SHOULD YOU RECONCILE WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS ASKED YOUR FORGIVENESS?

This was a topic that I saw posted on a Christian Writer’s blog. It was a thought provoking question.

I was wrestling with this in my personal life. An ex-boyfriend was begging for forgiveness and reconciliation.

I had changed my phone number, blocked him from my email and now he had resorted to sending me letters, cards and dropping off food and gifts on my front porch.

Surely I should reconcile with this man. Right?

I was not at peace when I thought of reconciliation with this man.  I was finally living my life and enjoying it, how dare he disturb my joy.

He said that God had pointed out what he should ask forgiveness for.

Yeah, that’s right, now he was using the God card in his play for my heart.

I found his pleas for forgiveness self serving. Most of them revolved around the times he had pushed me away when I tried to show him affection.

I endured the cards for a week, then I put “Return to Sender” on the front and “STOP CONTACTING ME – we are over,” on the back. That card went back in the mailbox.

I went out to the mailbox the next afternoon because I felt bad. I didn’t want to hurt him. I guess it was much easier to hurt myself and my relationship with God.

The letter was gone. It had been sent.

I would have to deal with my guilt.

The next morning I was still battling the guilt and I started praying over the situation.

I received a revelation from God.

He hadn’t asked forgiveness for what God would want me to forgive him for.

The items he would have asked forgiveness for if he was truly hearing from God would have been:

#1 – Forgiveness for encouraging me to sin by having premarital sex. I had asked him several times to not pressure me to do that. The pressure continued.

#2 Forgiveness for disrespecting my intelligence and my worth as a human and for valuing me only for the sexual pleasure my body could give him and my outward beauty.

#3 Forgiveness for lying to me for four years, saying that he would move to my house and sell his.

#4 Forgiveness for lying to me about a relationship with another woman who may have had ill intentions for our relationship.

I don’t know who he heard, or if he was just making it all up. I doubt that he heard God. God does not speak through the Holy Spirit in contrast to what is written in His word.

Once i received wisdom from God, I let go of the guilt. I realized that I had chosen the right response.

Instead of reconciling with someone who would lead me back into sin, I chose to draw closer to God by walking away from reconciliation.

THE POWER OF PRAYER FOR A PRODIGAL SON

I provided for my children a Christian perspective as they were growing up. I took them to church every Wednesday night. Their father had them on the weekends so they didn’t go on Sundays.

I read them Bible stories. I attempted to be a good Christian mother. There were some things I could not change.

My daughter had always wanted a little sister. She didn’t get one. She got two brother instead.

Those two boys were best of friends and worst of enemies. I used to tell them they were both going to make excellent husbands because they would never do anything without the approval of the other.

They would also nitpick and tease each other to no end. At times there would be a boxing match, but they always had each other’s back.

It may be because of that that my daughter was so mean to them. She was especially mean to the older one.

He took this to the Lord in prayer and waited many years for an answer. There was none. He stopped believing that God was a God who cared.

He refused to go to church and when he went to go live with his father, at sixteen years old, he still didn’t go.

All I could do was pray for him.

Last summer, in August, the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart that his eternal destiny was at stake. I prayed, I cried, I even prayed in tongues over that boy.

At the end of the week I got a call from him. “Mom, I was in an accident with my scooter,” he said. “I broke my collar bone in three places.”

His stepmother was down in Florida and she was kind enough to set him up for surgery at a nearby hospital. Her best friend was a nurse who scheduled the surgeries. (Talk about a God intervention!)

I packed my bags and was on the way to Florida by the next afternoon.

On the way I thought about how much I had prayed for this boy’s soul. I had prayed for many years but when the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart to pray, I went into all out warfare over his soul.

I “pray without ceasing until I reach the point where I have the peace which passes all understanding.”

I don’t know what could have happened without the Holy Spirit laying  it on my heart to pray for this son’s soul. I think that  the assignment from the devil was to take his life.

If I had not been obedient, I fear that I would have been driving to Florida to bury this son, instead of taking care of him after his surgery.


AN INTERNET DATING SCAM

Several years ago I was approached by a scammer on an internet dating site.

The guy had his address listed in a nearby suburb and so when he contacted me I replied back. I wasn’t too interested – his occupation was landscaper.

