No Small Job

I observed a man this morning in a suit trying to push a wagon of boxes. He was truly struggling to balance the load and pushing the cart. The boxes were empty by the way. It reminded me that the things we do, do not define who we are.

People have the tendency to place certain professions, jobs, tasks or qualities in a pedestal. The body has many members, and all of them have different functions, but none of them are less than the other.  Look at your hand for a minute, if you lost one finger, any of them, you would miss it terribly and you would have to make major adjustments to go back to “normal function”. The same is with the way we are as a collective, everyone has a function to do and nobody is better or worse for the position they have been placed.

I used to work with a brilliant doctor. It was a delight to hear this man speak, full of knowledge and wisdom, but totally technologically challenged. He couldn’t operate his computer or his cell phone. If some of us in the office didn’t pull out his e-mails and voicemails, he would not be in the loop of the things that needed to be done. That didn’t make him less or didn’t make us more. We had different skills and functions to complete.

I also remember being a manager. I’m a pretty gadget and technically savvy person, but for some reason the fax machine at that office and I did not get along (anyone remembers the movie Office Space, yes that was my relationship with the fax machine). I tried to not bother others and do my own thing. When I would disappear for a while and my assistant knew that I was not in a meeting, she usually checked the copy room and there I was fighting the fax machine. She would take the papers from my hands and get the job done in fifteen seconds.

My dad used to say, someone needs to sell hot dogs on the corner of the street otherwise I wouldn’t have a place to buy it, and someone needs to pick up the garbage, otherwise it would pile up in our house.

So no matter what you’re doing today, don’t look at it with the eyes of the world that classifies tasks as better or worse. Look at your job as a gift from God to render a service that in the large scheme of things it’s just as important as the next one to keep things working the way they should.

Luke 13:30
indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Blessings.

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Emotions and Christianity

I was reading an article on the magazine “In Touch” the other day. They will have to forgive me because I don’t remember the specific author or the edition of the magazine that I read. The article was talking about how as believers we tend to have unrealistic expectations of what our emotions should be in determined situations. I think the saddest part about it, is that we permeate this culture of unrealistic expectations when we attempt to provide support to someone in distress.

I’m guilty of telling someone one that they are not trusting God on a situation, because they are exhibiting anxiety or distress and I know I’m wrong for that. I also know that I’ve accused myself of not being submitted enough to God for experiencing things like: fear, anger, sadness, anxiety.

There’s this wrong perception that if you’re a believer everything in your life has to be going absolutely perfect. We forget to read that part of the Bible that says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Who can forget the scene where Jesus kicked everyone out of the temple? He was angry. The Word says, “be angry but do not sin”…it doesn’t say you’re not allowed to be angry.

Where do we even get these ideas that because we believe we’re going to be walking in clouds, our children will be perfect, and our relationships will be perfect? Yes, we have deceived ourselves.

The interesting thing that we missed, that was addressed in the article was that we are made as God’s image; this means every emotion that we have, he has and made for us. It’s what we do with our emotions that could either edify us or destroy us. If we use our emotions and turn them into prayers, instead of complaints, and remember that the test is only the beginning of the testimony; we would see our life with different eyes.

I had a situation this week, where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. At the end of the day, I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. I kept praying God’s peace. I surrounded myself with my accountability support people. I finally came to the conclusion that this was the test becoming a testimony. The testimony is that every single thing that looked impossible on Monday was resolved without my intervention and in ways that only God could have shown himself. The fact that I cried and was frustrated doesn’t mean that I didn’t know that God had it in his hand and was going to deal with it. I didn’t’ doubt it for a minute. I just had a bulk of emotions; I recognized them as such and treated them as such.

Sometimes we lose focus that not only the lost souls struggles, but our fellow believers have struggles too, and how can we be of help when instead of mercy, we hand out judgment.

Be Blessed!

 

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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

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!

Into the arms of fire

Running into the arms of fire

Without a way to stop

I watch my flesh melting

I can smell my hair burn

But instead of running away

I go deeper into the burning wood.

It’s a paralyzing fear

It’s the petrifying peace

while all this fire

controls everything inside me.

I fight the thoughts and feelings

as I burn inside this fire

is it all true? Is it all a lie?

will I lose everything at once?

While my mind and my body

get consumed

can’t stop but wonder

If I’ll live this dream

or reality will doom.

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.

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