Addicted Me

“Addiction” is the new psychobabble word for “idolatry” we hear of in the Bible. It is putting anything first continuously in our lives above God. Only psychology calls it a medical term so it is considered an illness and releases personal responsibility and declares that people can’t help themselves. So these “addicts” whose decisions are magically taken from them keep doing those things. When our parents or people in our lives pattern idolatry for us, the habit is fostered in the children most of the time. I had a mom who idolized food and a dad who idolized work. So, it is the most natural thing in the world for me to idolize something. I get to pick which thing, right? See, what the secular psychologists don’t seem to understand is that idolatry or “addiction” if you want to call it is really a spiritual matter. It is choosing each and every time on purpose to go to something/someone to alleviate boredom, feel good, not feel alone, alleviate pain, feel loved, feel wanted, etc. instead of going to God, really the only One who can do us any good and loves us unconditionally and forever. So, I have a choice each time I am needing any of those things whether to self-medicate with a temporary and often harmful thing/person or pray and meditate and read God’s Word to seek Him and find Him. So, technically, I can choose to focus on God and become an addict of a diligent relationship with God. I can idolize God? I can certainly put Him first. I believe that is called worship. If they want to call it a medical word referring to excessive focus and repeated behavior on a certain thing/person, it only makes sense that we can be addicted to the reading and application of Scripture. Yes, with certain chemical abuse to the brain, people need medical intervention to withdraw from the physical ramifications of really stupid sin choices. Very true. But much of the time we can be treated with truth, humility, decision to about face (repentance) and focusing on God and His Word as a healthy alternative. There is no choice that we can not make. We can choose to remain in denial and thick lies upon lies and continue to put idols before our Creator God. (Just remember this decision effects not just you but hurts all those around you who love you.) We can choose to be good and seek after God and truth. (And remember, this decision will promote peace and love between you and those who love you.) Please choose God. I did and have never regretted it ever. I have peace and joy and a close relationship with God and am so blessed.

Good Stewardship

When I grew up in the church, the word stewardship was a big deal. It was taught. It was spoken of. Now, it seems an intrusion is some kind to speak of it, as if it old fashioned and an imposition of some kind. However, I believe all of life walking the way of Christ is about having good stewardship. Every single thing we are or have has absolutely nothing to do with us. It, every tiny inch of it, is a gift from God and we are to use it wisely (be good stewards) for Him and for our good pleasure. Him first. This is the idea behind healthy living and good financial decisions (including tithing) and proper use of talents and sharing, etc. Everything we do has to do with our focus and motivation and the purposeful realization that the gifts we are given, even life itself, is for God first and our enjoyment and helping others next. If we look at things that way, it keeps greed and selfishness and narcissism away. Good stewardship is a glorious way of life and really what we are supposed to be about. When we start believing the lie that this is all about us, that our lives should cater to us and glorify us, we miss the peace and rest and freedom that comes with understanding that God is the reason for everything. He is the Giver. He gives because He loves and wants to but we act like spoils brats if we don’t appreciate and understand good stewardship as a lifestyle. When we get that, we are closer to God and open the door to many more blessings.

Pointing Worship to the Cross

Humanism has seeped into the church, slid in smoothly and easily right before our eyes. I was a worship leader for some time as God led me to it. I noticed right away what was needed. We need to point people’s worship and attention to God, to Christ our Messiah and Savior. To Him the worship belongs. We honor Him by pointing people to Him. As soon as we look for applause or have a gleam in our eyes for accolades, we have started our feet on the path of failure at our job. Worship is all about how magnificent God is and not how great someone might sing or play. This worship leading vocation must necessary be the most humbling job on the planet. It is the basic of callings and what we are created for. We were made to worship. To lead people to that, we must let go of ourselves and our status. When we concentrate too much on rote and perfection, we can stifle the Holy Spirit’s movement. We must go where He leads and if His plans differ from what we planned, we must be eager to let go of control and agendas and strive to follow with every breath we take. A person who leads worship must be a person of prayer and Bible study and meditation. A worship leader must rise up to lead on his or her knees. Anything less and failure is looming. God is everything. It is all for Him and about Him. To be successful in churches country wide we must quit the humanistic shows and turn off the fancy lights that bring glory to people and get back to focusing on God. There is nothing wrong with a show, but church is God’s and a show is for people to make money or magnify themselves or for entertainment. This should have no place in a church. We need to give churches back to God and build His kingdom and not our own. This is vital to the life and integrity of the church. God deserves better from us.

