Thursday, July 26, 2007
It's not just the lack of response and following -- I'm going through a really tough time in my life and I must commit to projects that are going to be lucrative as well as ones that I really, really, really enjoy. So, for now, it will exist without being updated.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Single and Celibate... and may God bless you. Oh, BTW, you can check me out and keep up with me at http://petulaw.blogspot.com or http://petula.gather.com.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
There’s no way I’m going to bore you with all the gruesome details of everything that seems to be going wrong. (Hey, please don’t remind me that I recently wrote about incorporating The Secret principles to my life or that I ordered the Complaint Free World bracelet). What I am going to tell you though is that as a human being life can really throw some curve balls. As a Christian, it’s all about how you deal with it.
I know. I pulled a fast one on you. I was going to complain and ask you how you deal with your curve balls. But I’ve realized that few people are reading and/or commenting on my blog. So, it would be a moot point to ask even one more question or pose a scenario for you to respond to. What I’ve decided to do… well, let’s see, I’m still trying to decide if I want to do two things: 1) Shut down this blog or at least cease the updating and posting, and 2) Developing a new, more exciting one.
It’s not as if anyone will notice. So, if you don’t see any posts after this one then you know that I may not be back, but I think there’s great information here so I’ll leave it for those wandering around in cyber space to read. And, eventually, there’ll be a link to a new, highly-read blog that you’re sure to love and appreciate.
In the meantime, I hope your day is going a lot better than mine. Keep up the good work: you know pray, keep God first and maintain the single and celibate life that God has called for you. If you’re not married, but read this blog because you enjoy it: God bless you in all that you do.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
So what do you do when you get in a situation where someone has committed a sin against you that’s considered greater than other sins? You may easily forgive your son for stealing money from your purse, but will you be just as forgiving when your husband has sex with another woman?
I know that I can’t answer that question so easily. What I do know is that God expects us to forgive and that’s the bottom line. The gray area is how long it takes, what’s the process and what you do while you’re trying to forgive. In instances where it’s an unsafe situation: say your spouse or significant other is beating on you and abusing you. Of course you have to remove yourself from the situation, but you’re still stuck with having to forgive.
“Stuck…” Even I find that that’s an interesting word for me to choose. I’m just being honest, but when someone has committed an almost unforgivable sin against me or someone close to me I feel almost stuck – forced to forgive. Once the hurt and pain of betrayal has passed then I can move onto forgiveness. Not only because that’s what God says we should do, but for my own wellbeing and soul.
Some people find it easy to forgive others despite what was done to them. Others find it difficult to move on. It doesn’t make one person better than the other. We just have to realize that everyone does things in their own timing. As long as both people reach the same result then I believe God is just as pleased with the slow-to-forgive person as he is with the person who forgave quickly.
“So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Matthew 18:35
Friday, May 04, 2007
“The Secret is the law of attraction! Everything that’s coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And it’s attracted to you by virtue of the images you’re holding in your mind. It’s what you’re thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you.”
Okay, let me put that one into a simple perspective for you. If you think about debt a lot then you’ll have a lot of debt. So try thinking about money. What struck me was something really small that I think about a lot. I’ve always been a really organized, neat and clean person. I hate disorganization and disorder. When I got married I realized my husband didn’t quite have the gift of putting things away and being organized and neat. Then add two more children to the mix and things really became haywire. So, I’ve been thinking: “I don’t want a messy, disorganized and dirty house.” I think that all the time. What was happening, as is pointed out in The Secret, is that what I focused on is exactly what I received: a messy, disorganized and dirty house. Now I focus on having a neat, organized and clean home. Although that hasn’t completely manifested itself I will continue to have those thoughts to bring it into existence.
“If you can think about what you want in your mind, and make that your dominant thought, you will bring it into your life.”
“Your life is in your hands. No matter where you are now, no matter what has happened in your life, you can begin to consciously choose your thoughts, and you can change your life.”
“Nothing can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts.”
There are so many positive principles and tangible “to dos” in the book that I don’t know where to go from here. But here are a few concepts that make so much sense to me: If you’re always telling yourself or saying, “I never win anything.” Then you never will. I’ve changed my thoughts to “I always win something wonderful.” In fact, I’ve taken note cards and written down phrases that I want to remind myself of. For most of my life I’ve said, “I never will anything” and I haven’t, but what makes it so real to me is that I often say “I always get something great for free” or something like that. I always get free stuff in the mail, great stuff as hand-me-downs, awesome stuff from FreeCycle.com, etc. So, why can’t I incorporate that with winning NEW and WONDERFUL stuff? Well, I think I can… thanks to The Secret.
