Monday, May 14, 2012

Not what we want, but what we need

     I know, I know. God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want. Apparently God is of the opinion that we need rain and by the looks of things , a massive amount of it. Yes, rain is life giving. It is also not my favorite thing right now. For the second year in a row, rain makes my already miserable allergies even worse. I struggled to maintain 3 days last week and started feeling better just yesterday only to start all over again this morning. Allergies are just one reason why I am rain hating right now.
     Ben had a baseball game scheduled for tonight and it is obvious that its not gonna happen.  It will be rescheduled and I can only hope that the make up game isn't this coming Saturday. Friday is my anniversary and Saturday is a planned get away for me and my man. We do not get a lot of time together and most definitely not weekends so we really need this time together.
     Other than the allergies and possible weekend disaster, I had to make a trip to Walmart this morning. There are few things I hate more than laundry but Walmart tops the list.Do you know how hard it is to juggle a shopping cart, umbrella, and car keys all at the same time?  I hate Walmart on a sunny day but HATE doesn't even begin to describe my reaction to trudging through the parking lot in drenching rain , loading my van full of wet bags and unloading them at home in the same drenching rain carrying an umbrella in one hand and bags in the other. Uuuuggghhh, what a mess !
     So , thank you God for the water falling from the sky. I am sure the grass, flowers, and garden appreciate it . Forgive me for not loving those precious wet drops you are freely giving today, maybe after allergy season is over I can get back on board .

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can I get an amen?

     I voted this morning like all american citizens should do and it was easy, in and out. Nobody was standing around trying to sway me either way which kind of surprised me but I was grateful.Next on my list was Walmart, oh how I hate that place.I was rounding the dairy aisle just as an older man very loudly started speaking to another older man about God and how God was always on time and God had never let him down. My immediate thought was "Bless him for being so vocal about his love for God ". Then he opened his mouth again and spewed something that left me feeling physically ill.
     "Yep, I just went to vote, one woman , one man. Thats how God meant  it to be. Yep, preached a sermon at a church this Sunday on the very subject. Must have made some people mad though cause some of em got up and left. Guess they don't like the truth. Told em how we needed to weed those gays outta our churches. It just ain't right for us real christians to have to sit beside those people." And that is when I walked far enough away so that I could no longer hear his voice for fear that I would cause a disturbance.
     Am I the one missing something here? Somebody please correct me if I am wrong. Was Jesus not sent to this earth to save sinners? Did he not surround himself with some of the worst sinners? Did he not share meals with sinners? Did he not when given the opportunity to condemn a  sinner reply " He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." ? Did he not say " I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."?
     1 John 4 :8-9 clearly states "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." So , if based upon the information in your Bible, you believe someone to be a sinner is it not your responsibility to love them enough to share what you know so that they be saved instead of condemned to hell? Can someone please explain to me how "weeding out " the sinners and getting "them" outta church is going to accomplish that? If you know and love God then you have the heart of God. I for one can't find anywhere in my Bible where it says that God wants anyone to go to hell, can you? There are many sins that enter our church doors, which ones do we allow in and which ones do we throw out? 1 John 1:8-10says"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us." So what are we to do then? If everyone is a sinner then I guess nobody is fit enough to grace the pew?
     Thank you God for loving me, a sinner, someone who will never be perfect but who strives to have your heart daily. Please never allow me to utter hate but instead let my words always be love. Thank you God for placing me in a church where your Word is preached , nothing more, nothing less.Thank you God for being merciful and gracious even when I deserve much less. Thank you God for Jesus who gave us the perfect example of how we should be and was willing to die for me, a sinner, yes a sinner, so that I can have everlasting life by your throne.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Godly Friends

Sunday morning's sermon was on being a Godly friend. When I think about being a friend , I think about what I have to give. Here is what my Bible says about giving...

Deuteronomy 15:10Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Deuteronomy 16:17Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Proverbs 11:24-25There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.

Proverbs 21:26…the righteous gives and does not hold back.

Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

Matthew 6:3-4But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Luke 3:11And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”

Luke 6:30Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

Luke 6:38Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

Acts 20:35In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

James 2:15-16If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

     There are times when I think I am doing an excellent job of giving and then there are times when I allow the world to get in the way and I am not paying attention. There are times when I have to give and times when I don't have to give. There are times when I am satisfied with what I have given and times when I desperately wish I could give more. Giving isn't always material, although more often than not my offerings are. Sometimes giving can just simply be giving of my time. Sometimes its just an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Other times it is a hug or a kind word and a smile. Whatever the need is, if I call you friend and I have something you need I will give it.
      Recently I made a meal for a friend that needed the rest more than she needed to cook. This was the second meal that I have made for her in the last 6 months or so. Two meals and a couple of FB messages here and there...thats all , nothing more. She made the comment that I had done more for her than some friends she has had for years. My immediate thought was , "how sad".Perhaps she didn't ask for help but part of a friends job is to pay attention and be involved enough to recognize the struggle and come to their aid. It made me sit back and take a count of those I count on and to take the time to thank God for each and every one. I am so fortunate to have an abundance of people to draw from if I am the one on need.
     Oh God, please help me to be a good friend. Help me to always anticipate the needs of others and allow me to give generously from what I have to give. Use me in whatever capacity you see fit and please only allow me to do what would be pleasing to you.