IS BEING WEALTHY A SIN?

Yesterday I was talking with a patient of mine about the next chapter in my novel. This chapter deals with the lure of money and the complexities of being wealthy. I said something that dropped like a bomb in the room and everyone in the immediate area stopped and said, “That was profound.” So I kind of like quickly grabbed a pen to write it down and I wanted to share this quote with my audience. Please keep in mind that all content on this blog is copyrighted by me and to use this quote only with permission from me.

The quote is as follows:

“Being wealthy is not a sin but it sure can change your perspective on what is a sin.”

 

 

MY DAUGHTER AND HER BEST FRIEND

My daughter and her best friend were in the back seat of the car. A man, who was black as coal, was driving the car. I had never seen him before.  I knew they were leaving. Running away with this man. A man I had never met before.

I sprinted to the driver’s side of the car and held on as he started driving, screaming at the top of my lungs. “HE IS STEALING MY DAUGHTER!”

He continued to drive away, as if deaf to my desperation. Slowly, but decisively, the car sped up and I had to let go, either that or be killed.

I needed help and I needed it fast. I turned around, running with the speed of panic, to the house of my daughter’s best friend. I saw a mutilated black truck in the driveway. The door to the house was open and I saw her best friend’s father approaching the front door with a force that would defy any reckoning.

I started to scream at him about what had happened to our daughter’s. He shooed me away. “I don’t have time for this right now, I have to deal with this psycho.”

I turned around and looked at an enraged woman who was approaching me with a mangled piece of metal from the truck. She took that metal and hurled it at my leg, slashing through my pants, drawing copious amounts of blood.

I kept touching my leg, screaming out to no one. “I am bleeding! I am bleeding!” I felt the shreds of my black pants disintegrating as they became saturated with blood.

Then I woke up and I realized one thing. My life is very complex and at times extremely difficult but it is a dream compared to this nightmare. Thank God for the dream I live.

 

BEING TRUE

Sometimes being true to oneself is the most difficult path to tread when you are on the avenue of love. It is such a pleasant idea to have someone love you but the reality of love can, at times, be very complex.

It is extremely difficult when you have a passion or calling on your life to become something greater than the relationship which so nurtures you.

There are times when a love can pull at your last string and seem to be capable of unraveling the tapestry which you have so yearned to leave the world.

I must be mindful that they have their own idea of what my tapestry  of life should look like. It may be our differing perspectives which  lend so much tension to our love.

It is not that you don’t love the other person but on occasion, they can seem to be an interruption. They are needy, insecure and require constant reassurance in one moment and in the next, they are everything you could ever ask for.

Those of you who have followed my blog for any amount of time know that I have labored for many years to complete a rewrite of a novel.

The ghost of this novel is like a nagging Jewish mother constantly berating me for not spending more time penning the plot.

You may also be aware that I have had a very complex relationship with one man which has been the source of great ire in one moment and intense love in the next.

I love both my writing and this man with my whole heart and every single day I feel as if I am betraying either one or the other. It is the most miserable circumstance to endure because guilt has become my best friend.

I realized this morning that I have carried the calling of God on my life to become a Christian writer as a burden, not a blessing.

I have been haunted by a nightmare I had several years ago where I had died and I realized that I had failed to accomplish the novel completion. In the afterlife I was given the realization that this, indeed, was the main reason for my existence on earth.

I know I overthink things way too much.

I surrender with great resistance to anything which may nurture my soul.

I feel as if I need to let go of the hand of guilt, step off the cliff of my own self sufficiency and fall into the embrace of God.

Yet I keep grasping the hand of guilt as I struggle to jump off the cliff.

FEAR OF GOD

I have been perplexed as to why I should fear God. This is is mentioned 144 times throughout the Bible so I imagine God thinks it is pretty important.

First off, let me get something straight with my audience.

I am a sinner. Sometimes when I reflect on all my sins I don’t know how God puts up with me at all. I mean I knew better. It’s not like I haven’t gone to church most of my life. It is not like I don’t read the Bible. It is not like I don’t occasionally hear from God. It is like I am a dirty, filthy, rotten mess of sin some days.

So if you think I am righteous, let me burst that bubble right from the get go.

Yet, God is so close to me that I rarely hear him talk anymore. At this point we are so intimate that I know His thoughts when I seek Him. When He draws near to me and infuses me with his rational, it is so pure and honest, I am filled with a sense of peace.

Then why do I need to fear Him?

God has given me an example of the fear He desires in our relationship.

The example is the feeling I feel towards my boyfriend. This man is a man of God and we have been dating for close to ten years.

During the first half of the relationship he was anything but a man of God. I was not a true woman of God either.

So we fought a lot. There were so many break ups and getting back together again, our relationship was like a see saw.

I broke up with him for good after dating him for close to five years.  Then after a year and a half I was put into a desperate situation and I knew that he was the only one who could help me. So we got back together for six months and I saw a few changes but he was still way too insecure so I walked away again.

Then he asked me for one last try. I agreed, thinking this was a good way to get rid of him. Except something changed.  I started seeing the changes that Jesus had made in him. I started loving him and I became uneasy. I was scared I was going to lose him.

