Don’t Give Up On Me

Our four year old grandson, Reedley, started soccer this year which is about the cutest thing in the world.  He had his first game right before we left on a long trip, in fact we  postpone our time to leave just so we could watch him play.

He is four  but about the size of a two year old, smallest on the team, on all the teams that played that day, but he has a big heart and lots of energy.  His 8 year brother plays and that has made Reedley want to play since he looks up to him. 

The sidelines were crowded with parents and lots of grandparents too, all shouting for their little child playing.  First time out, Reedley gets the ball and with his little short legs and left foot, ( he is a lefty) he focused so hard on kicking the ball in the net he did not realize he was heading for the wrong net.  Excitement is racing through his little body, he kicks and misses.  Then he starts crying because he did not make the goal.  For the rest of the first half of the game, he cried off and on trying hard to stay in the game but just so overcome by disappointment because he did not get a goal.  They had him sit out the second half for a few minutes, he ate a snack & got something to drink.  His older brother and two other friends came over to cheer him up and tell him not to give up.

 Almost every morning he comes into our living room and he and Grandpa watch music video’s.  Reedley’s favorite one is Andy Grammer singing with a youth choir.  He knows all the words to the song and if you have listened to it you’ll  understand why he told me after the game, “He did not give up”.

It is amazing what a little encouragement can do for a four year old heart.  Reedley jumped back into the game and even though he did not get a goal he played with all his heart and energy and did not cry anymore.  The coach gave him the “Most Valuable Player” award at the end of the game.  What a lesson to all the adults watching and the other kids that a few tears will come in life but one cannot give up just because we failed a time or two.

                                                        Reedley is number 3

It’s really not hard to quit, and it takes no courage, in fact whatever courage you had to begin with despite the fears will be gone too.  So, don’t quit, wipe the tears, get back out in the game. Courage will return. 

I love the Bible characters who did not give up and because of that we have a whole bible, from those who wrote it, translated, printed and put it out there for all to read down through the years.  Because of them we can learn who we are, who God is and what sin is and what Jesus did to deliver us from hell. 

“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” ―James A. Michene

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Change

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How many of you are sick of hearing about, climate change?  Are you worried about it? And what part do you play in stopping it or making it come faster?

As for me, well, I leave that kind of thing to God,  the creator of climate.  I know He created this earth as the place to inhabit and I believe we are suppose to take care of it.  But He did tell us not to worship the creation or worry about it.   I do my part by picking up trash, planting pretty flowers, obey the environmental rules for where we live.  But beyond that, as I said before, I leave the climate changes to God.  Honestly, I have never worried about it once.

Changes close to home is what can put me in a grip of worry and ruin my day.   You would think  moving 32 times now I would have the process mastered.  And some of it I do because I have no problem purging, in fact I hate clutter so to get rid of it is easy for me.  After living in two third world countries where there is not one Walmart or Costco I got use to downsizing and found I function better when I do.

My husband says men do the move and women feel the move.  Those feelings we deal with when our nest has to be sorted through then packed up and moved, then set up again are real.  Not only does our body feel the physical hardship of the work but our emotions can be a wreak until we get our nest settled again.

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Prison

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Prison are meant to keep those who are dangerous and have hurt others from hurting again. Those who have stole from stealing again, those who have killed from killing again. I know several who have been in prison, or who have a husband, wife, adult child, mother, or father in prison. I have visited several prisoners, written them letters, prayed for them. I have read of those who have committed crimes that I think should never get out of prison. I thank God my children have never done anything to land them in prison. I have never experienced that heartbreak and hope I never do.

Unforgiveness is a big prison. I understand this prison, I have been in it before. I have been a slave to someone who has hurt me deeply. What they did would runs over and over in my mind. So much so I would get frustrated easily because I could not think clearly. It ate at my feeling till all that was left was hate and I wished I never had to see them again. So I can tell you for sure without Christ love for me I would still be in that prison.

