FAMILY REUNIONS

Family reunions are always a roll of the dice. I never know when I am going to have a good time or when I am going to regret going. i think one of my problems is that I did not grow up in an ideal family. I did not have June Cleaver for a mother but I had a mother who could out cook Betty Crocker, kept me clothed and who gave me enough motivation to get out of the house that I got a college degree and moved away from home. My parents also forced me to go to church where some of my greatest childhood memories were formed.

I don’t know if this is the reason why I connect on a deeper level with some of my patients or not. I usually walk in to a patient’s home as a nurse when I admit them. By the time I walk out I am a friend of the family. Sometimes the families I visit really take to me. This year I was in a patient’s bedroom when her brother-in-law walked past and said, “We filed papers.” I looked up in surprise thinking I didn’t know what I had done wrong because the patient’s legs had healed up under my care. Then he went on and said, “We filed papers to legally adopt you. I hope you don’t mind.” I busted out in laughter when I heard that. I do love all of my patients and even more so those who want to adopt me.

I also have other families that I feel adopted by. One is my Bible study group. Last week I got the privilege of eating Thanksgiving dinner with a group that I used to attend Bible study with, but I haven’t seen them for quite some time. It happens that my BSF group meets on the same night. The BSF group is amazing but they don’t have the family feel like my initial Bible study group had so any time I can dip back in for some family love I do. This past Sunday was one of those days. It was so good to see my sisters and my brothers in Christ.

I have enough friends to know that an “ideal’ family is hard to come by in this present age. My parents are getting old and the times that I spend with them are cherished. I know when they are gone I will miss them terribly. They were not perfect but they tried their hardest. I think that they were imperfect enough that I connect with others on a deeper level because I may still be searching for the ideal family. I believe that when I am in the midst of my Christian brothers and Sisters I feel as if I am almost there.

HOW TO CRIPPLE ISIS

After the Paris attacks I was quite upset. I don’t understand the mindset of terrorists or a religion that supports such a mindset. Yet even more than this I don’t understand why the hell the government keeps twiddling their fingers as if ISIS is just going to disappear if we play nice.

The other day I was thinking about the best way to fight the extremists and I realized if someone had the least bit of intelligence they would go after their social media presence. The terrorists are using social media to recruit. You have to realize that there are ways to infiltrate that medium and once you infiltrate you can start messing with them.

They also use cell phones. That is how the intelligence department can identify where these nut cases are. There are ways you can intercept a phone call, if you can tap it you can intercept it.

Why is the government not doing more to shut down their social media presence?

After the Paris attacks the Anonymous hacker group said that they were going to start waging cyberattacks on the terrorists. It is about time someone waged a cyberattack on them. It is infuriating to me to see the response of some of those in the government. This is the same government who has no problem in spying on innocent and law abiding civilians according to Edward Snowden. However when an activist group decides to wage war on some crazies they say the terrorists have a right to judicial review. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

They say that this is a knee jerk reaction. That it may be but at least the Anonymous hacker group is not playing golf and twiddling their thumbs. It is time we fought back and we should start with taking down every social media site that these nut cases use.


DOING GOOD

The other day I was contemplating how I could help in one of the churches I currently attend. It is a church which helps the homeless and of course there is dire need within a body of Christ like that. I do sometimes give my tithe to them, but it is not my home church and so at times I choose to give it to the church where I normally go.

I was checking one of my apps as I was examining what I could contribute. Proverbs 3:27 came up. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Within the context of this verse it would appear that I don’t need to contribute anything. I mean the homeless do not work, I don’t owe them anything. I have worked very hard to secure my home and have been blessed by God with a home that can house my children when they come home to visit. So I am good right?

At this time in my life I don’t have any extra money and tithing is even a sacrifice, so I can not support their needs financially. Yet that part in the verse about when it is in my power to act continues to haunt me.

I have given blankets to a woman who gave them to the homeless. There are times when I have shared clothes with the homeless. I have chosen to bring them straight to the homeless instead of bypassing them through the avenue of Goodwill.

I think with winter bursting into season I need to go through all of my clothes again. It is within my power to give a great amount of pants, sweaters, and a few coats to the homeless. I have more than enough clothes and quite a few don’t even fit me anymore. Plus the cool thing about that idea is that as I am sorting through my wardrobe I will also be forced to clean and organize my closet. Oh gads, I don’t know if I have enough power to do that too. lol. Nonetheless I will do a winter clothing drive for them using my own closet as the source.


PLAYING HOLY SPIRIT

There are quite a few things which Christians do which are well intentioned but rarely work out well. One of these things is when we play God in someone else’s life. I used to have a friend who told me what God had told her to tell me. I would many times look to her for guidance in my life. She was a very good Christian and a good friend so I thought this was okay. There were some times when what she said or thought was different from what I already knew and I became upset with her when I knew she was leading me in the wrong direction. We were friends for many years but eventually the friendship ended and I missed her. After some time I realized that it was probably a good thing for us not to be friends for one reason: she had tried to become my Holy Spirit.

