me anymore, I’m the kid (I was thirty-seven) who left home and left them to pick up the pieces of the family puzzle that I left lying on the floor. 

A twenty-year marriage shattered because I listened to God; not to the family or husband who wanted me bound to their whim. I catered to them and weaved them together so that we formed some form of semblance of a family but when I left, with two-weeks notice, the puzzle burnt in a flame of fire. No one spoke to me, no one reached out to see if their little sister who went almost fifteen-hundred miles away with a total stranger was okay. They were glad to be rid of me finally so they could get the attention they didn’t receive in their lives because of this baby who ruined life for them. 

They were then mad; mad because the family was left in pieces without me. They resented the fact that I was going on with my life, never to see them again. I tried the phone calls, I tried with blistered fingers to stay in touch but the calls became farther and fewer in between. I was now bitter with my family but on a road of healing. 

All of those years I was blind to the way I was treated. Not by my mother and father who yes, treated me with the utmost respect and loved my son and showered him and me in love. My brothers and sister didn’t receive that love. When my father was sick, he’d call my husband in the middle of the night for a ride to the hospital, we jumped. We took my mother food shopping weekly, we took care of her house when she went away, we respected one another and THAT is all that I miss now. I can’t say I miss my siblings because I have a lifetime of resentment built up inside of me of abuse: physically, sexually and mentally. 

Why am I telling you this when some things should remain private? I have to heal and God wants me to release this story to the world. Had I not found God, on my own mind you, had I just stayed in the dysfunctional life I was living and breathing, I would not be a writer, I would not have watched my son graduate high school, I would have never found a family that knows what love truly is.

I was a stone cold alcoholic by the age of sixteen, married at seventeen, and on a road of struggling to survive this thing we call life. At twenty-one, I found myself needing sobriety to continue living. As you can imagine going alone, I had only one resource and that was the very being who had been beside me all of my life guiding me.  

I took on a new role, I became a spiritual light for all who came in contact with me. As you can imagine this newly changed person was even LESS accepted by a dysfunctional family let alone the messed up world. I was illuminated by His Word and carried the torch out into the troubled world wherever I went.

I thanked God daily for my struggles, for my suffering because I knew through every step I was finding a place of healing for ME. God had handed me a flashlight to carry into the darkest of caverns in my life. The batteries never ran out as long as I kept my focus on God and the Light he instilled in me to carry.

The very core of my spirit was strengthened. I was clawing my way through skin and bones to find healing. You might say I was alone; no sugar-daddy to pay my way through the gravel, no medical intervention to drug me up and save me, I had nothing but God. Nothing, no one, just God and me on the journey!

Why did God reach down and save me from the pit I was obviously in; abuse, depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug addiction? Why did He choose me to be a light to others who might be struggling with their path that is full of darkness? I often ask why but inside I know why. This world is covered in utter darkness and He needs people like me, just as Jesus needed the downtrodden of society to get His message across, God chose me because I am a humble servant giving all Glory to Him!

I have lain my past to rest. To be continued…

Matt. 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Monday, May 02, 2016

My Testimony of Christ


1 Cor. 15:51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,”

I am being called to give a Testimony of Christ; MY testimony of Christ. This might very well turn into a week-long series so you’ve been warned. If you are reading me for the first time, I welcome you. Please don’t be discouraged by the word Christ, read on because you want to hear my story. 

Yesterday’s sermon was pretty good when Pastor called up a young woman to give her testimony of why she turned to Christ. That’s when truth slapped me upside the head. I hear so many people who give testimony of Christ, being raised with Christ all of their lives. Their parents and grandparents all had a hand in Christ and relayed Him to their children. This woman’s testimony was no different.

Amazing. People actually grew up with Christ in their lives? Surrounded by a loving family, their testimony is usually how they turned away, usually during the pubescent years and found Christ again.

Someone had told me recently that kids who are raised with Christ and turn away usually have a hard time returning to Him and accepting all that he has to offer. I have a tendency to disagree with that because if a child is raised with Christ and is turned away upon maturity, the soul search is just something that we need to do to find our grounding. 