Someone said to me several weeks ago, forgiving someone would be easier if they could just forget what they did. I had to agree, which means, we have to replace what they did with what Christ did for us. God did not ask us to forget, He ask us to forgive. (copied from Bill (cycleguy post). ).It has to become the focus of our life, the first thing we think about when we wake up and the last thing we think about before we sleep. He has to become our life. When He is our life all else becomes fainter, not forgotten but it becomes a scar not a wound. We can touch the scar, show it to others, talk about it, praise the Lord for the scar. As with all scars we can remember how we got it but it does not hurt anymore. At that moment you are no longer a slave, no long in prison. Free at last, free at last.

“Whenever there’s an injury to a relationship, a hurt, a broken heart, or even a broken thing, and you are willing to forgive, you are saying, “I got this. I’m going to pick up the bill for this.” This is, of course, precisely what God has done for us.”
― Brant Hansen

https://youtu.be/bDnA_coA168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lumberjack…

ImageIt’s always a mess if you live across the street from houses being built.  Dust all over everything, roads being blocked and tore up with the heavy equipment it takes to build.  Everyday you can watch a new row of houses built, walls going up to protect the houses, street lights, sod being laid.  Costly project especially out in California where we live.

I think about those who will move into the soon finished houses.  Each family bringing their choices of decorating, each family usually taking on more debt then they can afford.  Each family with it’s own story of how they got from where they were to that new home.  Each new home will house several souls who may not know the Lord.

Watching the building across from my friends house and then watching this link I am going to post is, well two different worlds.  People are watching a house going up in the jungle too, the  only heavy equipment is the helicopter swinging the lumber in, no roads.  To keep cost as low as possible, teams of people have come to help, paying their own way into this remote location.  The house going up across from my friends will probably sell for around seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  Cost of jungle house even using a helicopter  about 45 thousand.

But that is not the biggest difference, the houses build across from my friend has a different motive then the one in the jungle.  After the gospel is presented to the Hewen people and there are believers also a functioning church the missionaries will tear their houses down, give the lumber to the people to build say a medical clinic, their church or even add to their houses.  The people in the village who will hear the gospel soon are excited, helping the missionaries build their houses.  knowing something big is coming or why would these white folks work so hard to live here.

Back to the village in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.  If you have a few minutes watch how a house is built in the jungle,  see the inside, but most of all look at the face of the people in the film clip.  You will probably see some of them in heaven someday.

If you ever get an urge to help build a house…try Ethnos360, formerly New Tribes Mission…connect with a missionary who needs a helping hand.  Ever want to build something that you can take to heaven with you…a saved soul housing the spirit of the living God is how.  Become part of their team by supporting a missionary.

http://vimeo.com/70312202

Thanks for taking the time to view the link.

 

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Rooted

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In the spring trees bring hope as their new growth sings. Lush greenery offers peace in the summer. In the fall, their colorful collages inspires creativity. And in their emptiness, tree grace the winter with silent elegance. (Alicia Britt Chole from her book Anonymous)

More from Alicia.
In the winter, are the trees bare? Yes
In the winter, are the trees barren? No
Life still is:

The trees in the pictures has seen many seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Every season drives it roots deeper and deeper as it abides in the creation of God’s rich earth, bask in His sunshine and drinks from His rain Through the years I have not enjoyed the winter seasons as much as the other three because I failed to recognize it as a “rest time.”

Alicia has this to say about the seasons. Such is the rhythm of spiritual life: new growth, fruitfulness, transition, rest…new growth, fruitfulness, transition, rest. Abundance may makes us feel productive, but perhaps emptiness has greater power to strengthen our souls.

In spiritual winters, our fullness is thinned so that, undistracted by our gifting’s, we can focus upon our character. In absence of anything to measure, we are left with nothing to stare at except our foundation.

We begin to examine the motivations that supports our deeds, the attitudes that influence our words, the dead wood otherwise hidden beneath our busyness. Then a life changing transition occurs as we move from resistance through repentance to the place of rest. With gratitude, we simple abide.

What season do you find yourself in right now?

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It Is Enough

article-2613633-1D5D82B700000578-18_634x375[1]My head was full of great plans to do nothing but work on my book. I knew I would have tons of extra time as we house sit for three weeks for some friends who were going on a mission trip. My carry on bag was full of extra paper, pen, pencils, notes from all sort of places just waiting to be polished and written down. Also several pages of, ‘helps” from different people who have written books. Lots of helps transferred to my husband lap top which would be available all day for me.

