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Question God?? You betcha. March 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgridley0630 @ 7:52 pm
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Is it wrong for Christians to question God?

In my humble opinion, NO.

Of course there is a manner in which we should always approach God–with respect and all due reverence. But God is the one who granted us our inquisitiveness as well as the ability to experience all of the emotions that come along with knowing–or not knowing–something that affects us.

I am still not feeling like myself. As I believe I have mentioned before, whatever is going on with my body seems to change almost daily. Yesterday I had a headache. Today the headache is gone, but I have been having tremors and shakes, mainly in my legs, particularly the right one. That just began a day or so ago. Perhaps because of my medication, my appetite has changed, nothing tastes right, my mouth is always dry, and occasionally I feel like my legs are either numb or have weights in them.

I have every intention on returning to my job, with a renewed spirit, at the very least. Yes, it is not the most engaging work, but it is work. I do take pride in the opportunity to bring home a paycheck. I have not been pleased the last few weeks at home basically in bed, of little use to anyone. A few times at home I have attempted to cook–an activity I absolutely love–and have struggled even to do that. It is the most frustrating and maddening event of my entire life. I keep thinking to myself, “I used to be an ATHLETE! How did this happen??? WHAT IS THIS?? What am I supposed to do? Am I ever going to be ME again??”

Who else is more qualified to answer those questions?

I have nothing but the utmost respect for the doctors I have seen (and am scheduled to see)–family doctors, neurologists, pulmonary doctors, radiologists, etc. They have an incredible body of knowledge and have to work to maintain that knowledge, as it seems as though new medical discoveries occur regularly, new treatment modalities are recommended over others, etc. Patients expect their doctors to be knowledgeable, and for the most part, doctors have to recommend on patients’ word, as some symptoms are not readily seen (such as mine). So although I am frustrated with this process, I respect their job and that they have to work carefully to rule out certain things. I understand that in order for them to discover what is wrong I may be subjected to tests. It is what it is.

Despite their specialized training and years of education, the only one who can satisfy my need to know about myself is the one who created me, the one who knows the number of hairs on my head. I am at a vulnerable point right now, one I NEVER set myself up for–dependent. I did not go to school, get thousands of dollars in debt, so I could be a burden upon anyone. Yet here I am.

So yes, I have had some questions for God. Not necessarily “why me”… no, that does not matter. I am no different from anyone else who has been afflicted with something, so I don’t need to ask “why me?”. God is no respecter of persons… if He decides for someone to have something, it’s done for a reason. THAT is my question–what is the reason? What am I supposed to get out of all of this?

I am not sure why people believe they aren’t allowed to question God. Habakkuk, one of the minor prophets in the Old Testament, openly questioned God. So I do not think that questioning God is off-limits, but our approach has to still be in line with respecting who God is.

I love reading the Old Testament. By a small margin, my favorite book is Exodus, but after that it becomes increasingly difficult for me to determine which one falls next in line. Job? Song of Solomon? Proverbs? It is a book that overfloweth (if I may) with knowledge, wisdom, and stories of human experience that could very well be told in today’s commentary. I particularly love the Major and Minor Prophecy books-not only the books themselves but learning the history of those prophets.

Prophets were God’s mouthpieces in the Old Testament. God gave them a very specific message to give to a group of people, and they had to deliver it with no filler. The Major Prophecy books–those of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations (which is attributed to Jeremiah, the “Weeping Prophet” who was so heavily burdened by the message he had to deliver that he wrote the entire book out of anguish for the state of his nation), Ezekiel and Daniel–are longer than the Minor Prophecy books, of which there are twelve: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi (the last book of the Old Testament before God fell silent for 400 years). Although the Church now is not under the Law (Romans 6:14, for example: For sin shall not have dominion over you, because you are not under the law, but under grace), Christians ought not neglect Old Testament readings. How else can you understand the need for Jesus and that He came to fulfill if you do not know it? The Old Testament provides the backbone for the New.

But I digress.