When he started messaging me, he transformed from a landscaper nearby, to an oil executive in Nigeria, my hopes went up. That should have been the first warning sign. (No, not the hope, the Nigeria location, silly).

He sent me a picture and he was nice looking, not breathtaking, but better than average.

He had a son, I believe the son was staying in Holland. He had lost his wife in a tragic car accident. Second warning sign.

He tapped into my nurturing instinct and I was hooked. His instant messages became the highlight of my day. He seemed to have ESP as to when i was on the computer.

No wonder, the creep’s job was to scam. No need to walk away from a computer with that kind of job.

I never did talk to him on the phone. Thank God.

I really thought that a future would be possible with this man. (I know, sometimes i can be beyond naive.)

Then his story started getting weird. He said he had taken a day off to go shopping and had bought an antique bronze skull in the village. (Who the heck bronzes a skull?!!)

Then he said he didn’t have money to get the skull back to the states (btw oil executives always have money) and he wanted to give it to me.
Gosh, I thought about all of the things I wanted to buy for my house and the last thing I wanted as decoration in my beautiful home was a antique bronze skull! (Red flags were waving sky high).

He further said that I needed to be an interloper in a business transaction between someone who would pick something up from my mailbox and send it to Nigeria.

By the way he didn’t trust this person that was supposed to be coming to my mailbox, which happened to be right in front of my house.

WHAT?!!!

By this time there were many problems I had with this potential suitor.

Number 1 – He wanted to involve me in an international money transaction and there was NO WAY I WAS GOING TO DO THAT! (I could get myself thrown into jail for that kind of stupid.)

I watch my money like a hawk and if I don’t know where or what it is financing it stays in my pocket.

This man could be linked to terrorists, a drug cartel or he could just be a kid in a Nigerian sweat factory who preys on American women to scam them.

Number 2 – I do not enable people in their weaknesses. If this was really a business transaction, then he needed to pay for it.

Number 3 – Who in their right mind would buy an antique bronze head and pay $1,500 for it?

Number 4 – I am a single mother with three amazing children. Let me get this right…  He wanted me to give him my address to give to someone he didn’t trust?!!  

The answer is NOT IN MY LIFETIME!

I ended the scam by saying,”Sounds like quite the pickle you have gotten into but this is your pickle to deal with, not mine.”

No further instant messages came.

I did not lose one cent to this Nigerian.

What I did do was interact with the Nigerian. Keeping them busy. As they were luring me along in their deceit I was wasting their time.

What did they gain from all of lies? Nothing!

In the game of cons, I won. They wasted loads of time trying to scam me.

I played the game, holding the trump card of intelligent caution which I played in the last round.

YOU LOSE CON MAN!


BEING A CHRISTIAN – IS IT AN ACT OR A TRANSFORMATION?

When I was in high school it was my dream to be a movie star.

I liked the teacher who was the drama coach in high school. So it was an easy decision to audition for the one-act play.

The characters that I played were so out of the norm, that when I got on stage I knew I would have to leave my identity in the wings. I had was consumed by the character give justice to the role.  It was exhausting and yet exciting.

I never made it to Hollywood.

I missed the challenge of being someone else on stage.

As I began writing I noticed the same transition occurring.

During the first draft of my novel, I was writing a chapter where the main character was experiencing an emotional slaughter by her mother.After I wrote the chapter I “woke” up and realized I was sobbing uncontrollably. I had become the character.

As a Christian I have wrestled with allowing Christ to take over my life. It should be easy. I could do it for the characters I played and that I wrote about. Why couldn’t I do it for God?

The only answer I have to that question is that if I am truly a Christian it is not an act. There is no time when I am “off stage.”

There is a difference between acting and transforming. Too many Christians forget that, me included.

ABORTION – DOES A WOMAN HAVE A RIGHT TO HER OWN BODY?

I used to be pro-life. I thought it was murder to abort a baby. Murder of the worst kind-the killing of an innocent victim.

I still think it is wrong but I have ceased judging. I have come to a point where I have compassion and understanding for those who have to make the heart-wrenching decision to terminate a pregnancy.

My close friends who have had abortions did so because they were not ready financially or emotionally for the responsibility of  another human being. In one instance it was to save the life of the mother who had cancer.

This viewpoint is seldom raised in the political volley between the right and the left.

