Moving Forward

First of all I want to apologize for not writing in the last few days, between Camp Nano and other distractions I have not been able to sit down long enough to concentrate. I’ve been thinking a lot about how sometimes we are affected by issues regardless if they have direct or indirect impact in our lives.

Life is never without challenges, disappointments and painful events, most of them out of our control. The way we react to those events and the way we view those events will determine our behavior and ultimately potential future outcomes.

When something unexpected affects negatively our lives its very common to feel anger, sadness, shock, resentment, disappointment, grief and many other negative feelings. Ephesians 4:26 reads “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” but I know there are wounds that are longer lasting, however once the sun comes back up, it may be time to start our baby steps back on the road of life.

We believe that we have no control over those feelings and that’s not totally true. Yes, those feelings are normal. We should not stuff them or deny them. We should talk about them and process them, the problem arises when we sulk and get stuck on them.

At some point the grieving process of an event runs its course and yes, the timing is different for everyone, but when the grief hinders you from functioning, you’ve gone too long.

That’s why I say that you can ultimately impact your future outcomes, for example…the loss of a relationship may be devastating, but it could open the door to self examination, discovery and the potential of a new, sometimes even better relationship. The loss of a loved one is devastating, but if you have faith that they are in a place of no pain and no sorrow, that will give you hope. The loss of employment or some other financial loss will not be easy to recover until you get back on your feet.

Feel what you need to feel, process what you need to process, but then it’s time to get up and move on. Trust that God will make everything right and that he’s in control. That there’s no evil that will not be avenged and no good deed unrewarded.

Faith will get you through

Be blessed.

Christian view on the death penalty

I’ve always had a clear position on the death penalty. I don’t believe in it. I think that if I didn’t grant someone’s life, I have no right to take it away regardless of their actions. Let me clarify that birthing or providing the seed for a child is participating in the process of life, in my definition only God grants life. The whole I brought you into this world and I’ll get you out of it may be a choice of a discipline scare tactic, but in the practice it’s still considered murder.

Thou shall not kill” has a particular effect in my line of thinking. The other reason for my position against the death penalty is because after watching hundreds of hours of real life crime shows and seeing how many innocent people have been sent to death row, some have been saved, some have been executed, I don’t think I could bear the responsibility of being convinced by a prosecutor that someone needs to be put to death and then killing the wrong person. Well, the whole idea of me consenting to killing another person makes my stomach churn. I would be your worse juror in a death penalty case.

As I was doing research last week for my Jeffrey Dahmer article, (if you missed it you can read it here) I read something that caught my attention. During his conversion process, Jeffrey Dahmer spoke about how he should have died for his actions, but the jury spared his life and he didn’t believe he deserved it. He thought of suicide, but at the same time he wanted to please God and he had discovered that was not the route. The Pastor helping him through his new found journey told him the following:

At my next meeting with Jeff, I began with his question,

“Am I sinning against God by continuing to live?”

I told him, “Romans 13 does say God has placed a sword in the hand of the governing authority. That’s why I agreed with you last week when you said you thought the state should have put you to death.”
“Yes,” he replied.

“But has the state failed its duty by not putting me to death?”
“I can’t answer that question. I can say that God has put a sword in the state’s hand, and the state has that right from God. This state has apparently chosen to lay down its sword and take up a rod instead.

Read more of their conversation here

Then I looked into what Romans 13 said, and I read in verses 1-5:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

 

So as I understand the comment from the Pastor and the Scripture, God has given permission to the authorities to judge other people’s wrong doings and establish punishment,, including the sword which I would understand would be death. Therefore, would it be ok for a Christian participating as a juror in a death penalty case to agree to vote for the death penalty as they have been called to be part of the authority in those processes?

I don’t know the answer. I know this has been a heated topic of conversation recently. I know that it was highly discussed during the events that ended the life of Osama Bin Laden and more recently during the murder trial of Casey Anthony.

I think that live without parole (which is the usual option B on death penalty cases) gives the wrongly accused the opportunity to prove his or her innocence and the real guilty an opportunity of change. I am aware that some will never change, but it wasn’t I who took that option away from them, even when possibly they are in jail for taking that option away from someone else. Again this is my opinion, you can totally disagree. Didn’t I tell you I would make an awful juror?

I would love to hear your opinions on this subject, which I know are very diverse out there. All I know is that I’ve been learning a lot by researching in the Word of God on some unusual hard questions.

Waiting to hear from you,

Be blessed.

Could Jeffrey Dahmer be in heaven?

Every time someone thinks of Jeffrey Dahmer the first thought is that of a serial killer. He raped, killed and kept the parts of some of his victims. He buried some of them. It was known that he killed around 17 men and boys.