I was not raised with Christ. My parents were not grounded in Christ nor were my grandparents a part of Christ. My family lineage is of alcohol right down to my great grandparents, all alcoholics, so it is no wonder I took my first drink at a younger than ‘normal’ age. Yeah, I would say eight and nine is younger than normal to take your first drink, puff your first cigarette, and smoke your first joint.

The pastor said something today. Pastor said, “You know how when you’re not of sober mind, you’ll say and do things that you normally wouldn’t do? People see you as a drunkard and no amount of bible spewing is going to have them seeing you differently.” He went on, “Well,” he said, “That’s what people see when you’re under the influence of God. They see Christ in you. You’ll say and do things you wouldn’t normally do!” 

He’s right. First, let me define Christian in MY eyes. For one, the term was not around in the Old Testament so when I hear people say that the men who wrote some book and call themselves Christians, I’ll assume have not read ‘the book’ in its entirety or even tried to understand what the message is that we’re supposed to receive.

Second of all, I was not raised in a Christian household. I didn’t have a mother and father that sat around reading Bible stories to their kids and I didn’t have a religious upbringing. I had what is deemed a politically correct term, dysfunctional family. I had a family who saw beer as a dinner meal, drugs as ‘cool thing’, whoopings when you were disobedient, and punishments were belted out, vocally and branded on your butt. 

My dad (God rest his soul) never dished out the beatings, he was too busy sitting on a bar stool exercising his elbow. I will not say anything bad about my mother and father because they did the best they could raising six kids and staying married for 60 years. That’s it, we were raised. We fended for ourselves and grew. Me? I chose to find God. You see, all six of us were sent to a Catholic school but not all of us sought out God. Many strayed but it wasn’t because we were raised on God and turned, we never accepted the teachings of the nuns and priests to begin with.

Was I a perfect kid? By no means whatsoever. The thing is, the people who know me now would not have ever recognized me back then with skinned knees, bruised legs, a cigarette hanging out of my mouth and beer hidden in a paper bag, you know so no one knew what I was drinking? I was bad in every sense of the word! I was a liar, cheater, stealer, and a scummy sleazeball! If you think the girls today dress slutty, that is me only ten times worse. Imagine a size zero fifteen-year-old, long blond flowing hair, wearing a see-through white halter-top and cheek bearing hot pants. Yup, that was me.

So how is it that people who see me now see a beautiful woman? They don’t see beauty physically, I don’t think, they see innocence, purity, God’s light shining through me. They see the changed me. They met the changed me and liked who I was as a person whereas the people back home in Baltimore never had a chance to even get to KNOW the changed me. They just thought I was the battered kid from back in the day and that is who I am now. Boy, are they ever so wrong. Change bit me hard and now I just have the scars to prove where I’ve been

So what changed me? I’ll tell you, God changed me. I stumbled upon Him as a beaten battered sinner and He took me in and raised me. If you go to a church, don’t assume the people there are these perfect people living sinless lives. They’re all standing in front of God as a sinner, we are all sinners, we turn to God for him to cleanse us; wash us of our sin and to heal us where no man is capable of healing. The term Christian is for Christ Followers. It is not a religion, it is not to be thrown around like a basketball dribbled and put in the hoop when the timing is right. Christianity is a state of mind, a spiritual cleansing making what was old new again.

I’ll have to finish this up in a later post. I told you it would take me a week. Hang in there folks. My sister told my mother this weekend in a disagreement that she [my sister] died when I was born. She was no longer a princess…..

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Quotation Saturday

Pss. 74:20 “Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”

OFFEND

“We cannot choose who offends us, but we can choose how to respond when we are offended.” 
― Moffat Machingura

“You may not be able to do anything about how you feel; but you can do something about how you act. People will definitely offend you willing or unwilling by their words and actions...but you can choose to let that offence sink you down or not....” 
― Israelmore Ayivor

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.” 
― George R.R. Martin

“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature. They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings. They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” 
― Shannon L. Alder

RESENT

Never judge someone's character based on the words of another. Instead, study the motives behind the words of the person casting the bad judgment.” 
― Suzy Kassem

“Only those who are in-charge are tackled and criticized by others so criticism is something desirable and should not be resented.” 
― Emmanuel Moore Abolo

“Beware of those who steer you away from your heart’s true happiness. It would make them happy to see you steer yourself right next to them, sitting with both your hearts bitter.” 
― Suzy Kassem