Random Thoughts from a Little Girl

If it ever comes to someone having to care for you, please do not take for granted the other person is sacrificing their life to help you with yours. Do not ever assume that person’s sole purpose in life is to care for you. Do what you can on your own. Sickness is no excuse for laziness.

A dog is a blessing for reasons I mentioned in a previous blog and I stand by that list. It is good to have a nonjudgmental friend who rewards your presence with love.

Illnesses are sometimes sent by the enemy and sometimes as lessons by God. Unless we sometimes have discomfort and pain, how on earth can he get us to rely on Him and humble ourselves to remember how fragile we are and how more than sufficient He is to heal and save us. God brings the good and allows or brings the bad for reasons He knows. It is hard to understand but understanding is not our job. Our job is to humbly obey and worship.

Thanksgiving is a very delicious holiday. It is full of good food and is part of a four day weekend where every day feels like Saturday and God is thanked. Yay!

Making eye contact and smiling at people can help them feel not so alone. It is a very simple way to show people God’s love. And it’s free!

When a small child comes up to you to show off a very ugly and unidentifiable art project they just made, it is not perfectionist if lesson time, it is encouragement time and the required response is “Wow! How beautiful/creative/imaginative/colorful!” (Pick one). Encouragement feeds and nurtures a young mind. Discouragement kills the spirit. Never kill a person’s spirit. Make it a goal in life.

“Without medicine, a cold lasts 14 days. With medicine, it lasts a fortnight.” (My husband’s quote)

“Two boys make half a boy.” (Also my Hubby’s) This means that two boys get together, they go into pack mode and their IQ drops by half. Add more boys, IQ keeps dropping more. This is true. I have noticed it with my son and his friend(s).

When focusing on a problem, that problem grows and spreads. When focusing on the Solver of problems, the problem shrinks or disappears. When God has your full attention, there is no extra space for problems. There is no extra space for distractions or things against God. He trumps everything.

When thinking of excuses to make, don’t. The truth is always the best option and most excuses are riddled with lies. If you don’t want to tell the truth for some reason, don’t say anything at all. You will be considered wise or mysterious, and both are good.

When you are sick but can still get out of bed, get exercising to sweat for at least a half hour a day and drink lots of water. You sweat off the toxins and remain hydrated to dilute your system. Also, 2000 mg of vitamin C should be taken until you are well. If muscles are soar, a hot bath with Epsom salt dissolved in it will relax your muscles. If you can reach the sore muscles when warm, rub them using little circles.

When your kids are arguing, don’t be so quick to jump in. Sometimes they will surprise you and solve it themselves. If not, at least you gave them the opportunity. Kids need opportunities to make the right choice sometimes. Of course, they have to be taught that first. And sometimes, they need a chance to mess up and figure out how to fix it. Great adults do this regularly. 🙂

A blessing is always rewarded for obedience. Every time we obey God, He drops down some form of a little diamond for you. And each decision to obey, allows in more truth, chases away each lie and promotes closer relationship with God. When our kids obey, we are happy to reward them. How much greater our Heavenly Father does, considering His unlimited budget.