Recently I have become very good friends with a dear woman who has a wonderful marriage. Her husband treats her well and she is an absolute doll and loves him dearly. There is one desire she has for her husband which has not been realized yet. She desires that he would accept Christ as his savior.

The Lord has put it on my heart to minister to this sweet woman and in doing so I have searched the scripture for how to deal with an unbeliever. I think if someone doesn’t know Christ we should preach nonstop to them right? Jesus said we were to spread the good news and if you are living with someone who is an unbeliever you basically have a captive audience. So get on your soap box and start preaching!

Well, that is what we as humans think. In fact, that is in direct opposition to what the Word of God says. 1 Peter 3:1 ” In a similar way, you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands so that, even if some of them refuse to obey the word, they may be won over without a word through your conduct as wives when they see your pure and reverent lives.” (ISV)

Wow, so that is kind of weird. A wife of an unbeliever is not really supposed to preach. She is just supposed to submit? How would that work?

In the order which God created, a women is supposed to submit to a man and a man is supposed to love his wife enough to give up his life for her. If a woman starts to preach to a man and condemn him for his unbelief I believe that may hinder God from playing His role. The Holy Spirit’s role is to convict someone of sin. We as Christians too often condemn others for their sin. As a woman submits to her unbelieving husband she also submits to God and allows Him to play His proper role.

My friend has received this ministry and although her husband has not accepted Christ yet, her marriage is blossoming into a beautiful meadow where God’s Holy Spirit is at peace.

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

I was talking with my son the other day about some situations in my life which I am currently challenged by. One of these deals was with my job and the lack of positive reinforcement I get from my immediate boss. I am pretty well respected in the company already for my reputation to complete documentation in a timely and efficient manner. I know the other boss in the company has mentioned me to the owner and commented that I am the only nurse who consistently gets the work done on time. She told me this over lunch one day and my immediate boss said, “Just make sure it continues to be on time.”

I could have gotten really upset when hearing this because my immediate boss has worked with me at another company and she was very impressed with my nursing there. She knows that I am consistent with meeting deadlines. That is why she hired me at this company. I decided to just let it roll off of my back because I have no idea how much stress she is currently under and I love her because she is a sister in Christ. It didn’t increase my loyalty though.

My son said that it had been proven that the only way to change someone’s behavior for the better was through positive reinforcement. The thought occurred to me after finishing a wonderful conversation with my son that I bet God wouldn’t mind a bit of positive reinforcement. In fact, it is said that He inhabits praise.

Then I began thinking of my prayer life. I whine and cry about what I don’t have. I go on and on about it some days. There is really very little I want or desire in life. I have a beautiful home, a car which can drive me places, three wonderful and healthy children, I have wonderful friends which include both women and men. I don’t have a husband though and boy does God hear about that more than I think He needs to. I do have a bit of debt that I need to work out of also but to be quite honest and forthright I have way more than most people could ever dream of having.

You would think I should be praising God non stop right? I mean if positive reinforcement works on people shouldn’t it work on God also? In my series on the Lord’s prayer it became very apparent to me that the proper way to pray is to praise God at the beginning and the end of a prayer and to be much more concerned over the prayers accomplishing what He set out to do in my life rather than what I want. I believe that if a person is more concerned with praising God in whatever circumstance they are in that He may be apt to try to answer those prayers with great immediacy. I am at least going to try and work on this. I’ll let you know when Prince Charming comes galloping down my street on his white stallion and in his shiny armor! lol

INTIMATE

i have recently started a Bible study for women. It is a very intimate group. One of the reasons it is intimate is because we are a very small number of women. I was reflecting on this today and I realized that I would rather have just three in my group that were committed to studying the Word of God in depth than to have 100’s that were doing it just for show.

Then I started thinking towards God. You know that is always dangerous for me. lol Whenever I start thinking I tend to think pretty deep and when I start thinking towards God I swim so deep that I can not breathe unless I am feeling His breath coursing through my body.

So I began a discourse with God thanking Him for the two ladies who are in my Bible study. We tear up the Word of God searching for deeper meaning.

Then I started thinking about what really impresses God. I don’t think He is very impressed with my recent deep cleaning. I doubt that He really cares that there is clover in my front yard that needs to be pulled. I think He is probably chuckling when He sees me scurry around my home trying to make sure it is always clean.

I know He delights in the compassion I show my friends and my patients. I believe that it probably warmed His heart to know that I spent all morning working on my next Bible study presentation.

Yet these are all things which emanate from within me. I surmise that they probably don’t really add up to a lot in God’s book. I believe that the only thing which resonates with Him is that when He looks into my heart He sees His Son. I think that the only thing which really may even touch God’s heart is knowing that I have accepted the greatest gift of love that could ever be given. To accept Christ as my Savior broke through all of the obstacles that sin had created for God to love me. It tossed aside my sins and my failings. It caused me to be able to receive mercy and grace from a God who was Holy and righteous beyond measure. It renewed my broken heart and made it whole again. This is a constant battle for me because of sin which I chose only recently to repent of and turn away from.

