Seeking directions

At times we are presented with situations that force us to make difficult life decisions with little to no information. We look to God for direction but can find it difficult to read His signs. We seek solutions while being keenly aware that the enemy is standing by, providing detours to guide us in the wrong direction, but even with this knowledge it is still difficult to discern which way to go.

Then there are times when we have gotten the clarification we need from God the neon lights are blaring showing us the route, but our flesh wants more details. We feel like we need more information that’s not being revealed to us. So we keep searching and digging deeper, finding nothing despite our best efforts. I know I’ve been at fault for that.

Let’s agree today to pray that whatever revelation we need be given from God, that “there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known” (Luke 12:2 NIV) At the same time, let’s allow God to give us the information he wants us to have and stop digging ourselves deeper into a pit of unnecessary pain and confusion.

You choose!

As we mature in life we have an idea of who we want to become or better yet what is God’s purpose in our lives. How to we achieve those goals has a lot to do with our decisions.

It has been said that if you encourage a child to do great things and equip him, he or she will have a better chance to achieve his or her potential. The good news is that even if our childhood was less than perfect as adults we have the control in our hands to determine what are those things that we are going to allow in our lives to encourage or discourage our purpose and future.

We decide the people we include in our lives.  You may think that’s not accurate as you didn’t choose your relatives. Although that is correct, you do have total control on how much time you spend with them and the level of interaction you have with them.

You may think that as a parent or child caregiver you have no control over your environment; it’s the total opposite. It is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to watch over their children. Children can present limitations to the things that can be done, but if you’re really honest with yourself the way you handle parenting can also affect that relationship on how enjoyable or not it becomes. The parenting experience could include the child in achieving God’s goals in your life and in creating a learning experience for the child of how to achieve their own goals throughout their lives.

We decide the type of entertainment we participate in. This believe it or not is important as it can form opinions, emotions and thought patterns that supports or discredit our believes with the information we expose ourselves to.

We decide our involvement in certain activities. In doing so we need to weigh how productive those activities are to our goals. In other words, is is worth to spend extensive time and resources to things that will not further our purposes? Sometimes we do.

What’s the point of all this you may ask? In our walk of life sometimes we feel like there’s not enough time, not enough energy, not enough resources, but the reality is that sometimes our decision making process drags us through a path of many steps with little resources.

God had goals for you, you have goals for yourself. Sit and discern your decision process and how your environment is affecting those things. Take the control back. You choose!!!

 

Blessings

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!!

Best Advice Ever

~day 17: the Kingdom of God is among you~
Image by theroamincatholic via Flickr

I was working on another article and read this. There’s not much to add or to say about it other than it is a great wake up call for everyone.

Galatians 5:18-24 (The Message)

“My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

   This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified”

Be blessed!

Doing the right thing is not always fun

I recently encountered a situation were I was in a group and someone without provocation ( I promise) came and was very rude and disrespectful to me. My reaction:nothing! The people in the group where I was congratulated me for my reaction, stating that I had done the right thing, that the person’s attitude had been uncalled for and that I had taken the high road. So if I did the right thing, how did it not feel good? 

I said nothing, I did nothing. Inside there was a volcano of all the things I wanted to say and do, but nothing came out. There was a voice inside of me telling me how much of a wimp I was that I had not put this person in their place and tell them A, B, and C. How much I didn’t know how to react to situation like this. Sounds familiar? Yes, it’s called Satan! But at the time I was to angry to realize it.

I went home and I was pacing still reviewing scenarios in my head of what I should have said and done and all of the sudden I stopped. I remembered something I’ve told many people who can’t let go of a situation: Why are you carrying this person with you? Are you willing to have them move in with you?

Did you know that’s what happen when you hold on to a resentment? Yes, the person moves in with you and sleeps with you and eats with you and watches television right there by your side. I decided that I didn’t like this person enough to have them move in, plus I had made steak for dinner and it was very good and juicy and I only had one and didn’t want to share.

I moved on to why is this bothering me so much. I made reference to my own series in offenses. Why did this offended me and what was God trying to teach me?

The answer to the first one is pride. I was very uncomfortable by the fact that this was done in front of people and that I held restraint. Instead of being proud of myself for doing what I was supposed to do, my pride was hurt by the fact that I didn’t get even.

What was God trying to teach me through this situation? I meditated on this quite a bit. I think my lessons here were, definitely treat others as you like to be treated. I don’t think I’m rude to other people, but it always important to be watchful of how we do things. The other lesson is to keep your emotions in check and not allow them to lead you, which I didn’t and I did. The situation where we all were was a very tense one. This other person could have been reacting to the stress of our surroundings. In a way, I did the same thing by getting angry even though I didn’t show it.  Last but not least, that taking control of the flesh is not always fun, it’s painful but worth it.

Be blessed!

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…

As promised…

Internet is back up, Halleluiah! As promised, upon my return I was going to add another one of my short stories for your delight. Please go to e-reads page and click on “Loud Silence” or simply click on the link below and enjoy this dramatic story of a woman who had it all and basically snapped.

Feedback is always welcome and thanks for your patience while I was away.

Happy Reading!

Sex Scandal in the Catholic Church

Church Sex scandals are a hot button topic these days and have maintained high visibility in the media recently.  I was moved to write this because I believe that the passion and intensity surrounding this issue has skewed a lot of people’s opinions and perspective and I believe that I can give a more balanced view on this issue.

