A friend posted something on her blog that has made me start to think…….
She talks this week about Jesus, a toaster, and a magic eraser. Check it out…FreetoDance What is the magic eraser Jesus is using in your life? I’m thinking when he uses it …it has to hurt. I hate pain. Does he know that about me?
She found me awhile ago and I have been watching her blog ever since. What caught my attention is she reveals she is a domestic violence survivor. It has been something I have been thinking a lot about since I met Amy. I have emailed “freetodance” and discussed abuse. What does it look like? How does it happen? She has been a big help.
You and I have talked about my friend Amy and some think she may be abused. I don’t see how because her husband is a Christian. He prays and everything. He has even started volunteering at the church. What I do know is that I need to gather more information before I talk to her.
But, here is what I don’t understand… How could someone live through something like that and still love God? How could you think there even was a God?
It seems like ages since we last talked. I have tried several times to sit down and write this blog, but have ended up crying each time. We had to put Annie to sleep last week. Some of you have met her. She was a lab and my best friend. I had her before I met Jake.
I took her to the vet on Monday and found out she was full of cancer. I was alone so I took her home. I cried all day waiting for Jake. He took the next day off to work and we took her back to the doctor. I held her while …………. she…..ah…..passed. Still, the thought of what happened brings tears to my eyes. The doctor gave me the choice to either sit with her or they would do it in the back. As hard as it was to hold her in my arms, I wanted to be there for her. She has always been there for me……Always.
A guy at work said, “It’s just a dog why are you crying?” Just a dog!? I never really thought of her a “just a dog”. She was a friend. Someone I told my deepest darkest secrets to and she never spread them to anyone else. She loved doing laundry! In the city, we would do the Laundromat together. There was an ice cream store next to the Laundromat….we would get the single scoop ice cream she in a dish and I in a cone. We would sit on the steps of the Laundromat watching people go by while our clothes washed. We would take off and go for long walks and drives on my day off. She had her pillow on the bed and I had mine. Although, she didn’t like to sleep there…..I think she was too hot but being a polite friend she never complained, just got up after I went to sleep and slept on the floor by me. She fell in love with Jake at first sight. When he came to the door, he immediately let her sniff him and spent more time fussing over her than me! He would always bring her a treat or toy when he came to pick me up….. he realized the way to my heart was through my protector…Annie.
I asked Mary, if there were animals in heaven? She said, “yes the bible tells us, the lion and the lamb lay down together”. I have been talking a lot to God this week, begging Him to take care of her, begging Him to have someone fun for her until I get there. I’ve pleaded with him to let me see her again and to let her know I miss her desperately. She was the best friend a girl could have.
For now, today, this second, I’m trusting Mary that I will get to see her again. I’m trusting God He can take care of her the way she likes……but…. just barely.
All this talk of joy really makes me start to think…
How can I have the joy then in a blink of an eye it is gone? Where does it go? Was I just deceiving myself thinking I was joyful when really I was just happy?
Yesterday, I woke up all full of joy. Could just bust a gut I was so joyful. Then in a matter of minutes I crying out, upset, and stamping around. Why would God let me loose my joy? Where was God in all this? I’m trying to do my part….
There you have it…. I’m one unjoyful lady wondering where God is in the bad things.
Why do bad things happen?
Steps to Pure Joy continued….
Step Five: Celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6 NIV). God gives good gifts. Doesn’t he give good gifts?! These are gifts you can’t buy down at the Chandler Mall. Now remember, I am not talking about… meditate or think about it. I am talking about celebrate! Praise God….thank him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is way cool.
You may be saying what’s the big deal about that? Who cares? Let me explain why I am so excited about this gift…The role of the Holy Spirit is to strengthen and comfort us “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase” (Acts 9:31NASB), teach us “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:12 NIV), help us when we are weak “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Rom 8:26 NIV), and He guides us “ But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth….He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:8,13,14 NIV). I don’t know about you, but I can’t learn the bible without His help…I am a simple person I have a simple mind. I need some guidance. He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit so we could have Him with us always to guide us and teach us! Think about this with me. We have Him (Jesus) in our hearts to guide us and direct us everyday. This is the best thing Mary pointed out to me yet!
I have had some people say “I wish Jesus was here today so we could ask him questions-like the Apostles.” Boo hoo – “it is so much harder now because we can’t see Jesus. He is not here physically in front of us.” Hello….I don’t think they had it easier. Most of them were martyred! I am glad I was born when I was. Picture this – you are trying to make a career choice. You can’t decide on which job to take….you are trying to call Jesus. You are even text messaging him. You can’t get thru. You try everything, even paying for an airplane to sky write your question to him in the air….Nope no Jesus. He is on the other side of the world. I would use up all my cell phone minutes in the first day! Do you know how many times I talk to Him?….ask Him questions?……tell Him he’s great….better than sliced bread! I don’t need to go through any of that ……I just visit with Him and ask what should I do? What job should I take? “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13-14 NASB). He does not speak on His own initiative ….and He will disclose to you what is to come. The help you get from Him comes straight from God and He will disclose what is to come. But important key is you have to listen….be still and listen. Wait for the answer. Believe He will answer and wait. A telephone direct to God everyday, anytime…..better than the bat phone on Batman & Robin! The Holy Spirit is your red bat phone! AWSOME!