Habakkuk could very well have been one of us today. Looking around at the wickedness taking place in Judah, Habakkuk is perplexed. I could be Habakkuk–when I woke up today and looked at a few headlines all I saw was bad news. An airplane crash that killed over a hundred people. Murders, shootings, strife, contention among neighbors, etc. It is a sad commentary for someone who grew up in the eighties. There is no way anyone can convince me that the world wasn’t a better place then. I imagine Habakkuk felt the same way as he watched wickedness apparently prevail in Judah. I too have been disheartened even to the point of tears to watch society fall apart as it has. To see the corruption among the people who are supposed to represent us, who use their positions to exalt themselves and further the organizations and causes that benefit them instead of the common person. The constant warring among nations and entire groups of people who seemingly have no other purpose on this earth than to terrorize others. To see nakedness, sexual sin and destruction of the human body with “butt implants” and the like touted as being normal and acceptable by “celebrities” that little girls are looking at and modeling themselves after and the media. And as a Black person, I am hurt daily by how we are killing each other left and right instead of taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to us by the sacrifices of our ancestors. We disrespect their struggle DAILY. I am also tired of seeing other Black women demean themselves on reality shows. I feel sorry for my kids.

In my talks with God, I have asked the same questions as Habakkuk, more in terms of the societal decay than my own illness, although I acknowledge that too. “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, Violence! but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted” (Habakkuk 1:2-4, NIV).

In the next few passages of Scripture God gives his answer. He did not rebuke Habakkuk for questioning him:

“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright–but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness–indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples” (Hab. 2:2-6).

The “enemy” in this case is Babylon, the nation that God will use to execute his judgment upon Judah. At that time the Babylonian empire was extremely powerful. They were as wicked as they were powerful, leaving one to wonder why God would use an even more wicked nation to punish Judah. This was because in their pride, the Babylonians would exalt themselves, as they did not acknowledge God, when a victory was achieved (they were a “puffed up” people). It would only be a matter of time before the rug is pulled out beneath them, so to speak–regardless of what we see or believe, evil does not prevail. Babylon, which did in fact invade Judah three times over a period of about 20 years (the first, around 607 B.C., is when the major prophet Daniel was taken, his book regarding his captivity is phenomenal; the second, around 597 B.C., resulted in around 10,000 people being taken into captivity, including Ezekiel; and the third, in 587, when Jerusalem was conquered and utterly destroyed) was in fact conquered in 539 B.C. by Cyrus the Great of Persia (all good things come to an end, right?).

The next following passages include a series of “Woe to him”… statements, basically letting us know 1) God was fully aware of what was going on and 2) that these were the types of infractions that would definitely be acknowledged by punishment:

“Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion!” (Hab. 2:6) Wow. How often do we see this today? People getting wealthy on the backs of the underdogs?

“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his next on high to escape the clutches of ruin!” (Hab. 2:9)

“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice!” (Hab. 2:12)

“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gave on their naked bodies!” (Hab. 2:15).

“Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life! Or to lifeless stone, Wake up! Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver, there is no breath in it” (Hab. 2: 19).

Basically, Babylon had accumulated their wealth at the expense of less fortunate others, and would have to pay for it, but tell me that is not a commentary for today. Wow. And notice the reference to idolatry in verse 19. Of course all Christians know that we are not to worship or bow down to other gods, but do we take care to make sure that we don’t make something into a god? Anything that replaces God in importance and priority becomes our god and makes us idolaters. It could be the accumulation of wealth, as was the case with the Babylonians, or it could be a person or a thing. Money can easily become an idol. Material possessions can become idols. Even our electronics can become idols. If we find ourselves using the time we could be spending praying, reading our Bibles, serving in our churches or community to instead surf the Net, tweet useless tidbits of information, take series after series of narcissistic selfies, or watch Empire, there is a problem (not saying anything is wrong with any of those things in moderation, just they shouldn’t consume us).

Habakkuk responds to God’s response with a prayer that makes up the entire third (and final) chapter of the book. The first thing he says is “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord” (Hab. 3:2a).

What have I taken away from this book? A lot. First it answers my question: “Is it okay to question God?” Yep. But when we do, we have to be like Habakkuk, who did not go to God with an attitude. No, Habakkuk had sincere concern for the world in which he was living and felt helpless to control the wickedness that was consuming it. He knew to query the Creator and to wait patiently for his response. Although Habakkuk might not have gotten an answer that he wanted–or even understood–he praised God for his answer. Apparently Habakkuk respected the fact that his knowledge of God’s will was limited. We all should. At the end of the day, evil will not prevail. God has already established a plan to deal with those who are. Those of us who believe in God just have to wait for it and continue to build our own Christian character and reach out to those who are living in the darkness.