GOSSIP

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” 
― Socrates

“How would your life be different if…You walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.” 
― Steve Maraboli

“Isn't it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?” 
― Sean Covey

“Often those that criticise others reveal what he himself lacks.” 
― Shannon L. Alder

RESPECT

“The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.” 
― Steve Hall

“If the traditional Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic) are the basics that we want our children to master academically, then reverence, respect, and responsibility are the three Rs that our children need to master for the sake of their souls and the health of the world.” 
― Zoe Weil

“Respect for right conduct is felt by every body.” 
― Jane Austen

“After all, everyone may not start with the same financial opportunities; however everyone does start with the choice to live their life with integrity, trust, love, respect,understanding for each other and oneself.” 
― Tasha Hoggatt

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The New World?

Isa. 25:4  “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

The New World

This is the world we live in, the headline reads:

“Driver Causes Major Accident While Trying to Use a Snapchat Filter”

The young speed demon was given a simple fine for crippling a man. People drink and drive lose their licenses after too many DUI’s, texters kill people and get off of murder charges for ‘suffering from affluenza’???

People are deleting/blocking out friends from facebook for sharing political/religious posts. Twitter is inundated with pics that you have no control over removing, and YouTube is a doorway to hell that people flock to in droves to see the next hot moment in history. More and more children are sitting inside behind a techno gadget instead of playing hopscotch, basketball or jump rope. 

We have a nation fed up with political garbage and are fleeing to a non-political man for president because somewhere out there, people are tired of this crazy world we live in! We have politicians doing what they do best and that is manipulating the system underhandedly trying to oust the non-politician creature from the fold and people are going to vote for these politician shysters again? 

This is the world we live in. A non-caring, hide-behind-a-screen society and the only voices being heard are through the tapped out words on a keyboard or the sounds of gunshots taking out entire families. We’re so quick to point fingers at others but how often do we point fingers at ourselves? When was the last time you condemned yourself for being so hateful and mean toward others?

We applaud the sickness eating society, we use words on a wall to show our anger and do nothing to step outside and participate in actually changing this hellbound world. As we eagerly ignore all the signs of the fallen times we wonder why God has shaken us off as the world has utterly cut him off like severing the umbilical cord from a baby, we’re free from Him.

We all want rights but I notice the ones that are winning are the ones actually out there fighting for them. Everybody else just sits back on their computer and rages and spews what they dislike is going on getting nothing accomplished but adding more hate to the world.

Men are becoming women and vice versa, children are walking around confused slicing their wrists for attention and parents fear the transgender world is going to bring out all of the pedophiles in the world to attack their children while Hollywood can legally promote pedophilia and call it art?

I ashamedly watched a movie called Moonrise Kingdom and it was one of the worst movies I had ever seen. It looked like a theater play, the acting was generic and yet this movie had a 7.6 rating from the IMDb site. I’m thinking just because the movie had Bruce Willis and Bill Murray some higher ups PAID to get that rating.

I say ashamedly because I had to sit through two twelve-year-old children in a ‘coming of age’ plot? You know where they ‘innocently’ discover one another through their depression. Had I checked the IMDb Parents Guide, I would have never watched that movie. I was not alone in my being creeped out.

Such as it is, Hollywood glorified the innocence of children and that went a little too far for me but then I realized, this is the world we live in now. I’m a prude because I felt embarrassed watching a twelve-year-old kid touch a twelve-year-old girls breast (justified by, “It was through her training bra”) and for the said children to embrace and the girl comment on his erection saying she liked it? Prude or not, that was one sick scene. I get that this is Wes Anderson’s way of making movies, I get that this is what children experience but did it need to be as graphic as it was to get the message across?

I wholeheartedly admit that I’m a prude and that childhood sexual abuse has damaged me to where I cannot see innocence where it is intended. The world is drenching themselves in perverse behavior and no one is fighting for the innocent in all of this. I may be wrong and judgmental in this but movies like this are the very reason why my rose colored glasses seem foggy.

Eph. 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

It’s a hard job building the world up one brick at a time when satan is always one step ahead filling someone out there with the desire to topple those bricks that you’re laying. I have to understand that this is the world we live in; a land of confusion.

