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.

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!

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.

Day 3 Script Frenzy 14/100

Even though I didn’t sit to write until about two hours ago, I’ve been thinking about my script all day. My brain felt fried and unmotivated. I was in the middle of a wedding scene yesterday and I couldn’t find the witty to the story. It’s supposed to be a comedy after all. I was too tired to be sarcastic and I have no experience writing comedy. So I’m a blind woman trying to describe color, a newbie to comedy, a newbie to scripts. After shopping for some home improvements, I came home and watched “The Wedding Planner”. Jennifer Lopez is not one of my favorites actress. I do like Matthew McConaughey , but if you need some inspiration on wedding scenes, you can’t go wrong with this movie. I tried to watch Made of Honor as well, but the version I found was in Chinese and my language abilities are limited in that area. After the movie, I took a nap and when I woke up, my muse was back and I was able to make it to fourteen pages. There’s hope…!

Traditions

Traditions are those beliefs and/or customs that have been passed down from generation to generation. One of the best examples is our celebration of Christmas. We celebrate Christmas on December 25th, as the day that Jesus was born, but historically it has been agreed that he was born closer to the month of April. You can hear people say that you can’t celebrate Christmas without a tree or decorations; the truth is those are merely distractions, there were no trees or decorations at the manger when Jesus was born.

 Traditions have colored the way we do things and have distracted us from the real meaning. In terms of holidays, I boycotted traditional Christmas last year and don’t get me started on Easter. All my readers have five minutes to explain to me the relationship between eggs, bunnies and the resurrection… Go ahead, I can wait!

 There are people who have chosen careers because it’s a tradition in their family for everyone to be a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, or a policeman.  Some people go to a certain college because that’s where their family members went, not because it has the best program for their interests.

God made us unique. He took his time to form each and every one of us, and every one of us has See full size imagea different purpose in the body of Christ. Following traditions, in my humble opinion, are not either good or bad, unless of course the tradition harms the person or others; but it’s not necessary in the implementation of God’s plan for us. We need to ask ourselves what opportunities we have wasted because that’s not what we usually do, the way we usually do it, or the way the people around us did it?

How about when our blessing comes in a different package than what we are used to or expecting, and because we’re not familiar with it we pass it right by? Can you believe that the greatest lesson of marital love I learned from a homeless man? I was part of a ministry that was feeding the homeless. This man came to our line and grabbed his portion of food; something in him caught my attention. All the others sat in front of where we were and ate, he ran with his food to hide. Another person from the ministry and I followed him at a distance, his wife was under some boxes sleeping, probably after heavy drug use. She was very weak, he told her that he had brought her something and lifts her head up with his arms and started feeding her his food. We told them that we had enough for him to eat too. He thanked us but told us that he had come to the line just to make sure that she would get something to eat.  When I think about how a husband should love his wife, I think of them. It was not wrapped up in the prettiest package, but it blessed me. How many lessons or blessings have we missed because of our pre-conceived notions and traditions?