Three whole weeks in Kentucky, then we headed off to Minnesota where our daughter lives for a month long vacation. I envisioned sitting in our little RV, drinking green tea, maybe a few home made cookies from my daughter and God flowing words and sentences I had never thought of through my finger tips.

We are back in California and all the suitcases are unpacked except my carry on still full of all that material I took. I dread opening it up and pulling out all those resources and all those blank pieces of paper.

Yes, you read that right, blank, blank, blank. I did not even take them out of the carry on…not one piece. Oh wait, I did take out my bible and a book I brought to read, my devotional and one pencil.

What causes this kind of relapse in a person? My intension were good, I prepared for writing, I had the place free of interruptions, well most of the time. Trust me, I had plenty of time to write but did not add one word to the three chapters I have already written.

Did I waste a lot of time? Maybe some, but still there was plenty of time left. So what was it??? Procrastination, laziness, illness, too much going on, am I losing interest in writing my book? I don’t think so.

Actually, I really don’t feel guilty about not working on my book and I think I can tell you why. It was not at the top of my list of things to do. I thought it was,  until we hug our daughter and family. All thoughts of my book vanished.

Getting older does make one look through a different perspective on just about every thing. I do not feel that rushed feeling anymore to keep the same pace I kept in past years.

At the top of my lists is enjoying time with our adult children because they enjoy being with us. Also the grandchildren tug at my heart to get to know them better. I feel as if my responsibility has shifted to what is more important for me and the whole family. In my younger years I would spend too much time on the phone talking to friends or running to yard sells or thrift stores shopping. Oh my children were always there with me but my attention was divided too much.

Fluid is the word I would use to describe how I was feeling during the past couple of months. Being fluid can mean one who is likely or able to change, adaptable, adjustable, changeable; flexible. There are a lot more adjectives to describe being fluid but you get my point.

Let me tell you what I did do with my time…hugged our family a lot, said I love you a lot, played games with grandchildren, watched movies with them, cooked for them, did the dishes with them, went shopping a lot with my daughter since I was helping her decorate her freshly painted walls.

Went out to eat a lot, and enjoyed our oldest grandson, Logan graduation party. Sung some good old southern gospel music three times at churches, met a lot of people they know. Enjoyed getting to know our daughters in laws, lovely people.

petmd-kitten-facts-2Ave Jo, the youngest grand daughter’s cat had kittens a few weeks before we got there so I spend lots of time loving on those kittens. I sit in my RV and yell, Ava Jo, go get Grandma a baby kitten.   

The oldest grand daughter will be a senior in college and I got to spend some quality time with her. Watched the smile on my husband face as he fix several things needing a man skills. Read the book I brought, heard a good message about my God, got to give counsel to a women who needed to know she was loved.

But…I did not add one word to my book. I am not sure when I will unpack my carry on full of all the items I took to write from.

“Half of me is filled with bursting words and half of me is painfully shy. I crave solitude yet also crave people. I want to pour life and love into everything yet also nurture my self-care and go gently. I want to live within the rush of primal, intuitive decision, yet also wish to sit and contemplate. This is the messiness of life – that we all carry multitudes, so must sit with the shifts. We are complicated creatures, and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding. Be water. Flowing, flexible and soft. Subtly powerful and open. Wild and serene. Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides. It is enough.”
― Victoria Erickson

I know I am led by the pull of a steady tide, or better yet, led by the creator of the steady tide and it is enough. Wise Hearted

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Unoffendable

I love book reviews, especially when the person writing the review tell how the book affected them.

First of all, on a scale of 1-5, I give this a 5+. Second I had never heard of Brant Hensen but I am now reading my second book by him, Blessed are the Misfits.

Third, most books I read are people who are in ministry full time. But this guy is a radio host and a full time Christian.

Fourth, what made me buy it was he writes on a subject that is dear to my heart and yet the subject that can destroy my life if I let it, anger.