God help us all!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Astri Celia ~ Still Born

Hos. 9:11 “As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.”

Astri Celia 
b. 4-26-04 d. 4-26-04

So many have forgotten her
They never knew her name
What people here don’t realize 
I’m left not quite the same

I held her tiny body
My fingers brushed her face
Life was taken out of her
Right from this earthly place

She never felt the sunshine
No chance to run and play
I was faced with living
Without her near me every day.

Seven months of bonding
As all pregnant mothers know
You’re threaded by conception
To this child you’ll watch and grow.

So many have forgotten her
Astri Celia was her name
What people here don’t realize
I’m left not quite the same.

Ecc. 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weeds

Proverbs 21:3 (NIV) “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” 

Weeds

Now that Spring has arrived after the drenching rains it is time for the weeds to pop up through newly green grass that is calling out for a good mowing. You see, with such a mild winter, the grass really didn’t have a chance to go dormant. With warm weather mixed with a good two or three inches of rain the grass has shown signs of overflowing in greenery.

That greenery has called out to its friends the weeds to show up in abundance. A lot like life, we need to sort through the weed negative influences to get to the good greenery stuff that makes the air fresher and the lawn more beautified.

The thing is, is that the weeds are strangling the lawn and not allowing the grass to surface in many places and so my lawn looks like a patchwork quilt, grass here, weeds there all so suffocating. 

The only good thing is that the weeds are a pretty disguising purple, then there is the over abundance of beautiful sunshiny dandelions that certainly brighten the green. I’ve been reading lately about the health benefits of dandelions. 

While I say that my facebook is riddled with weeds, I can see a little teensy bit of beauty in the woven patchwork of posts. While the negative posts try to suffocate me there ARE means of getting rid of the dastardly demon non-do-gooders. The only health benefits I find in the negativity swell of weeds taking over the place is that I learn a lot of what NOT to be like as a person. 

Weeds are strangling the earth as I write. People are seen clinging to the negative affect of fellow weeds not wanting to be in the greener pastures with the few who are trying to save this world from imminent destruction. You see them every day wallowing in hate, spitting out ugliness, clinging by the root to the destructive weeds that invade the good green earth. Don’t be fooled by the little purple or yellow flowers that they toss out in disguise. 

People use God as a means to an end. Families are fleeing the church in record numbers because of these weeds that put on a pretty show but in reality are destroying the green trying to come up with the rain.

Galatians 6:8 (NIV) “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

Are you a sower or a reaper? Are you a shepherd or a sheep? A sower just takes and takes and fills his bag with the hate that has accumulated in his life. The anger at the world and the hate that has accrued over a lifespan have the sower replanting all the weeds he can so that everyone feels suffocated. A shepherd is a leader, one that will guide the lost sheep to safer grounds where they can eat the abundance of good, pure greenery that might be left. 

I might ask, are you a weed? Are you the one feeding the germination of decline that is crippling the world? Are you the spore that is repressing the possibility for new growth? Are you the man or woman who is a follower of animosity as opposed to the leader of replenishment? True colors come out in the actions that are prevalent in your life. If you continue to be a weed, then consider yourself among the community that is slowly depleting the earth of any significant life.

I see you cheering on the lessening of lives. You put people in their place and stand on a high platform with fist raised in enjoying the moans and grumbles that applaud you in your uncaring fashion of spewing YOUR logic.

Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Captain Kirk answers, “Or the one.”

Yeah, I went there. Now let me change it up a bit. “The weeds to the many outweigh the weeds of the few or the One!” You see, the seeds of weeds you feed to the many are outweighing the seeds of the One who is trying to resuscitate the earth. Your hate is depleting the earth of vital growth and until you see that picture as whole and it touches you so immensely you’ll continue in your weed garden. 

Do the many need to hear your hate mongering? Are we now the world that accepts underhanded backstabbing, knife grinding, bait dangling as a means to accomplish a goal? Is this what we’ve come to? 

As I walk through the shadow of the darkness that is Earth, my very last words on my tongue will be of Him who will save me. To the non-believer I say, I would much rather carry the words of love on my breath than the world, filled with hate and destruction on my lips that everyone seems to carry on theirs.

Are you a weed or a seed? Think about that. 

“We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings, we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it.” 
― Chögyam Trungpa

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award