So do I understand what I am dealing with? No. Do I have all the answers? Absolutely not. But I am comforted by the fact that I have a relationship with the One who can answer me, who knows all and is all. I will wait patiently for this to be revealed to me. And I will still praise him in the meantime. My life has been good.

 

Even in my sickness, I praise God! March 11, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgridley0630 @ 7:14 pm

Image result for black woman with headache

It has been an interesting couple of months, to say the least.

For the entire duration of my life up until recently, I have been a very healthy person. As a child I remember having few colds–other than the occasional tummy-aches and sniffles that come along with a burgeoning immune system, I wasn’t the type of child who could easily be confined to bed. Even in the second grade when the flu hit me and I had to stay home from school for a week, I was up and around to the best of my ability, and was happy when my mother went to school and got my class work so I could have something to do (I remember it was in February, Black History Month, and some of my work involved learning about some Black historical figures, a topic I have always loved). I have NEVER had a serious single illness, nothing consistent, nothing that affected my ability to work or go about my daily life.

Until now.

It started off with symptoms that I easily dismissed. I opined that certain things just come with age. I was exhausted all the time-not the type of sleep-deprived exhaustion, but a tired-muscle-type exhaustion. My muscles felt like they were getting weaker. I started getting headaches-occasionally at first. I was leaking urine and having bowel problems. I know, TMI, but it’s life, and it happened. Despite my expansive vocabulary and love of language, I often had difficulty finding simple words to interject into sentences, and stumbled over others. The final straw occurred during one Monday at work, when I found my head SPINNING, and was having a hard time explaining new patient paperwork that I have presented to hundreds of patients. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, who ordered an MRI. The MRI came back clear.

Yet the problems persisted and got worse. Now my headache is constant. It feels like there is a weight in my head ALL the time. I stumble almost every time I try to stand or walk. My hands and arms feel weak. My grip is not tight. I have occasional pain in my extremities–right now there is a slight pain in my lower right leg. My brain always feels foggy. Someone can tell me something multiple times and I still need reminders. I am forgetting things I should have firmly etched in my mind.

Now the symptoms differ from one day to the next with two exceptions–the headache/feeling of a weight in my head and the balance problems. Some times I might have difficulty smelling or tasting. Some times my extremities ache or feel weak. I keep veering to the left. There are other symptoms that are too personal for me to put on this blog, but they are devastating. My short-term memory is a joke. As of now I am being treated for chronic intractable migraines and have a couple of medications I have to take–which I detest, I do not care much for having to take meds regularly to sustain my quality of life, but I am willing to give it a shot–and have just been informed that it may take three weeks before I see any positive effect.

In the meantime my family is concerned and I feel like I can’t even truly, fully explain to any of them what I feel like on a regular basis. How can one say “I just don’t feel like myself” and expect people to understand? Do I really want to run down a laundry list of problems to everyone and then say it is migraines? Nah. I have been referred to a couple of different specialists, and for the sake of identifying or ruling out other problems, I will go, but my major focus is on how I’m supposed to live my daily life with these myriad symptoms.

In the midst of it all, God is good. I am lucky to have health insurance that covers the tests and appointments I have. I am lucky to have a supporting family that is pushing me (sometimes to my chagrin) to take care of myself. I am happy that I will be protected by FMLA laws while I try to work this out. I still have the (sometimes limited) movement of my limbs and correct state of mind regardless, and until I can no longer I will always praise God in the middle of it.

(Image from http://www.masterfile.com)

 

Know your benefits for yourself! February 9, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgridley0630 @ 1:51 am

Blue Cross Blue Shield. Priority Health. Aetna. United Healthcare. Hap. HMOs. PPOs. EPOs. And everything else in between.

A daily (and usually frustrating) part of my job involves health insurance. There are general rules that apply to most cases-MOST insurance companies fully cover preventative visits, for example, and immunizations. After working as a receptionist for awhile and from my graduate education I have also picked up on differences between HMOs and PPOs. However, considering the fact that there are thousands of plans, there is no way I can ever learn the ins and outs of all of them.