Let me just give you a couple of the questions from the back of the book jacket, it might draw you in like it did me.

Isn’t taking offence normal? Aren’t we suppose to get offended?

Isn’t anger at sin justifiable? If God gets mad, why can’t we?

Brant Hansen asks a radical, freeing question. What if Christians were the most “unoffendable” people on the planet? And He offers a life changing idea: “righteous anger” is a myth, and giving up our “right” to be offended can be one of the most healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress reliever, encouraging thing we can do.

Now here is how this book has helped me but first let me say, he says nothing new or anything I did not already know. The pastor I got saved under always said, repetition is the best way to learn and I totally agree. I have read countless books on “anger”, Hansen formula is not new, people have been writing about it since the beginning of writing things down. Ever since the first sin of unbelief when Eve was challenged if she really believe what God said about eating that one fruit, the results of it begin to manifest itself in anger, which led to wrath and a brother killing a brother, and the host of all sins.

Hansen puts it simply, I can choose to be offended. Right off the bat he lays it back on me, not the one who offended me, but little old me. We do not have the right to be angry, we are told to forgive. Both cannot exist together.

Personally I can remember believing I had every right to be angry, (offended) at how my Dad treated me, my mother and two brothers growing up. Let me give you a little taste of the word he used to describe us, “pitiful”. Start every day of your life with that word bouncing around in your head. He was a drunk, abusive father with no affection toward us or anyone for that matter. Don’t you think I have the right to be anger about what he did to us?

Had God not come into my life and I believed He sent His Son to die for me I would still be living with that anger boiling inside me. That was just the start of a journey of learning forgiveness trumps anger any day. If I could trust God for my eternal salvation I had to trust Him for the whole package..

I love the way Hansen put God’s spin on, “righteous anger”. I quote, “we like being angry. We don’t like what caused the anger, to be sure; we just like thinking we’re “got” something on someone. So and so did something wrong, something horribly wrong, and anger offers us a sense of moral superiority. Righteous anger is tricky, it turns out I tend to find Brent Hansen’s anger more righteous than others anger, This is because I am so darn right” ( you have to read this book so you will get the full affect of this principal that God laid down from the beginning, it’s the principal of GRACE. )
More from Hensen: The thing that you think makes your anger “righteous ” is the very thing you are called to forgive. Grace isn’t for the deserving. Forgiving means to surrendering your claim to resentment and letting go of anger. Anger is extraordinarily easy . It’s our default setting. Love is difficult. Love is a miracle.

Back to how this book personally affected me. I have noticed my awareness is more keen when I get angry. Hansen never says we will ever get to where we never get angry but when our thinking changings we can lesson the time it stick in our mind. Like our pastor said, you cannot keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest.

The nest of hurt from my Dad has affected me all my life. I try to deny it by saying I have forgiven him and I have but here is how it manifest itself in the present day. I transferred that hurt over my Dad to all men. Being a survivor from an abusive home is hard to get over. Trusting is a major problem for me. Let me define that more, trusting any men is a problem for me. Any man includes my husband. Learning that I was to be submissive to him even when I did not agree was a like an electrical shock going through me. If I agree with him no problem. I tell him all the time we women understand submissive on a deeper level. I don’t believe that as strong as I use to but if I am not careful I will use it as my default to not forgive him. I can, like everyone else, submit and not forgive at the same time. Forgiveness goes deeper then submission or so I think.

To choose and I praise Him for the gift of choice, to choose to not be offended is exactly what Christ did as they crucified Him and He said, Father forgive them, they know not what they do. The day I looked at my Dad, all broken, in a wheelchair, his mind gone and realized through God’s power that He died for Him and He shed the same amount of blood for him as He did me was where my journey of shedding my anger, one step into truth at a time started.

If you looking for a book to challenge your heart over being offended, look no more. His book along with many others and sermons is what keeps me daily reminded this is a journey and it will not be over till Jesus calls me home.

Read a good book lately, could you leave the title in a comment please and if you wish a brief or long reason why you liked it, what did it help you with. Or if you are like me, did it make you want to give it to someone so it can help them also. I love to pass on good books to others. Hope you do also.

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