Nothing Can Come Between Us

November 22, 2008

I can mentally beat on myself. I find myself making the same mistakes over and over again. I act childish and get very timid when I feel really scared. I wear my heart on my sleeve where it seems to take a lot of abuse by strangers and loved ones alike. People imply that I lack maturity and I find myself being advised by to change most aspects about myself by a lot of people; I take that to mean that people don’t like me for who I am and struggled to maintain self confidence. After all if the people that claim to love me only tell me what’s wrong with me and insist that I change my way of thinking and being, maybe liking myself the way I am is just denial. This past week has been really hard for me, feeling of hopelessness and fear of the future makes me want to withdraw. I’m tired of looking down so let me spiritually look up. When I see God, the perfect majestic creator, and his love for me it’s hard for me to get down on myself. God is perfect and he loves me; I should follow his example and learn to love myself unconditionally as well.

Oh how I wish it were that easy. Sometimes my mind goes on the attack with hurtful thoughts: “Of course God can love you but only because he perfect but you don’t make it easy for him”, “Yeah he’s full of grace but God can’t be mocked. You want him to love you, yet you refuse to do the things you know are right”, “It only that but it takes you to looooonnng time to learn for your mistakes or repent of your sins”, “You think that just cause you know some scriptures that you can trick him into thinking you love him.”, “He knows you better than you know yourself, he sees every sin that you don’t acknowledge and get irritated when you pray; you don’t care about how he feels you just ask him for things you want like he’s Santa Claus.”, ” Yes God use to love you but he refuses to love you any more until you repent, and let face it, you will never change so just give up now.”

Lucky for me even when I’m down I know that I cannot trust these thoughts, but when I don’t deal with them they break me down and I become of vulnerable and hopeless. Here is one of many scripture that help me with this ongoing battle in my mind.

Roman 8:35-39

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

 

For you sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

 

No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

To read the more of this article visit my new blog and read Nothing Can Come Between Us

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Don’t Quit

November 16, 2008

 

 

Isaiah 40:28-31


                  “Do you not know?

                     Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

           the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

      and his understanding no one

can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

               and increases the power of the weak.

       Even youths grow tired and weary,

             and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

          They will soar on wings like eagles

                they will run and not grow weary,

            they will walk and not be faint.”


 

What helps you get through difficult times?

Jeremiah 17:5-10

October 5, 2008

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”


LL&L’s two cents:

A person, who depends solely on themselves or on other people, will eventually turn away from God. We are suppose to work hard for the things that we need and want out of life, but each person is very limited in their strength and resources.  God is without limits and he has infinite strength.  Without him trusting him we will have become lonely, desperate and blind.  Have you ever met someone who to you seems rich, talented or beautiful but can’t seem to see it?  I’m sure we’ve all been there.  We are working so hard to attain things that are right in front of us, but we don’t take time to celebrate our victories and accomplishments.  Even with when we are surrounded by love from our families or friends we feel alone.

Without confidence in God’s love and power you can be happy, but happiness is circumstantial and fleeting.  Happiness comes when something new and exciting comes into your life, but as soon as you get it its value and excitement depreciate quickly and you need to get a new and shinier thing.  Joy comes from your soul and never wanes.  Joy happen when we connect to our true selves, when we experience the presence of God and we look at the world and appreciate the beauty in all things.  Joy comes from trusting and God and through mindfulness.  To trust God more, pray more, asking for his help on specific matters and keep a prayer journal.  Highlight a prayer every time God comes through and you will understand why you should trust him.  To experience mindfulness, meditate more; start with breathing meditations and read books that will help you understand how to sit with your thoughts, feelings and perceptions.  A joyful man is a faithful man; when troubles come you will be confident that everything will work out and that you are already equipped with everything you need.

“The heart is deceitful above all things”; more deceitful than the mind, the eyes or the tongue.  Your heart will tell you your true motives, what you really love and what your only option is. Yes, your heart also possesses honesty and sincerity, just make sure you are also trusting God as you trust yourself.  You will hear people say, “God knows my heart” and they are correct.  God is the only one that knows your heart completely.  Our job is to guard are hearts so that it stays as pure as possible but to trust God as we choose our life’s path:  trust that he loves you, trust that he will answer your prayers, trust that he wants you to have an incredibly fulfilling life, trust that he will guide you towards your purpose, and trust that he knows you very well.  Jeremiah 17:10 states that God examines our hearts but rewards us by what we do. Don’t worry about what is hiding in the shadows of your heart. Instead focus on some good deeds you can accomplish; when you don’t feel like doing the good you know you ought to do, DO IT ANYWAY, and your heart will catch up eventually.

Don’t Worry

September 21, 2008

Don’t Worry Be Happy

Luke 12:22-23

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat: or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”

Sometimes I think that I am a professional worrier, but lately I’ve had a low tolerance for it. Worry I think has been the cause of different health issues: it exhausts me but keeps me from sleeping, it gets my energy levels revved up but keeps me from exercising, and it gets my anxiety levels up but keeps me from fixing the problems. I am sick of worry so much and I am ready to do something about it. For the rest of this month and for the whole month of October I am going to study how break my worry habit. I’ve heard, many times, that it take thirty days to institute a new habit. Since I have practiced worrying for about 15 years, I figured I could take a little over a month to study how not to worry so much.

Luke 12:22-34 is titled Replacing worry with faith. After reading this scripture I have a new understanding about worrying. Jesus tells his disciples not to worry about food or clothes. Food and clothes are basic necessities; you need those to live. If you are not supposed to worry about that, then I guess you are not supposed to worry about anything. Also I learned that each and every life and body is important to God. That life is not the same as our bodies. Starvation does not necessarily kill the body, and killing the body does not kill the life that body holds. Luke 12:24,”Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them”. You mean to tell me that if I do not over stuff my cabinets, freezer and belly God will still feed me.