Question: Have you ever thanked/praised the Lord for that gift? Tell him you think it’s great. That was very thoughtful of him. What a super idea!
Oh, my gosh…I forgot to tell you the other day about our week-end. We had tons of people over from Jake’s work. Jake is a regional manager for a popular hardware chain so he invited people who were without family for the week-end to come over. It was mostly men.
Amy and Richard also came over to help out. I was in charge of grilling the burgers and hot dogs. I lost count after 100! It was good for Jake to get to know some of the team better. Amy and I cooked, cooked, cooked and cooked. I spent the week preparing for Friday. They brought their swim suits or just swam in shorts! Picture this….grow men jumping off the roof into the pool. I am sure the neighbors are still talking about the couple that moved in next door (us)!
I would not have been able to do it all without Amy. I worry about her though. I think she needs to see a doctor for her moods. She seemed really distant this week-end. I don’t think Richard is abusing her. He is such a religious man. I just don’t see that could be. How could someone who prays to God and wears a cross beat a woman? Just doesn’t fit. It must be her. I think I am going to find the time to sit down and talk to her.
Question: Are you still reading the book of John? I am.
Steps to having pure joy (cont.)…
Step 4. Celebrate your heritage.
If you were happy about salvation think about this one. We are God’s children. “ Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13, NIV). You are a child of the King! That makes me a princess! Shut up!
Do you remember the Carol Burnett show where she is doing a skit on the Princess and the Pea fairytale? The way to tell if she is a true princess is if she can feel the pea under her mattress. The groom’s parents stack up a bunch of mattress so she will fail (not feel the pea) but she ends up tossing and turning all night. She doesn’t get any sleep and ends up marrying the prince. I wonder if people can tell I am the child of the King? Your joy is one sign of your heritage. It’s kind of like sleeping with the pea under the mattress. When trials come (and they will) will I pass? Will people know I am a child of the King? Will I be allowed to marry the prince?
Celebrate and have joy in the knowledge; God is our creator and father. He takes pleasure in us. He loves His children and he wants us to be joyful. Stop and think about it…God takes pleasure in His children. That just blows my socks off! Doesn’t that make you just want to leap and spin around with pleasure and joy knowing that God loves us. He takes pleasure in me and wants me to be joyful. You get joy meditating on who God is and all of His loving kindness and mercy, but one can’t know those qualities about Him until they know Him. They need to have a relationship with Him before you can get to know him and how loving he is. This takes time ……means giving up some things of the world to put getting to know God first…..not last. It means having less of the world and more of God inside. Let the world have less of an influence on you and God more. Focus on God.
The other day I had a problem with a credit card charge and I was trying to get it removed. The person on the other end couldn’t (wouldn’t) help me. I wanted to talk to the manager. After several attempts at calling in and trying to get a different person, I was still not allowed to speak to a manager…they are off limits. I wanted to say “Do you know who I am….I am the daughter to the King. That makes me a princess! Now let me talk to somebody in charge…NOW”. But then that would have allowed the world to steal my joy. The world and people will try to trick you and try to steal your joy…..but you are the King’s child and believe it! Don’t let the world steal your joy.
Thought for the day: Does your life reflect your inheritance?
P.S. Thank you Mary for your help.
It was the craziest week-end. Let me explain. I had a closing on a house. The sellers were going to stay in the home an extra day to get moved into their new home. They had until midnight Sat. to get moved out. They were pretty much completed by lunch time because I stopped by to check on the progress. The other agent said he would call and let me know the time. About 9 p.m. I called to see if they were out. He replied, they were out, but we could not have keys until midnight. WHAT! I called Sylvia and off we went to search for keys. We searched all the usual hiding places, under rocks, mats, electrical boxes, the obvious lock box…nothing. We waited…..and waited for him to call. It was as if we were on a police stakeout; sitting in the car with the lights out, hiding just out of sight. Waiting for the “perp” to show. One slight difference, we had Starbucks instead of Dunkin Donut’s.
While on the stakeout, I told Sylvia about my experience with God. The night I jumped on the bed and all. She replied with a weird comment. She said she doesn’t have to do anything to be a Christian because she was born a Catholic. What does that mean? What’s the difference? I thought the Bible says, believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord. I didn’t know some got in just by being born.
Midnight rolls around and the agent did call and explain the keys were hidden in the front yard…..someplace. It was up to me to figure out where…click. What a jerk! So here we were in the middle of the night with flash lights in the front yard of a vacant home, searching for keys. We were crawling around on hands and knees looking for recently overturned soil. Just like on Law & Order. I should save this story for the happy hour crowd….you remember the game…CCC (Crazy client competition). We did find the keys after several hours of searching. They were tossed in the shrubs along the road.
Important to Remember: Never to drink coffee on a stakeout.
P.S. I would like to take the time to apologize to a friend Rosie and the Butcher who I might have offended. I do not consider you a religious person, nor was it my intent to upset you. If you are upset please accept my apology.