The women’s lib movement offers the view that we, as women, are the ones that can determine what happens to our bodies. A self-centered perspective.

Most women do not have abortions because “it is their body”. The majority decide to abort because they couldn’t fathom bringing a baby into the world, at the wrong time, under the wrong circumstance.

The far right is not approaching the issue with compassion.

It is amazing  how many politicians go on a witch hunt for women who want abortions. They are the same goofballs who want to cut spending and leave the children who do actually get born out-of-wedlock without any help.

Well,  sex before marriage is sinful, right? There are consequences to sin.

Right there are consequences.  Why doesn’t the far right put some swing in their  bat and put prayer and the ten commandments back in school?

Until you do that, you don’t have any right to judge the consequences for the crap you have allowed to seep into  this country.

The one thing that every camp leaves out of the discussion about abortion is that it takes two people to produce a baby.

Yep, that is right it takes a man and a woman.

A mans’ sexual promiscuity and ability to walk away from a girl who is pregnant never enters the forum.

So I have a creative suggestion for a national law and a pro-life revolution.

Find a woman who is pregnant and considering an abortion because the man will not marry her, providing for her and the baby.

Then force the man to have a vasectomy or better yet castrate him.  Do a media blitz on the man and use that as a lesson for other men to keep their pants zipped or face the consequences.

I bet you money the abortion rate would take a nose dive and we would all be better for it in the long run.

Wait, I may have spoken out of turn. There will be  one man who would not exactly be “better” for it. My bad.


A “CHRISTIAN” COMPANY

I have worked for two different companies over the past five years who claimed to be Christian companies.

The first was a retirement facility associated with the Church of Christ. It was a great gig in a lot of ways.

I worked for a home health company that was based out of the facility. So there wasn’t much driving which is unheard of in the home health arena.

I had a lot of freedom at that company because they knew how good I was at my job. I basically came in when I wanted and left when the work was done. Even with that flexibility,  I was the highest producing nurse in the company. I saved the company a lot money because I wasn’t salaried.

When I got my first evaluation it was all good and I got a raise. It wasn’t much but it helped. Then the CEO of the company decided that he wanted to hire his good friend and give him a six figure income. He demanded all of the raises back from the people who had earned them.

I hope that when that CEO goes to heaven he ends up in a small run down shack. It would be ironic if it was next to a mansion of a person that had his/her raise rescinded.

I went from there to a company where the owner started the day with the company in prayer.

I was blessed to work under one of the most awesome Christian women I have met in my life. She was not only Christian, she was brilliant. We formed a friendship and she is one of my close friends today.

There was a problem with that company though. They stole from the nurses who worked for them.

I had to audit every paycheck and take it back into HR. Then I had to teach the HR how to do payroll because either they didn’t know how to do their job or they were just really good at playing “stupid.”

I should have told my friend and boss about the cheating but I couldn’t identify the origin of it.  I didn’t know who to point the blame at and she had enough on her plate without me adding to it.

She ended leaving the company just recently and we went to lunch. She let me in on the scoop.

The owner was the one behind the theft. That was only the tip of the iceberg as far as his dishonesty went. The owner was a fraud.

Were these companies Christian? I don’t know. I am not God so I don’t have the right to judge.

If they were Christian, I have one question. Why are you using a business plan of the Devil to run a Christian company?


SHOULD YOU BETRAY YOURSELF IN THE PURSUIT OF LOVE?

I have learned so much from relationships. The last long term relationship I had lasted four and a half years.

Throughout the relationship I noticed several things happening.

He was always the one who chose where we went and what we did. The few times I chose the location for our dates he had “attitude.”

He was very insecure and if I didn’t  worship the ground he walked on, he would stomp out of the house, slamming the door behind him.

He threw three temper tantrums in public, probably more, which would have beat any two year olds’  tantrum hands down.

He had road rage. It made it very uncomfortable for me to drive anywhere with him. I confronted him about this but he refused to change.

I started walking on egg shells. Trying not to get him upset. I stopped confronting him. I gave up all of the things I wanted to go to. I did this to please him, yet he remained temperamental and unhappy.

I felt torn inside. He was  good to me in some ways, but there was something wrong. I could feel it. Something was changing and I didn’t like the change. I was starting to lose me. Becoming a shadow of him and dimming the limelight I had once been.