Worrying serves no purpose but it deceives you into thinking that is the way you accomplish you goals. You worry about what you are going to eat, God feeds you, and worry gets the credit. So worry is like an addictive drug. You try it, it makes you feel better so you try it again until it convinces you that you will die without it, and then it becomes painfully obvious that it no longer produces anything positive, but it is too late your hooked on it. When you try to stop using you will go through withdrawal: panic attacks, headache, upset stomach, high blood pressure, depression, etc…

Here a little commentary on Luke12:1-21. In Luke 12:1-9 Jesus addresses a crowd of people and gives them life lessons on how to avoid becoming a hypocrite: remember that everything you do and say will eventually be found out, do not be afraid of murders because they can only kill the body, God loves you and knows you well, and don’t worry about having to defend yourself because the holy spirit will speak for you. In Luke 12:13-15 a man in the crowd ask Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me”. Jesus refuses to act as a judge but warns them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance if his possessions”. He further illustrate his point by telling a parable about a rich man who tears down his barn so that he can store more crops and live and easy life later on, but he ending up dying that night. Luke 12:21″This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God”. It was tempting for me to think that God punishes us with death and hell if we are faithfulness, but now I have a new understanding. A life filled with hypocrisy, greed and worry is a very difficult and joyless one. Jesus says he came that we can have a full life with only a few burdens. Jesus did not come to show us all of our sins to provoke guilt and mindless submission, but to give us an alternative lifestyle and to help us discover the best life experience possible. If you do worry or sin, it probably means you are human and God forgives like no one else. He wants to be close to you because he loves you and he wants to protect you like any good father would. So don’t worry about worrying, just try to learn what faith looks like and imitate. Better yet get to know yourself through daily meditation and you will discover the faithful and joyful soul you already posses.


Going on a Guilt Trip

September 14, 2008

Originally uploaded by operation_clash

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proven yourselves to be innocent in this matter.” 2 Corinthians 7:10, 11.

On a scale of one to ten how much does guilt play into the kind of mood you’re in and what kind of decisions you make? My answer would depend on my mood. On a good day I would say four, but on a bad day I would say nine. Guilt is one emotion that pretty much takes control and has its way with me. Sometimes people try to make me feel guilty, but that does not bring me down; if I felt I’ve done something wrong I already feel guilty, if I do not agree with them I try to make them feel better but I won’t take the blame for it. Just recently I’ve realized that guilt is not naturally strong in my character, but years of training and meditating on all my faults, mistakes and weakness has lead to a life of guilt at the drop of a dime. It comes off as moody, mousy, and self centered. This was a bad week for me. It started with a phone call to my dad and a promise that I would keep in touch this week. My aunt was coming in from Texas; I haven’t seen her in over five years. She was staying for a week at my aunt’s house that lives in walking distance from me; I’ve never been over there even though she moved in a few months ago. In addition it was my dad’s b-day this week. So I had a lot of reasons to call and visit.

I currently live a pretty frugal lifestyle. I try my best to only spend money on the essentials because of my money situation. I decided that once again I would not get a present for my dad, instead I would call him and visit; I knew that he would be sincerely happy with that. When his birthday rolled around I became overwhelmed with guilt: I did not have a present, I was not going to be able to visit him that day, and my social anxiety made me hesitant to visit my aunt. I had every intention on calling him but the next thing I knew it was 11pm and I was now too late to call. The next day rolls around and now I can’t call because I did not even call him on his birthday. The next day rolls around and now I can’t call him because my Aunt is leaving tomorrow and I haven’t even talked to her yet. Earlier that week I’d made plans with my mom to go out to eat with Cinna, my sister-in-law. My mom called me and asked if we were still on and told me that my dad had brought my aunt by for a visit. I felt shame and sadness. My mom, former sister-in-law to my aunt, saw her before I did. I was sure that they had a great time of bonding and just before leaving talked about how terribly selfish and insensitive I am; having no love for my own flesh and blood. The next day my mom came to pick me up and took me over to my aunt’s house. Though I did feel some shame and wondered how mad they were at me, I was so grateful to see them and spend time with them.

Though I wish I could start this week over I am happy that it turned out the way it did.I’ve learned that guilt makes it hard for me to be courageous, honest and apologetic. It saps my energy and my confidence, but it is my reflex reaction when things get difficult for me. Guilt lies and tells me that if you feel guilty enough you can earn forgiveness, but instead it usually helps you to justify my bad habits by voicing lies like,” their better off without me, because I’m just not dependable”, and ”they should have know I wouldn’t come through, I never do”. Guilt that is not dealt with can bring on depression, idleness, insecurity, and death. However, I do believe that everything has a purpose. In the book, Lighten up Dance with you Dark Side, author Al Galves writes, “Guilt tells us what we don’t want to do. It keeps us from hurting other people. It is crucial in enabling us to become better people, more loving, kind, considerate, and helpful to others…People who don’t feel guilt are scary and dangerous. Author M. Scott Peck has gone so far as to define evil as ‘people who don’t own their imperfections”, pg 34. My description of guilt looks a lot different from Galves’ description. I believe that guilt that is exhausting or makes you sick is worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow helps you to empathize with others and makes you work hard to right your wrongs; I experience both quite a lot. My new strategy fro changing worldly to godly sorrow will be Galves suggestion on pg 41. When experiencing any negative emotion I will ask myself a few questions: What would I call this emotion, why did I start feeling this, how does this clarify my values and dislikes, what is the lesson or moral, and how can I use this energy for something constructive?

I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.