Throughout my days I am constantly seeking to please others and to achieve a sense of peace within myself. It is a futile effort. True peace is only found in constant prayer and submission to God’s will. For there could never be a love which would equal the love of God the Father, who sacrificed His only perfect Son for my sins. That is the ultimate intimate gift.

AN ANSWER TO PRAYER

For those of you that have been reading my blog for any amount of time lately I think you will realize I am not perfectly content in my present company. I have spent a lot of time in prayer. There are some issues. There are usually issues with any company because, of course, I am the perfect employee and no company is really good enough for me. (I am totally jesting on that last statement)

Nonetheless, even though I am definitely not a perfect employee, I do commonly get my work in on time and most of my patients say good things about me so I tend to do okay in most businesses.

The other thing is I like to keep busy. I enjoy making money and in my business if you are not overwhelmed with work you are not making much money. Therein lies the problem. I have yet to be overwhelmed with the amount of work that is thrown my way.

Since working is usually about making money to pay bills I have been quite vexed that the amount of money I am making has not been paying my bills in the manner I would prefer to have them paid. So I have prayed and prayed about this predicament and I have applied and interviewed with a few other pebbles on the beach. My interviews have gone well and in some I was even given the terms of employment. Yet for some reason I was prevented from leaving my current place of employment.

So I began praying differently. Instead of asking God to get me out of there right now, I asked God to teach me what He wanted me to learn. I have learned many things. I have learned that gossiping about someone does little to nothing to change that person because you are usually doing it behind their back. I have also learned that I don’t need to worry or fret about what my boss is doing wrong if it is affecting someone else. I am nobody’s Saviour. They need to take their burdens to Jesus and let Him handle it. I have also learned that some people just don’t know how to listen to sage advice and if they don’t know how to listen I can try to send them an email. With my gift as a writer, my emails are pretty powerful and much more effective than my blabbering on and on about things.

So I thought I had learned enough and I was still interviewing with other companies. Last week I got an offer that seems to be a pretty good deal but I didn’t have peace about leaving my current company. So I decided I would work for two different companies. Most nurses in my business have at least two or three companies that they work for to get a full time load of patients. So it is not like I am trying to be a super nurse, it is just the way the crow flies in this business.

I was still praying about this because although I am not achieving my financial goals I am doing a lot of writing in my novel and I know that is God’s will for my life. The one thing I needed in that arena was an editor. I had one a couple of years ago but I think he would be out of my price range now. I started praying for an editor eons ago and asked every friend that I had if they had any editing skills. I got nowhere. I was getting a bit put out with God to say the least.

Then last week at a meeting at my present company I was sitting next to the new lady who is the new marketer. We had gotten to know each other a little bit and I liked her. She told me that she had been a cop at one time and also an English teacher. I said, “Hold on there. You were an English teacher?”

She replied, “Yes. I taught English.”

As my heart started to flutter wildly I said. “Have you ever edited any manuscripts?”

She said, “Yes, I have and I would like to do more. I am trying to build up my portfolio.”

We had a meeting last night and I hired her.

So the moral of the story is that when God doesn’t answer your prayer in the time frame you are expecting Him to it may be because He is trying to hit two birds with one stone. I got an editor and a way to make a sustainable living all in one week. If I would have quit my job and not prayed I would be unemployed and still searching high and low for an editor. Sometimes God is just so amazing and each and every day I am learning in baby steps how to trust Him with absolutely every part of my life. He really is so great.

MY NEW MANSION

I am working on building a new mansion. The house I live in is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I love my neighbors. I have so many friends in my neighborhood it is a joy for me to come home every day. My house is big enough for me and my family and I call it my mini mansion but what I want is kind of more along the lines of a palace/castle.

I am sure you realize that I don’t have the income for a mansion. Nor do I want the upkeep. What I am talking about here is my mansion in heaven. I have been thinking about what I need to do to secure my palace/castle in the heavens. In researching this idea I realized that the Bible never really says we will get a mansion or a house in heaven.

John 14:1-31 ESV “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

So okay I don’t know where this mansion idea came from. I am thinking that King James thought it up since he was used to living in castles but nonetheless I am very competitive and if I only get a room in heaven I certainly want it to be luxurious. I was thinking that the best way I could ensure that was to do a lot of good works. So I was planning a whole slew of good works.

I was thinking about that the other day when a sobering thought entered my otherwise simple brain. I was worrying about having a luxurious place in heaven when I should be worrying about how I could serve the Son of God who gave up His throne to come down to earth. While He was on earth and in the ministry He didn’t even have a place He could call home and here I was worrying about what I would have when I went to be with Him? More than a bit silly if you ask me.