A problem I see often concerns physical exams and PPOs. Typically PPOs require 366 days between physicals. Usually when scheduling physicals we are careful to check the date of the patient’s last physical to determine whether or not they are eligible. But guess what-gasp-sometimes we make a mistake. And wouldn’t you know it…the patient gets mad. “Why didn’t they tell me when I scheduled it?”

Ummm…it’s YOUR plan that YOU signed up for. So the better question is… “why didn’t YOU know?”

My thought is that a lot of people don’t take time to read the book they get when they sign up for their plan-the very book that is designed to help the contractee understand his benefits. It takes time, they sometimes have too much detail and get boring, etc. I get it. But at the end of the day it is still primarily your responsibility to understand your benefits for yourself. But if you don’t read you won’t know.

Amazing that a parallel exists, at least in my mind, between health insurance and the Christian walk. We have the ultimate Benefits Guide…our Holy Bible. In it we can learn the many benefits that come along with our heartfelt acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and obedience to the Word of God. Eternal life is the biggie, of course, but what other benefits can be found in the pages of the Bible?

Where do I begin..?

When I read the Benefits Guide, I am looking to learn about myself… how I can make myself better and be a shining light in the darkness of this world. I don’t read so I can tell Sister So-and-So about herself. I read because I love the Lord and want to live a life that is pleasing to Him despite my many flaws. Through the Bible, I have learned what true agape love is, the unconditional love Jesus showed when He took that unbelievable beating and died for us. I have learned that vengeance belongs to the Lord, and it is better to forgive someone who has wronged me and let that person answer to God instead of seeking revenge and getting spanked by God in return. I have learned to accept myself as I am, flaws and all, because I know that God gave me the shape, skin color, hair texture, talents and abilities that He wanted me to have. I don’t worry much because I know I can turn my problems over to a God who created and sustains EVERYTHING.

Just like any other person, I get discouraged sometimes. I’m not as cute or small as I used to be. I’m trying to accept my hair in its natural state and it doesn’t look good sometimes,  and people close to me have made comments.  I’m disappointed that I have yet to achieve what I had planned to achieve by the time I was this age. I got upset this past week because I got an unprofessional reponse from a woman I reached out to about a job. In every circumstance I found solace in the Word.

Luke 12:7 tells me that the hairs on my head are numbered. God took time to put each and every curl (or, according to society-nap) where he wanted it to go. And when I was complete, he was satisfied. So I try to make it a point to be satisfied with HOW God lovingly made me.

Matthew 6:26-27 reminds me that God lovingly provides for birds, so of course he will take care of my needs as he does continually for lesser creatures.

When I find myself getting annoyed with the Kim Kardashians of the world who are making a tidy sum for doing nothing of value while I have two degrees and make less than twelve and a half bucks an hour, I have to look at Proverbs 31:10-31 that I am hghly valued by God as a virtuous woman.

The Bible tells us all this and more. And even better, it is divinely tailored to fit EVERYONE’S life. It is a book rich with blessings and benefits, and when the day comes for you to answer to God, do you think you will be able to say, if he asks you a question about a sinful behavior you continued after you were saved, that you didn’t know it was wrong? Nuh-unh. When you “signed up” for Christianity, in order to understand your coverage, it immediately became your responsibility to read your Benefits Guide. Don’t wait on someone else to spoon-feed it to you. Don’t just wait for Sunday school, Sunday service or Bible study. Read t often, and reap its benefits!

 

Class of 1999-a great bunch of people. February 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgridley0630 @ 5:37 pm

These two pieces of news have disturbed me greatly today.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/highland-park-reserve-officer-shot-and-killed-in-detroit/31149674

http://www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2931559&fh_id=14109

The first link takes you to an article about an Army reserve veteran by the name of Roderick Burton Jones. To some people, including myself, he is known as BJ. I have known BJ since we were seventh graders at West Middle School.

I have also known the young lady whose obituary can be viewed in the second link since seventh grade. It shows her name as being Gabriella, but we all called her Lynn. She was sweet, quiet, and loved her family.