The Giver

My husband and I tonight watched a movie called “The Giver”. It was an interesting humanities study about many facets of human nature in natural vs. conformed state. Fascinating, and I never ruin movies for anyone, but I will say that what I saw from the movie was probably far different from what the director or producer wanted, which is the mark of a great film. And my husband and I drew different conclusions as well. He determined that God’s reality is the only truth and only reality and that anything we choose to believe apart from that is lies and medications of various sources and varying degrees. And even that medication effects everyone differently. While I believe all that to be true and that it is a beautifully insightful insight, I saw the movie in a slightly different light. For me, several insights were readily noted, being always the devoted humanities scholar. One was that lies never protect anyone and the absence of truth is a lie. They may mean well and be for very good reasons, but a lie can never ever protect anyone. A lie is a barrier. Truth is a bridge or ladder. Truth frees you because it crosses barriers or exposes them for what they are so you can override them and get closer to the worship destination. Secondly, a false sense of security is no security. You may think you are safe in a world of your own making, where the only people kept around are those who agree with you and secrets are kept safe locked away. The reason this doesn’t work is that God sees everything everywhere. You can not keep secrets from God ever. There is no running from the Creator of the universe, who designed every crook and cranny. Thankfully He is very loving and gentle and patient, etc. but He is certainly never ever blind. The last major insight is that where there is a will, there is a way. God drives us and His directions are never wrong. Our internal God GPS tells us where we need to be and what we need to be doing at a given time as long as we take he help offered. He is never wrong and any thoughts of wrong turns served a purpose that you may not know. Here is a major truth: we are not gods, thankfully. We are travelers on a spiritual and human journey. I love the book Pilgrim’s Progress. It is the story of a young man starting on a journey of life and all the bumps and dings he finds along the way. We never steer wrong when we let God drive and His journey provides truth every step of the way. That truth may allow a little pain in sometimes because we choose to hear it and not drown it out with self medications of various options and strengths but it is a low price to pay for freedom and blessings beyond our comprehension. We never journey alone, but we do get to choose the company we keep.

Righteousness

Righteousness seems a sterile, overused, old fashioned sort of word nowadays. However, the more time I have devoted to working on my relationship with my Creator, the more beautiful this word seems to me. I thought for the first time about the care given and beauty and amazing workmanship poured into the breastplate the priests wore into the Holy of Holies (spoken of near the end of Exodus). This beautiful object was worn over the heart with the names on God’s heart engraved on the beautiful jewels. It was worn to make God’s people right with Him during the sacrifice. Now that the Messiah Christ came as our sacrifice, we still have such an amazing and precious breastplate of righteousness to wear in our spiritual battles (spoken of in Ephesians) which makes us right with God. It is in God’s heart which draws Him closer to our heart. You see, this breastplate is yet another symbol of His vast love and desire to connect with us, not because we are special of our own making but because He decided we were special to Him. It is beautiful, this righteousness thing. It is beautiful in the most tender and meaningful of ways. We are His and He loves us. You can not get more amazing than that. It is greatly to be appreciated and celebrated and awarded it’s rightful place in our attention.

Thankfulness

My third favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. The reason I love it so much is that my first two holidays celebrate our salvation but this third one celebrates all of the extras He gives us in life- family being the biggest. We celebrate our appreciation for the people in our life, the things we have, the richness and diversity of food we possess, our country and its heritage of faith based Puritans and pilgrims that made us possible and our native American friends who stepped in at a critical time of need. It honors all of that primarily and God’s blessings to us all year, as well as honors those of us who can cook with a day to do that half the day long, eat, and then clean for the rest of the day. Thanksgiving is a day to live appreciative of all of the above and every other day of the year we’ve managed to survive and thrive in. But the spirit of thankfulness is a daily thing for we who follow Christ. If we are always appreciative of everything we are blessed with, we will never go wrong and never find ourselves in a position to grumble and mumble over the bad things or regret not getting enough good things. We strive to communicate thanks and I am so thankful in my life for people who come alongside me and help point me to that. It is so easy to get distracted from it, so friendly reminders are so valuable! So, to every person who sacrificed for our country, to the Indians ( of which I am a small part), to my family who put up with me, to my friends who want to, to my Savior for hope, to our veterans for security, to our God for life… Thank You, you amazing people that I love and appreciate! May your day be as special and delicious as you are! May your nights be restful and filled with pleasant dreams!