Monday, October 30, 2006

Seek His Face Not His Hand

This subject – seeking God’s face – comes up so often that it’s something that obviously needs everyone’s in-depth attention. Why is seeking God’s face so important?

To answer this question I’ve been taking a look at myself. Maybe in taking this journey with me, you’ll realize or discover something about yourself.

The other day I was thinking about what I believe is the sorry state of certain material and/or financial things in my life. The house in disrepair. The dirty yard. The vehicles that need work. The lack of appropriate attire for every family member. And a couple of other things.

I don’t necessarily pray about these things regularly because I realize that God has provided for all my needs according to His riches, but it is on my mind. Hey, I’m human. So, when those things recently came to mind two things came up with it:

I am thankful that we have a home to live in, a yard to play in, cars to drive, clothes to wear, etc. And instead of focusing on what needs to be improved, changed, fixed or purchased, I can focus on being thankful that we aren’t homeless, wearing tattered, smelly clothes and walking everywhere we need to go.
When I seek God’s face and keep my focus on praising and worshipping Him it’s possible – extremely possible – that His glory will cloud all the material things making them seem less important and less apparent to me. And, ultimately, in the end changing our circumstances.

Oftentimes we can become so disappointed with our circumstances that our vision becomes clouded. This can happen to anyone it’s just a matter of how you deal with it. Honestly, if I’m gonna be telling you my business, you might as well know that I often don’t deal with it well – at least, internally.

In the case of being single and celibate, take for instance when you’re feeling lonely without a spouse and it seems like you’ll be alone forever. If you (we) can push past (y)our disappointment, which can often lead to depression and hopelessness, and wholeheartedly seek and trust in God to be (y)our all then you (we) can find true peace and joy. (I’m talking to you and me.)

It’s not a matter of becoming so content and complacent that we don’t want and seek change. It’s a matter of getting to a place of basking in God’s glory and knowing He will work everything out for your – for our – good.

In the meantime, also keep in mind something Robin McGraw (you know, Dr. Phil’s wife) says in her book “Inside My Heart: Choosing to Live with Passion and Purpose” – “…I know so many people who don’t realize they have the right to choose how they live, people who would be so much happier if only they would examine the connection between what they do and how their lives turn out.”

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Drop it like it's hot

A bad relationship, that is.

One Sunday my family and I were listening to the radio (107.9 in Atlanta on Sunday mornings has gospel rap, R&B, etc.) on our way to church. The topic was dating and their guest was Ty Adams the author of “Single, Saved and Having Sex.”

There were a couple of things that stood out to me that I wanted to share with you:

“We date while we’re wounded… there’s nothing cute about baggage,” Adams said. Ain’t that the truth! Think about it! You meet up with a nice young lady who you think you’d like to spend more time with and possibly the rest of your life, but before you can get into the relationship good she’s stalking you like a serial killer.

The problem? She has baggage from a previous relationship. Possibly a past boyfriend cheated on her or lied to her. Whatever the case… it ain’t cute. (Hmm, that’s the second time I’ve used “ain’t” in one post. Must be tired. Sorry.)

The radio hosts and Adams talked about how a bad relationship or an out-of-God’s-timing relationship can be a “destiny killer.” You can literally hold up your destiny by sleeping with and/or being with a person who you aren’t supposed to be with.

You could get caught up in lust and frequent premarital sex, which will definitely alter your path from God causing a delay in your destiny.

The solution? “Allow God to heal you of all that junk so you can enter into a relationship in the right shape,” Adams said. Seek God’s face for the answer to your heart healing and releasing soul ties, if applicable. Ask God to deliver you from the pain of your past and heal your heart so that you don’t enter into another relationship and treat the new person like a person from your past.

"We are here, charged with the task of completing (one might say creating) ourselves." William Cook

Friday, October 13, 2006

Spiritual Antenna

I’ve been batting that topic – Spiritual Antenna – around in my head since I last updated this blog. I’ve been meditating on it, thinking about it, considering it and waiting for some direction with it. And the conclusion I’ve come to is that my spiritual antenna is either turned off, broken or on the wrong frequency.

The sad thing is it can happen often -- to me and to others. We’re in a society where there’s so much to do, so much we’re responsible for and everything is moving so fast. We have to hurry to work, hurry to eat, hurry to get the kids, groceries, wash the clothes, make some calls, pay the bills… well, you get the point.

When we fail to stay tapped into God then we miss out on hearing His voice. And in the process we ultimately miss out on sharing what He has for us to share with others. Like, for instance, the message He wants delivered through this blog.

You can also think of your spiritual antenna as discernment. If your antenna, or your discernment, is off then you’ll miss something important.

Like today. Here’s what happened to me. When you’re finished reading you decide whether my spiritual antenna was off or on the wrong frequency or if I’m second guessing myself too much.

Here it is: A man knocked on my door this afternoon and said he would cut my front lawn for $15. Well, almost every time someone knocks on my door I tell them no or that I don’t have the money or some other similar reason. Today, although I didn’t have extra money, I did have $15 and I thought it would be nice to surprise my husband with a cut lawn. (At least the front.)

I didn’t second guess the guy’s intentions. He told me he really needed gas money and I took him at his word. He cut the lawn. I asked if he had $5 because I only had a 20-dollar bill. He didn’t and to make a long story short he followed me to the corner gas station (“I have to get gas anyway,” he says.) where I got change.

He came into the store; we exchanged the money, said our thanks and went our separate ways. Kind of. I noticed that he didn’t go right to the register to pay for his gas, but he went toward the coolers where the drinks are. I didn’t turn and look so I don’t know if he purchased a soda, some water or liquor.

I tried pulling away slowly to see if he would come back out with something, but he didn’t come out before I was out of sight. So then I started asking myself what if I just helped an alcoholic purchase some liquor. I argued with myself: He did pull his car in front of a pump.

Back and forth I went:
He could have bought water since he just finished cutting grass.

I can be so gullible.

Then I remembered that my discernment is usually on target and even if he didn’t have the best of intentions I felt as if I did something good for my family and my husband. It wasn’t like he was a derelict on the street. He performed a service and was paid for it.

That got me back to thinking about my spiritual antenna. If I hadn’t already been doubting that my spiritual antenna was off or broken then I probably wouldn’t have given the situation a second thought. It’s not my place to judge what he did with the money and if he was dishonest then he’ll have to answer to God, not me.

I began to wonder what other situations we get ourselves into because we’re not tapped into God and have turned off our antennas. Are we dating the wrong people? Are we activity sinning in our lives? There can be a myriad of other situations that are avoidable, but because we refuse to commit wholly and truly to God we are missing out. Spiritually! (As opposed to literally.)

My challenge to you is to stay tapped in. Don’t let the pressures and responsibilities of life change the frequency of your spiritual antenna. God is waiting and willing for us to do our part, He has already done His.

Turn up the volume!

"Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different." -Katherine Mansfield