Don’t miss out on incorporating The Secret to your life… it’s the key to having the life you want. (That’s assuming you’ve already got God as your savior!)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Don’t worry; I’m not going to get into a long, drawn out book review – negative or positive – about The Secret. What I do want to get into; however, is why so many people – uh, read Christians – are criticizing this book (yes, I know it’s also a DVD). Some say it’s not telling us anything new, but has taken all the principles from the Bible and put it into a book just to make money. Others say it’s discounting God. And still others are saying they’re concerned about The Secret replacing or becoming bigger than God’s word and the Bible.
My question: What do you say?
I’ve found The Secret to be filled with basic, tangible principles that anyone can easily apply to their lives. I’ve discovered that it doesn’t discount God although it is trying to be all inclusive and non exclusive by terming most things as The Universe. But, as with anything, we must take the bitter with the sweet and the good with the bad. As Christians when we read books, magazine articles, blogs, newspapers, etc., – whether written by Christians or not – we must take what we read and compare it to the biblical principles we know to be true. We must realize there is validity in other written works and, to be honest, we must admit that if the author of this book started off by saying that she was led by God to reveal it to the people in this way then we wouldn’t have anything negative to say.
Oh, but then we’d have to contend with the people of other religions and faith that would say something negative about that. It’s never-ending criticism.
So, again, my question to you is what do you think about The Secret? Have you read it? Seen the DVD? Share your opinion… I’m anxious to hear it.
Don't forget to check back soon; my next post will be some excerpts from The Secret that I find particularly interesting.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Pastor Dollar has spoken at our church (Word Of Faith Family Worship Cathedral) and I know his beliefs are in line with the word of God. So check him out and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
It’s funny how I didn’t think I complained a lot until I realized I spent almost 10 minutes – not long after watching the show – telling a friend about something my husband did. When I got off the phone I felt like such an idiot! Not complaining at all is harder than you think.
This got me to thinking about my days as a single and celibate person. As I recall, I would complain about not having a husband, complain about wanting to have sex, complain about doing everything alone… oh, how the grass seemed greener on the other side. :-)
What we must realize – and what that pastor told Oprah – is that what we say and the passion in which we say it can be a complaint. For instance, if you say, “I’m single and celibate” without attitude and annoyance in your voice then it can be a simple statement. But if you say it with annoyance and a measure of anger then it’s a complaint. I’m sure you get the point.
No matter what our status in life we must remember to give thanks. There are quite a few scriptures that tell us to be thankful. (Check out I Chronicles 16, I Chronicles 29 and II Chronicles 5 – to name a few.) And, truthfully, if we’re being thankful then we have nothing to complain about. Right?
(To get your bracelet, go to www.acomplaintfreeworld.org. It's free. It may take up to five weeks to receive it, but hey "who's complaining?")
Friday, March 30, 2007
I'm sure I can survive without email and Internet searching. Please check in after Wednesday, April 4th... have a great weekend!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Well, I went to a site that I recently discovered while I was doing research for an article for Atlanta goodlife magazine (http://www.atlantagoodmagazine.com/); it's called GotQuestions.org. So far, I've found the answers -- after a search phrase or question is entered -- to be really on target. I like the site so much so that I started there when I began writing this post. The answer they gave was so good that I thought you would like to read it as well.
The question I asked on http://www.gotquestions.org/ was “how do I worship God?” And this is the information the site displayed:
"What is true worship?
Question: "What is true worship? How can I worship the Lord in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)?"
Answer: True worship is God-centered worship. People tend to get caught up in where they should worship, what music they should sing in worship, and how the worship looks to other people. Focusing on these things completely misses the point. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This means we worship from the heart and the way God calls us to. Worship can include praying, reading God's Word with an open heart, singing, participating in communion, and serving others. It is not limited to one act, but is done properly when the heart and attitude of the person is in the right place.