So I changed how I treated him.

I now thank God for every little kindness he shows me. I am careful how I address him because somehow I started to respect him. I ask him to tell me about the things which he is interested in. (I know quite a bit about Iowa Hawkeyes now. That in itself is a mini miracle. lol) I am concerned that he is having a good time on our dates.

The fear I have about him is not that he will go to another woman. He has told me that I am the love of his life and I believe that. The fear is that I will not honor the remnants of Jesus that I see in him. I have realized that as he has drawn close to God, he has become more like God. This has made him so much more lovable. In the same sense he has also pulled such deep respect from my inner core that I treat him with gentleness now. I have a healthy dose of fear that I may lose him if I act a fool. That fear has fed my love for him.

I realize that my love for God is immature without fear.

To cuss like a sailor is not treating God with respect. I have become more aware of what I watch on television and listen to on the radio. I try not to watch or listen to things which cause separation between God and I. I crave the Word of God and use it as a guiding light to my journey through this life.

I know and believe that the blood of Jesus covers all my sins but I fear God enough to desire my sins to become fewer and fewer as I mature in Him. The fear that I have for God feeds my love for Him just as the fear that I have for my boyfriend nurtures the love I have for him.

I GOT GOD

There were more than a few people who shook their head at me. There were probably many more who judged me. But I couldn’t ignore the nagging in my heart. The relationship I had been in and out of for so long was not working and I had to walk away once more.

I didn’t cry, nor did I miss him. I just walked away. It wasn’t like I had someone better in the wings either. I had a couple of guys that were interested in me but I knew they wouldn’t fit the puzzle of my heart either.

My mother asked me why I didn’t love this man.

He took me to the top restaurants. My children loved him.  He was successful. Occasionally we would go to the Symphony. In addition, he always brought me flowers. I am not talking just on one occasion either. He brought me the most beautiful bouquet every time he walked over the threshold of my home. He took me on shopping trips. When I wouldn’t allow him to see me he would send me gift card to make sure I didn’t go hungry.

He fed and took care of my body and my worldly needs in exquisite fashion but my heart and soul was starving for true intimacy.

I paused for a moment when I responded to my mother and then spoke from my heart. “Mom, he doesn’t have God.”

My mother sighed as the truth sunk in. “Yes, I understand. You have always had God, even as a little girl you had a connection with God.”

Wait a minute… I walked away from a man who took care of my every need for a God I could not even see?

You bet I did because I knew that God had always had me in His hand. He has let nary a raindrop fall on my head in the midst of a torrential storm which tore apart homes and pelted cars with destructive hail. He has healed me from diseases which were supposed to kill or maim me. He has sustained my sanity through the most horrid evil of family court. I have felt the devil breathing into my face and God has sustained my breath.

If I was to have a relationship God had to be on the throne and that was all that mattered.

As I turned my back on this man. God did something I would have never suspected. He pursued him. It was like they became best friends and I was on the outside looking in.

I can’t say that I always made the right choices when I walked away. However, this man, whom I now love, did. He sought God like no other man I have ever known. He got up in the morning and read the Bible every morning and prayed for me.

When I would be ugly to him he would go to Jesus. I am telling you that dating him is the closes thing I know to hanging out with Jesus. We praise God on our dates and share the word of God together and pray quite often also. We need to pray and read the Bible more but we are just starting again on our wonderful journey so I must be patient.

I have turned around now. I have stopped walking away. I am now walking towards this man.

As the Bible says in Psalms 37:4 ” Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

This man  has what I have always secretly desired. He has God. And now he has me also.

A DAUGHTER IN NEED

My daughter and I had a problem getting along. I am sure it was more my fault than hers. From the time she was eleven until she left home at seventeen to start working, our relationship was contentious.

After she had worked for a few years she asked me if she could move back into my home. I knew it would not be easy for either one of us but I said, “yes.”

The reason why I agreed to her request was because of a verse that the Lord had pointed out to me several years prior. It is Isaiah 58:7 “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”

She has lived with me for several years now. At first it was difficult. We both had to get past our poor way of communicating.

I had to learn how to walk a wide berth around her when she needed some space. I also am trying to learn not to pepper spray her with questions the minute she walks in the door.

She has learned how to clean up after herself in the kitchen most days. On the days she doesn’t finish, I do it for her.

The most amazing thing I have witnessed is the transformation of my daughter. She has changed from a hostile teenager, to a loving and respectful young lady.

As I have given her shelter and acceptance she has pursued a college degree while working part time. She has captured the heart of a man who is a gem. She has continued to expand her circle of friends and is very well liked in all of the circles she enters.

When I prayed about this I thought I was just giving her a place to stay but it was so much more than that. God knew that my daughter had wounds and her hostility was a poor band-aid for the wounds of her heart.

He led me to open my door wide for her to come in and live with me because He knew that she needed to know how much her mother still loved her.

I thought I was just providing shelter for her body. I had no idea that God was wanting to heal her heart.

Every single day I see her becoming more beautiful and self confident. She is one of my closest and most cherished friends now.

I give glory to God for all of the changes that have happened because without Him and His Word, I may have refused. I also thank God for my wonderful daughter on a daily basis.