It is terrible that as a people we have to be watchful even with those who we have been conditioned to trust, namely men and women who claim to come in the name of God. Sex scandals have not been exclusive to the Catholic Church, many preachers and pastors have fallen short of the grace and those things have become public. It is always disappointing.  I think part of the disappointment comes from forgetting these individuals are merely men and women. We have the tendency to elevate their position because of the part they play in our communities, social settings and the body of Christ. The reality is that yes, their responsibility is to lead and teach us about the Lord, but their humanity doesn’t leave with their calling.  Actually, as Christians we need to pray harder for our leaders because their attacks and strongholds are often as large as their calling.

I’ve heard people blaming celibacy for these events. I respectfully disagree. Priests and nuns know that this is a requirement of the commitment they have made. If sex was the driving force then priests having relations with Nuns or other secular adults would be just as, if not more, prevalent. The truth is pedophilia, rape, and sexual abuse is not sexually driven. They are driven by a deeper disturbance; it’s about control and power more than the sex itself.

 The other part where I respectfully disagree is where it has been commented that because it was male priests with male boys, that it was due to homosexuality. Homosexuality is not equal to pedophilia. Statistics show that the majority of sexual predators are heterosexual.

Now the thing that really bothers me about these cases is the way they have been handled. Whether the abuse was committed by clergy or the man down the street, the inequities in the handling of the situations are abhorrent. The fact that many of these priests were simply relocated to new communities, with no consequences or rehabilitation program, is ridiculous. On top of that, the new communities were not advised of the person’s past behavior. If the church wanted to take care of it internally, like the military handles issues that pertains to soldiers; I don’t have issue with that, however, relocating them to another community is unacceptable. Instead they should have been placed in some manner of recovery program and then reassigned to work in a position where they didn’t have access to children at all. Is that lack of forgiveness and mercy? No! That’s wisdom. Slapping their wrists and telling them to not do it anymore, without true rehabilitation, placing them back into the communities to do more damage, is irresponsible, dangerous and ultimately criminal.

It is hard for me to understand why servants of God would think that this would stay hidden forever?  The word of God says that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV) which means that nothing that they were doing was going to remain a secret.

I encourage you to pray for our religious leaders. They have a great responsibility and with it great lengths of attacks. I pray that they take the authority that has been given to them by their calling and correct appropriately those who have been entrusted to them.

I pray for those who have committed these terrible acts that they find themselves in true repentance before God. That they turn their hearts, make amends when possible and face accountability for their actions.

 I pray for the victims. I hope that their hearts continue to look to God for redemption and healing. God can restore anyone, and He can restore the souls of these who are suffering and their loved ones.  I encourage you to pray the same

Be blessed.

Painful writing

Someone brought to my attention today that I had stopped my script frenzy updates. I guess it’s because I’m having so many difficulties with this script, it’s hard for me to describe the already painful experience after using what is left of my brain in actually describing what these characters are supposed to be doing.  As my readers know this is my first script.

I truly believe that God is teaching me something through this experience; get out of your comfort zone. I’m a novelist. I can write a short stories and essays. I’ve even done a poem or two and even received recognition for some of them in earlier years. Why is this so hard? I don’t know if it’s the structure of it, or the unfamiliarity. I have to admit that I struggle adapting  to new things, so I guess this writing experience is a reflection not only of where my life is, but also where God is taking me. Now, I am almost 95% sure that God doesn’t want me to be a script writer, that’s not what I’m saying. He’s calling me to move out of my comfort zone and take risks and experience new things. It does sound great in theory, who doesn’t like something new.  Nobody tells you that just like a beautiful vase that needs first to be molded and placed in the fire to get to that final product; those new things that we’re embracing have a struggle of their own.

This weekend I was about to throw in the towel. I have already written in my mind the blog posting announcing my withdrawal from the competition, then an e-mail came through. It was from one of our frenzy sponsors advising us of what they call, “the moment”, and how to get over it. The email busted every excuse I had come up to get out of the race…once again, I was busted! So I sat in front of my computer and wrote another six pages. Even with my kicking and screaming. Amazingly I’m ahead of schedule.

The story…, it’s not quite what I had envision. It has taken a life of its own, but even then I’m enjoying it again.  So here’s where we are… Page 44/100 of my script on Day 12.

The Good Wife-Heart

I’ve been watching this show off and on since it started. The show centers around a woman trying to rebuild her life after severe and complicated marital issues, but this week’s episode brought an interesting angle that is rarely portrayed on television, how important is salvation in your life?

 The husband in the story is a politician and wants to hire a pastor to improve his political image. He cheated on his wife and participated in some shady activities and found himself in jail, a series of events that not only placed his career in jeopardy, but also his family. The pastor refuses to play the political game and offers the man true salvation. In this episode, the husband starts getting interested in prayer, working with the pastor towards truly making a change. The episode ends with him inviting his wife to church, and it remains to be seen if he actually means it or if it’s just another scheme.

I found it very interesting, because unless you are watching a proclaimed Christian program like “Touched by an Angel” or “Little House on the Prairie”, it is rare to see a national network actually embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior as the way to change your life. Kudos CBS!

Watch it online:

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/video/?pid=i1U2__M_8UGyLvSeMKDUPgFKE8Vvsm8n&vs=Full%20Episodes&play=true