We kind of grew up together in that we went to the same schools from seventh grade all the way up to our graduation in June of 1999 from Ypsilanti High School. Ypsi is not a city that is known for much, but I cannot say enough about my classmates. I truly enjoyed my time with them. A lot of people were not so fortunate as to have a decent adolescence or teen years. I had a blast during mine, despite the attempts to bully me or make me feel bad about my appearance by a small handful of people. In particular, my classmates, class of 1999, hold a special place in my heart.

So it is disheartening to find that two of them were lost in such a short span of time. Both of these individuals had families that are left behind to find their way. Lynn’s passing is a little baffling to me at this point–I have no idea what happened–but BJ’s seems particularly senseless. I was infuriated to find the reason he was shot–because he threw a few losers out of a nightclub in Detroit. That is worth killing someone over now???

I have many thoughts racing through my mind about both deaths that I am having difficulty sorting through right now. Of course we know that we are not guaranteed to live to see a hundred, but I can’t help but have questions. However, my questions can wait. The more pressing urge is to pray for the families of the deceased, and to pray for my remaining classmates as well.

 

There is still some good… January 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgridley0630 @ 9:23 pm

Please share your stories of well-doing or well-being at http://www.thereisstillsomegoodoutthere.weebly.com.

(Image from http://helpink.org/products/good-deeds)

 

Your thoughts on capitalism, inflation, economics… share with me.

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgridley0630 @ 9:19 pm

Ho-hum.

So here we are on Sunday, easily my favorite day of the week, and I am getting glum thinking of the impending Monday.

My rant here is not to complain about my job–I have done that enough. While I am grateful that I have the opportunity to work and bring home some money that can take care of a few household builds, thus taking some of the brunt of that from my husband, overall Mondays distress me because on Mondays I again turn over the responsibility of raising my children to the (very capable) hands of my mother.

No, I do not worry about my children, but the fact is, they are MY children and I want to be the one to raise them. But, economically speaking, we cannot afford that.

When my son was born, we were living in a condo that my sister owned. She did not charge us much in rent. There were times after my husband was laid off that we did rely on government help as he looked for other work-Medicaid for my son and a Bridge card (food stamps) to eat. Although we appreciated the help that safety net provided (and those programs SHOULD be there for people who need them, but should never be a way of life for anyone able-bodied), that was not how we wanted to raise our family. But, for a stretch of time, we were both employed, and although we struggled, I was home with my son while he was young. I loved it, and he thrived.

With my daughter things are different. I have been working since she was very small, and I feel guilty that I have not spent as much time reading to her, singing her her ABCs, teaching her numbers, etc. With my son, I went so far as to homeschool him a little since I was home with him. I was teaching him Spanish and, since he is interested in being a doctor, even using my books from college to teach him bones and muscles and bodily systems with my anatomy and physiology knowledge. I LOVED IT. I fixed his breakfast and lunch, got him dressed, got dinner ready for my husband when he did go back to work, and overall felt that I was doing what I was supposed to do for my family. Not saying I never got bored or frustrated with my entire life revolving around my family–I’d be lying if I said that. When I started my graduate program, that gave me an outlet, a chance to focus on my own ambition outside of my family.

Maybe it is in my mind but my daughter is not as advanced as my son is and I feel that is my fault for not being with her like I was my son. She is exceptionally smart, but I have not devoted as much time to her. I spend forty hours a week at my job, and by the time I come home it is time to fix dinner, help my son with homework, get some baths going, and read a story and go to bed. It is often upsetting to me that I spend perhaps twenty minutes of quality time a day with my kids throughout the week.

Has capitalism and the pursuit of wealth interrupted the American family? Years past women were able to stay home with their kids because their husband made enough to support them. It would be nice if that were more feasible now but everything costs so much. I remember where I lived as a child in Ann Arbor, Michigan–a lovely, safe neighborhood with tons of kids. The rent was $325 a month. Now, in 2014, it’s over $1200. Thirty years ago, average rent was $375. Now it is over a thousand (Wotapka, 2014). College costs are 500% higher now than they were thirty years ago… why?? (Odland, 2012). A new car was under ten grand. Now, a decent used car might be under ten grand. SMH.