I was looking into my usual crime stories and amazingly enough I had heard the name but didn’t know the story. To my surprised I read not only about the despicable disgusting things he did, but as I kept reading I found out something that it’s not talked about much.

While in jail, after being apprehended while his last potential victim was able to escape and alert authorities, Dahmer did something amazing… He gave his life to Christ.  Yes, my mouth dropped and I couldn’t believe it, he repented and got saved and accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior.  He even got baptized.

The bible says that in Mark 16:16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” and it also says in Isaiah 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool

Dahmer was attacked twice in jail, once coming out of a church service and later on while cleaning floors and that’s when he was killed. I think this is an inspirational story. I believe that in the eyes of God there are no sins bigger than other. A lie and a murder carry both the same weight; maybe not in our eyes, but in God’s eyes.  (1 John 3:4-5 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness)

If I follow the Word of God then yes, Jeffrey Dahmer could be in heaven. I can’t be certain as only God knew his heart.  We believe in a God that can forgive it all. Isn’t that great? If you have not raped and murder anyone,  guess what? if you repent, what you did can be forgiven. But there’s more, even if you have… if you repent you can be forgiven too. We all can.

I thought that was a deep concept to process and wanted to share. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Blessings!!!

The undesired mission

The first thing I read this morning was about Moses talking to God about why was he the chosen one to free the Israelites from Egypt. He was not thrilled with God choosing him for this mission. I love the book of Exodus and Moses is one of my favorite characters in the Bible, so I can’t deny feeling for Moses on this one…LOL!

In Exodus 3:10-4:13, you can read the conversation where God tells Moses to do. Moses gives God every reason why he’s not the right person for the job. God basically tells him, I created you therefore I’ll equip you and poor Moses comes back with a whine… Why me? Send someone else…

How many times have we been in that situation? God places in your heart to witness to someone and it happens to be someone you don’t like much. Or he calls you to be part of a ministry but that’s not what you like to do. Better yet, just like the parable of the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) where you are asked to leave it all behind and start from scratch. Can you hear that whiney noise in your head yet?

One of the things that I’ve discovered in my life journey is that everything in our lives has a purpose and it becomes useful at different stages. If we believe in a life with purpose then we would need to admit that our missions are handpicked for us.

As I meditate of why Moses would had been the person for the job; not only he was an Israelite which connected him with God’s people, but he had been raised in the palace with Pharaoh. He knew the ins and outs, how things worked. It’s kind of like being bilingual, you’re the perfect person for the job if it involves being in the middle of things that involved both languages or cultures.

But just like Moses we don’t tend to see how we are perfect for the job and its mostly because we don’t want to do the jobs for whatever reason: fear, feelings of inadequacy, out of our comfort zone, disobedience, etc.

I remember a trying time in my life where God placed people who had gone through some of my trials and worse. I remember saying, “it’s not that I’m happy with your suffering, but I’m glad you understand”. Every test in our life is a testimony in the making and it’s a tool in our belt for the next mission. So with that in mind, how will you respond the next time you are called into action?

Could you imagine what would happen if our armed forces or our law enforcement officers declined their missions? Food for thought soldier of God!

 

 

Blessings!

Thinking of Lost Angels

Today  I just to make a stop to talk about some angels that we’re missing on this earth. In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about how many children are dying in the hands of their caretakers. It’s is sad when a society gets to that point where their kids are not safe with their own parents or those entrusted to care for them.

The bible says:

Matthew 18:6 

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”

The only consolation that we can have is that they are not suffering anymore, that they are enjoying eternity with our Heavenly Father and that if any justice is not achieved on earth, divine justice will prevail. Join me in praying for the families of these angels and for the true repentance of those who hurt them. Let’s remember some of these lost angels.

JonBenét Ramsey                             Caylee Anthony

  

 

Lorenzo Gonzalez Cacho                  Conner Peterson

   

 

Michael and Alex Smith       Noah, John, Paul, Luke and Mary Yates

             

 Paulette Gebara              

 

 

Kyron Horman (hope we still find him alive)

 

 

sadly many more… 

The hair clip from hell!

Have you ever heard that we are affected by things, people and places? The results can be both negative and positive and sometimes without our conscious acknowledgement. We live our life day by day and our life gets transformed for good or bad and it’s not until we make a pause that we realize how far we’ve gone; either towards our purpose or away from it.

There’s a particular thing that was a symbol in my life for a long time without my conscious knowledge, it was a hair clip. Apparently when I was very angry I would pulled my hair up, others will say that it was very high, and that I placed the hair clip on the top of my head. It was an unconscious thing.