One of my girlfriends put it so well when she said, ” When I first met you, you were vibrant and alive. He is stealing you little by little and you are not the same person you were when we met.”

I could tell she missed me. I missed myself more.

During those years I gave up my writing. I tried to write but every time I asked to have a weekend at home alone he would accuse me of cheating on him. So I stopped asking for that time.

Last October I finally confronted him about the future of our relationship. I found out he wanted me to sell my house. That was the only thing I had left, which I loved, that was mine.

I ended the relationship.

I began the process of trying to find myself.

I found that writing is my avenue for self discovery. It is a breathtaking, beautiful path back to me.

It is where I play with words, hoping that they will explode with the brilliance of wisdom.

However, words which are written bear no worth unless they are read.

For all of you who have taken time out of your day to view my blog I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Every view, every comment, every follower, every re-blog is grabbing me by the hand and pulling back into the comfort of self acceptance.

I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

I hope that in some small way you are blessed, and your life is enhanced by the words that I write.

More than that, I hope you never betray yourself in the pursuit of love. Anyone who truly loves you should never force you to do that anyway.

“PSEUDO-MARRIAGE” – IS IT A CAGE?

I have been in exclusive relationships almost all of my life. Of those relationships the one that stands out in my mind as being the sweetest, is one in which an exclusive agreement was not actually ever spoken.

I was fourteen when I met that man. My mother had arranged for us to meet. He was tall, good looking and sweet as honey.

I met him at the County Fair. We started dating that year and continued off and on for eight years. He was my high school sweetheart.

It was a long distance relationship and it was a summer time romance. He lived in Denver during the school year. I lived in a small farm town in Nebraska. Maybe that is why it was so easy.

The other day I was thinking about my high school sweetheart and I realized that we had given each other a gift in the relationship. The gift of freedom. We weren’t married and we didn’t act like we were.

I wondered how I could replicate that in my current relationships.

In the recent past I dated a man for several years who said he had wanted to marry me from the first date.  He failed to buy a ring or propose. Yet I was held to a commitment level that even my married girlfriends did not have to give their husbands.

I created a new term to describe this kind of relationship. The term is “pseudo marriage.”

He wanted to be exclusive from the start.

I just wanted my freedom.

I continued to date other men during the first six months of our relationship and then finally gave in.

He had a lot of good qualities and one of them was that he was very good to my children. I was willing to sacrifice my happiness for the sake of my children and his supposed happiness.

He kept talking about marriage but after four and a half years of talking he hadn’t produced a ring.

I finally confronted him about this. During the confrontation I realized  what he wanted me to give up to be with him was more than I was willing to give.

I broke up with him on that day and have not regretted that decision.

He just recently sent me a marriage proposal close to a year after I broke up with him.  I wanted to tear the letter into a million tiny pieces.

After much reflection I wondered how I could construct my future relationships in a different manner.  I decided that I needed to be honest and frank with men from the start.

The quality of men whom I have dated  deserve that. They have all been amazing.

So I have a frank talk with men on the first or second date, dictating the terms of the relationship. They have the right to enjoy my company and spend time with me. I guarantee it will be fun.

I retain the right to date other men. If I fall in love with them and they with me then we can talk about being exclusive.

I may even entertain a talk about marriage.

I have recently started dating a man who is a kind and considerate gentleman. I gave him the talk on the first date. I told him I was not going to be exclusive right away and I wasn’t desperate to get married.

Then I asked him what he was thinking, He said with a charming smile, “well, that takes a lot of pressure off of me.”  Upon hearing this my face broke into a huge grin.

As much as I fight it, I am yearning  to walk into the same trap with this man . I realize that I have given him the right to date other women.  I also realize that I can enjoy the same freedom.

We don’t check up on each other. We don’t call each other every day. We merely enjoy the time that we spend with each other

. It is a relationship that can breathe freely and I am taking deep breaths.

Sometimes freedom is the greatest gift you can someone.  If you allow someone the freedom to walk away and they choose not to, isn’t that greater love than forcing them to stay when they want to walk away?

PS – You will not find pseudo marriage in the dictionary. It is a term I created and yes it is copyrighted. 😉


MISTRESS-WHICH BASE IS SHE PLAYING?