The richer keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. And our society is so materialistic that even people of moderate means are getting caught up in trends and have no problem forgoing their rent or car payment just so they can impress other people and get the same new iPhone that thousands of other people are getting. It costs less than twenty bucks to make a pair of Air Jordans, but people have no problem shelling out a couple hundred for them, only to watch them go out of style and then have to scramble to get the next pair and keep up with everyone else.

There is a lot of misery involved in the pursuit of money, and the overzealous pursuit of wealth in America (often at the expense of others) has seemingly affected us all. Even someone like me, who has finally gotten to a level of satisfaction and contentment with what I have–I am perfectly happy with my home, although it is small, it is big enough; I am happy with the car I have, although it is not brand new; etc– still has to live in this exploitative world where everyone’s motto is “I got mine, you better get yours”.

I apologize for my disorganized rant. I do. Typically I put more into my posts in terms of organization, but admittedly I am not well-versed in economics or the terms and concepts that go along with it. I just wonder why things cost so much more than they used to and why, if the cost of living has risen so, why haven’t wages as well? Do greed and capitalism go hand in hand?

Thank you to the following individuals for allowing me to use your information.

Odland, S. (2012). College costs out of control. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveodland/2012/03/24/college-costs-are-soaring/

The People History. (N.D.). The year 1985 from The People History. Retrieved from http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1985.html

Wopatka, D. (2014). U.S rents rise again as market tightens. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304887104579304830053269994

Image borrowed from http://www.dystopiaearth.com/?p=976

 

An Unpopular Message January 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsgridley0630 @ 6:36 pm

As a medical receptionist, I often have to act as a liaison between the doctors I work with and their patients. Sometimes I have to convey information to patients that they do not like. If a doctor has chosen not to refill a patient’s prescription, I have to tell the patient and deal with their (usually angry) response. If the doctor says the patient has to rescheduled his or her appointment because they arrived after the fifteen-minute grace period, I have to deal with their (again, usually angry) response.

Is the anger directed personally at me as the messenger? I don’t think so. I tend to think that since I am The Face the patient sees at that moment, I get to bear the brunt of their immediate response, which usually comes forth before they have fully thought it through. Basically, I don’t think most patients curdle their anger long enough to realize the person they are talking to at the moment is not the originator of the message.

As Christians we have a message that is highly unpopular in this world. That does not mean we should ever shy away from saying it. Why? The fact that the world is in the shape that it is in in says that A) we are already not being vocal enough and B) people may not even know they are hungry for the Word, for that good Gospel message, but obviously the world needs it. One might ask, what is so offensive to some about the Word of God? Why do people, even some Christians, refuse to read, study, come to Bible class, etc.?

I’ve learned from personal experience that the Bible convicts. When you open the pages of the Instruction Manual, if you are reading in the right mind, having prayed beforehand for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what must be revealed, the Bible may be for you a mirror of your actual self. Whereas you can hide certain aspects of yourself and your life from others, you cannot hide anything from God. People may not read the Bible because they do not want to know of their sins. Once you have become aware of the sins you commit against God–repeat, against God, not against other people–then a sense of responsibility may form. People do not want that conviction, and a lot of people are not interested in giving up their current ways.

Boy, was I one of those people. I had no idea how miserable and lonely I was in my earlier years UNTIL I finally experienced the fulness of God. I thought I was having a good old time, drinking, clubbing, sexing… SMH. Every now and then that wiley devil tries to entice me into thinking I was truly living then, and how my life is such a drag now… well, it’s not. I have even more fun now than I used to. Why? Because at the end of the night I don’t feel remorseful about any of my actions. I stay away from people and places that are unsafe. And although I may have taken away some years through the damage I did to myself while I was drinking heavily, certainly that stopped once I let go of that habit. I have not looked back since. I can walk right into a liquor store and walk back out with my Peppermint Patty and not think twice about it.

I want for all people to experience the peace that comes along with clean, godly living. A lot of people aren’t going to be receptive to that. Just like in my job, some people may not be interested in hearing what we have to say. But we still have to say it and not take it personally if their response is not what we would want to hear. After all, their attitude is not against us, it is actually against the originator of the message–in our case, if people fail to embrace the Good News of Jesus Christ being our Lord and Savior, their attitude is against God, not us.

 

 
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