I use to be a manager, and I heard some of my employees pass by my cubicle and announce, “oh oh hair clip is on”. I never paid attention, I thought it was a joke, until one day someone who I was in a relationship with and I were having a phone conversation. It was more an argument. He got quiet and said. “I bet your hair is up” and when I touched my hair, he was right. This same individual had a fist fight with his brother. I was called by a neighbor who couldn’t pulled them apart. I asked to be placed on the phone with my boyfriend and announced that I was on my way. When I made it to his place the guys were in separate rooms, I talked to “my guy” and started asking questions about the fight, he kept staring at me in silence. Finally he said,” I’m not talking to you until your hair comes down” I started laughing and pulled the clip off. This was over five years ago.

Why a hair clip story? During the last five to six years God has been working on me. I’m not sure if I had an anger issue, it was more a legalistic spirit. Everything needed to be in a way (usually my way) and I was miserable. If things were not inside the mold I would not only be upset but angry.  As things started changing in me I started enjoying my life. I laugh more, I have less concerns and I’m way less affected by sudden changes in life.

When I stopped managing my life and surrendering it to the one that could actually do something about it I had less reasons to worry and less need to control. That gave me more time to enjoy life and do more of what I like: writing! I’m not going to say that I never get upset or angry anymore, but the clip went away from my life as I am not nearly as uptight as I used to be.

I laugh when people say how funny or laid back I am. If they only knew me then. But what about the hair clip you may ask? I have not used it in years. I realized this week how long God has brought me when I found it buried in a box.

Would you like to share things that God has changed in your life? Have you identified things, people or places that affect you positively or negatively? I would love to hear them!

Be blessed!!

A life without internet

As some of you know, I’m participating in a WordPress challenge to increase my blog postings this year. To assist us in the challenge, WordPress sends us daily prompts to help with topic ideas. If they are appropriate for my blog I use them or a modified version of it, or I don’t. Sometime in the last few weeks the prompt was: Can you live without the internet? I said no, end of discussion, not much to write about it.

 

God has a way to show you things. I was watching stand up comedian Billy Gardell (the guy from Mike and Molly) and he was saying that he wanted for people under twenty five years old to put their phones away for two hours a day and have a real conversation. Then after the whole Super bowl facebook news read spitting car I had to give that subject a little bit more thought.

 Can I live without the internet? Yes. The reason why my knee jerk reaction was to say no, it’s because we have come to a point where the internet is so accessible that I can’t see how that would happen. I have internet at work, home and on my phone, so I guess the response was more geared to the accessibility of it.

 Like I said in a previous post, society is slowly drawing us to a dependency. You can’t find a job by knocking door by door and being met as a person. Your information precedes you electronically. My poor elderly mother couldn’t get some information from her doctor’s office because she doesn’t have internet access (of course I pulled it out for her) Technology is a good thing and I think if all of the sudden we lived without internet some of those in my generation and older would be able to adjust. I’m not so sure about the newer folks.

 We’re not teaching handwriting in schools anymore, or mathematical thinking in paper. We are relying on the unreliable. Why do I say that? Give or take 75% of us work with a computerized system (that’s to be way conservative) and how often does the system crash and loses information? We hear in the news all the time how digitalized personal information is stolen by identity robbers. Is that where our trust is?

 So in perspective, I can’t live without God, water, food, clothes and shelter; everything else is truly a luxury and a blessing given. We should appreciate what we have been entrusted and be good stewards of those extras. As a nation we are filthy rich even when we don’t think so. If we look at other countries, some people live without clean water, something that we take for granted.

Blessings

Psalm 25:1
in you, LORD my God, I put my trust.

Is the use of medicine opposing faith?

As a believer, a Christian seeks to do God’s will and remain in it. There are times where if we’re not careful, we can take a legalistic approach to the Word of God that could hinder God’s purpose in our lives. In this case I’m talking about sickness and healing.

 God CAN heal! I have no doubt. God WANTS to heal! I believe that too. Then, is it lack of faith to use medicine to deal with our illnesses? I’m not so sure. By medicine I’m not entering into the argument of natural medicine versus pharmacology. Although I personally believe that God placed one on the earth for us and gave the wisdom for the other, but that is a total separate discussion.

I’ve heard fellow Christians refuse medical treatment because they think that it would demonstrate a lack of faith in God’s power to heal. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been sick and I’ve been asked if I had prayed. I even heard someone say that they didn’t even take an aspirin but they prayed all things out. I’m not discounting the need for healing prayer and declarations. I’ve experience the power of the healing prayer. At the same time I don’t believe that I should not take vitamins, supplements or medicine just because I prayed and that the use of one doesn’t mean I have no faith in the other. 