I have had several friends over the years who have had affairs with married men. I tried to understand why they had made that choice. They were young. They should have been looking for a husband who they could start a family with. What was it that made them want someone unavailable?

In one of the cases the man was higher up in the company that my girlfriend was. Did it help her in her career?

Another one got involved with a coworker. He ended up leaving his family for her and living off of her income after he got fired.

Another one was a friend of a friend. The mistress was a flight attendant, the man a pilot. The affair had lasted a very long time. By the time I met her she was old, unattractive and desperate.  I couldn’t imagine her being attractive to anyone at that point in time. The pilot had used up her cute years and she had freely given him that right.

I was newly divorced when I was approached by a married man. I was a nurse and working in a nursing home. The doctor who was the medical director started taking a fancy to me. He started rubbing up against me in a patient’s room. It was a very uncomfortable situation to be in.

He had a reputation for having several girlfriends in addition to a wife. I tried to avoid him. One day when I was charting he sat down next to me and he started becoming “handsy”. He said, “if this is bothering you, let me know.”

I looked at him and said, “You have a wife and a girlfriend. You aren’t ever going to have me because I don’t play second or third base. I play first base or nothing at all.”

He removed his hand and we remained professionals which is all we should have been to start with.

if you are a mistress to a married man, I hope you realize you are playing either second or third base. Every woman deserves first base. If you do get to first base with a married man, it is a stolen base. What is stolen once can always be stolen again.

TRIALS OF A TEENAGER IN TODAY’S WORLD

I used to get emails from one of my older friends. They were emails which glorified her generation. In comparison they demeaned the teenagers of today.

I respected this lady, so I didn’t tell her how offended I was. I was angered by the emails. I restrained from writing a vicious rebuttal because this lady had been so very kind to me when I worked with her.

The response has been simmering within me for more than a few years.  I would like to share my response with the wonderful readers of my blog.

My response is a follows:

I  think teenagers of today have so many challenges that they are facing. They are rising up and facing them with more intelligence and fortitude than any generation in history.

The generation which is now elderly has failed.

That  generation parented  the free love, sex and rock and roll generation of the sixties. The sixties threw sexual purity, drugs and immorality into the wind, hoping that a thunderstorm of consequences would not brew in the wake.

Drugs have become more than an addiction problem due to the passivity of these parents. Drugs are an avenue to abuse, suicide and mass murder now.

This generation, which considers themselves so righteous, has allowed Hollywood to transform from an industry which was entertaining and wholesome, to an industry which is vile and disgusting. Now we not only have to worry what kids watch on television but also what they may be viewing on the internet.

They have stood by and watched companies contaminate creation for the discovery of oil and gas and have not protested. It was not their water which was poisoned or their beach which was covered in oil. Why should they be concerned? They needed their RV’s and SUV’s filled with gas.

They complain that our children have no morality. Wasn’t it this generation who allowed prayer to be forbidden in school?

The ten commandments rank as the ten best rules  for morality yet children are not taught these fundamentals in school. This in itself could change the course of our nation.

They have allowed the theory of evolution to be taught as fact even though it is only a theory and NOT a scientific law. It, in fact, contradicts many scientific laws.

Creation is considered a fallacy. Then they wonder why children today have a difficulty believing in their God?

The one thing that this generation has done well is to unite in protection of their entitlements. They traipse to the doctor for test after needless test, misusing medicare funds and demand to have social security benefits so that they can sit around and watch TV. (Who else would watch Jerry Springer and Judge Judy?)

This generation has done nothing to give the children of today the gift of faith or morality, yet they have the audacity to judge them for their failure.

I find that the teenagers of today are a wondrous and imaginative generation.

They are intelligent and resourceful.

They have survived, and for the most part thrived, even with two parents working and little family time.

Drugs are still a temptation but they are educated and know the consequences.

The majority of them look in amazement at the pitiful role models, such as Kim Kardashian, Brittaney Spears and Miley Cyrus and shake their heads. They may be idols that Hollywood has produced but these kids are smart enough to know that they would never in their life act crazy like that.

We have failed them in so many ways yet they still strive and survive, knowing that due to greed of their grandparents, they will have to work much harder than generations of old.

The generations of old have committed many sins. The consequences will linger.

The largest of these may be their selfish pride and judgement of future generations for the sins that they have committed.