In researching for this subject, I came across a message board that was discussing the issue and one of the participants said something that struck a cord. “This would be like saying that we will not work or pay our bills because God is our provider” It struck a cord not in a negative way; it just gave me a picture of the Israelites crossing the desert receiving manna and birds as provision. Should we now not work or go to the supermarket because that would be us telling God that we do not have faith on his provision? I don’t think so.

 I believe that just like with provision, God utilizes several methods to deliver healing. The quickest example for me was the healing of the blind man. Jesus made a paste from dirt and his own spit and healed the man and then had the man wash his face. (John 9:1-41) Jesus is God and didn’t have to go through all that trouble, but he chose to go that route.

 So what to do? Have faith in your healing, pray for your healing, believe in your healing, and ask God through which way he wants you to obtain the healing, via fasting and prayer, via forgiveness (yes, resentment and unforgiveness makes us sick) or by simply using something that he placed on earth or in our wisdom for our benefit.

I found this great pamphlet about sickness, healing and medicine all based on Scriptures that I hope you find as interesting as I did. 

http://www.eternalgod.org/lit/booklets/healing_view.pdf

Blessings!

I found the parents!

Every time a child does something wrong the obvious question is, where are the parents? After looking at this commercial closely I felt sadden. I found the parents! One allying against their partner and the other one too scared to exercise his authority.  I’m not starting a campaign against “Tide” but it is sad that a household name would take advantage of one of the symptoms of our decay as a society to profit from it.

 

There’s so much wrong with this commercial, it’s a sad true of the reality we’re living. Families are not working together in raising their children, children blatantly defying their parents and the parents feeling powerless to exercise their authority.

Here are some points that I saw in this:

  • Common values: This girl is a teenager; someone bought or allowed her to buy said skirt. It is obvious that both parents are not in accord with what is appropriate and not.  That itself it’s a recipe for disaster, ““Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25)
  • Respect: It is obvious that the father figure is not respected in this scenario; his opinion is not only ignored but blatantly undermined as the girl parades her now clean skirt in front of her father knowing that she’s defying his wishes. She feels empowered to do so, as her mother approved her behavior.
  • Alliance: The mother allies with her daughter against her husband, forgetting that he’s the co-parent. She also undermines him in trying to protect his daughter. This is one of those examples were parents try to be their child’s friend instead of their parent and when the child goes out of control they seek the other parent to step up to the plate. By then it’s too late, the child doesn’t respect either. Parents should work together to raise their kids, not against each other. “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them” (Proverbs 13:24)
  • Powerless: The saddest part is that the father felt that there was nothing he could do. He had to resort to try to ruin the skirt to avoid his daughter from wearing it. At what point will parents understand that they are the adults and that they make the rules? This father should have felt empowered to disapprove of the piece of clothing upon being bought or seen for the first time on his daughter and not have to resort to tricks to avoid confrontation. Parents, the teenager that “hates” you now for making them follow the rules, is the one that will be grateful when he or she grows up.  I’m not a parent, but from what I’ve seen the ones who grew up with parents as friends were the ones that once out in the world were lost feeling that they were being treated unfairly because the world will make them follow the rules and suffer the consequences of their actions.

 

Food for thought…

Forgive me Father for I have sinned

Santo Domingo. Confession of a woman.
Image via Wikipedia

Confession is a part of the life of a Christian. The Bible talks about the importance of confession to be free from our sins. Each Christian denomination conceptualizes confession in a different way. As far as I know only the Catholic Church has a structure way of conceiving confession. In this structure the person reviews their conscience, goes to their priest, tells them all their sins, the priest assigns them a penance and once the penance is accomplish the sins are forgiven.

I’m not against confession, or technology for that matter, but I’m pretty baffled by the new I-phone/I-Pad confession application that Apple has recently released. The position of the Catholic Church is that they approve of it, but that it’s not a substitute for face to face confession. What does that even mean? If it’s not a substitute, those using the application would still have to do the face to face? Then, what’s the point!

I also question the potential legal implications for those using the application. Maybe I need to layoff my crime shows but, how confidential will that application be? We know that priest are the only ones covered under legal privilege of  any conversation from someone confessing to them, which I think is unfair for other religious leaders, but that’s another conversation. At the same time it’s known that if someone commits a crime or an indiscretion it would be covered under the traditional confession, but if the phone is tapped, could the police potentially have access to that information or even a private investigator?

From the spiritual standpoint, I think it would miss the purpose of confessing to another human being. We confess to God for the purpose of forgiveness, but as indicated in James 5:16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” Confession to another human being is for the person’s own healing.  How much of the counseling, prayer and healing can occur during this electronic process?

As much as I favor technology to compliment with information our spiritual walk, this is one of those occasions were in my opinion you can’t substitute human contact.

Just my humble opinion, comments agreeing or disagreeing are all welcome!

Blessings