The first thing we should know is that worship and praise is reserved only for God. Only he is worthy; not any of his servants (Rev 19:10). We are not to worship saints, prophets, statues, angels, any other false gods, or even Mary, mother of Jesus. We also should not be worshiping for the expectation of something in return, such as a miraculous healing. Worship is done for God, and God's pleasure alone. Worship can be public praise to God (Ps 22:22, 35:18), in a congregational setting, where we can proclaim through music and praise our adoration and thankfulness for him and what he has done for us. True worship is felt inwardly, then comes out through our actions. "Going through the motions" out of obligation is unpleasing to God, and is done completely in vain. He can see through all the hypocrisy, and he hates this. He demonstrates this in Amos 5:21-24 as he talks about coming judgment. An example is the story of Cain and Abel, the first sons of Adam and Eve. They both brought gift offerings to the Lord, but he was only pleased with Abel's. Cain brought the gift out of obligation; Abel brought his finest lambs from his flock. He brought out of faith and admiration for God.
True worship is not confined to singing in church, or open praise (although these things are both good and we are told to do them in the Bible), but it is the acknowledgment of God and all his power and glory in the things we do. To do this, we must know God, we can not be ignorant of him (Acts 17:23). Worship is to glorify and exalt God; to show our loyalty and admiration to our Father."
Now, I think, that answer was better than any I could have written. Check out the entire page at http://www.gotquestions.org/true-worship.html.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Check it out for yourself, buy it for a friend and pass the information along. ... And, when you're done, let me know what you think!
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Although I didn’t write down all the key points under each letter, I thought you might find what he had to say interesting.
Family background – you need to know something about or investigate an individual’s family background.
Attitude – what type of attitude do they have? Are they up one minute and down the next?
Compatibility – how compatible are you? “Salvation is not a sign of compatibility,” Bishop said. Someone being saved does not necessarily mean they are the person for you.
Experiences – what life experience or past experiences are they bringing into the current relationship.
Skills – identify the key skills they bring to the table. “Cute is not a skill,” Bishop said, causing everyone to laugh.
Bishop also taught us that we can know God’s face by these five things:
Five Ways to Know God
Prayer: You know God through prayer/communication.
His word: The bible reveals His nature to you.
By walking with Him: Travel with Him. When it comes to this point, for me it means that as you go about your day God is continually with you. You’re consulting to Him, talking to Him, praising Him, etc. For someone else it may mean something different.
Worship: You’ll reach another dimension of knowing Him through worship.
Through His manifested love: You’ll get to know God through His grace and His mercy.
I hope this brief look into today’s sermon has been a blessing to you.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
One of the things that stands out to me the most is the last verse, verse 18, that tells us to not only say we love someone, but to let our actions speak for themselves. I’ve often conducted my life like this and told other people this, but didn’t remember it was actually a directive from our God to do just that.
Oftentimes, especially in relationships, we say we love someone and then we do something that possibly indicates that we don’t. Our actions often hurt the person more than any words could. (An extreme example would be a physically abusive spouse who says he loves his wife, but who beats her up every night.) If we could simply remember to let our actions – and even our attitudes – reflect our love then we would be doing what God wants us to and walking in love.
I want to back up a little before I conclude: Another important point in this scripture tells us that if we hate our brother (meaning anyone) then it is the same as if we committed murder. And, as we all know, murder is a sin. So not only do we have to love with actions, but we also have to love in our heart. If you have hate in your heart for someone then it’s imperative that you deal with it, pray about it, ask for forgiveness and do whatever you need to do to release that feeling and move into a feeling of love.
Don’t think of it as doing something for someone else; you’re doing it for yourself. And you will be richly rewarded. Today, and everyday, walk in love.
“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” David Viscott
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I’m a God’s nature freak. “A what?” You might ask. I look at nature and I see God. I see the wonder of everything He has created and I think it is amazingly beautiful. I often give thanks to Him for his wondrous creations.
It’s something we should stop and do each day. Well, if you aren’t into the beauty of nature, as I am, then simply taking a quiet moment to be with God can do wonders for your mood and your outlook. And in the quiet moment, having an attitude of gratitude can also do wonders for you.
Are you familiar with the popular book and DVD called The Secret? Well, if you’ve heard about it then you know that one of things it supports is having an appreciative attitude, which in turn draws positive things to you. It’s really nothing new, but it’s something that most people haven’t tapped into. In fact, a lot of the things that The Secret is based on can be found in scriptures – you just have to do your research. (Maybe we’ll investigate that a little further in future posts.)
An-t-way, I get up this morning, open the blinds and gaze at the tree. Nothing unusual or different seemed to be going on. (Just a little tidbit about this tree: My family and I watch it every year and it seems to suddenly lose its leaves. Seemingly one day they’re there and the next day they’re gone. So this year we’ve been watching the tree very closely. And I have watched it even closer than before.) The tree still held half its dead leaves all around its bottom with the top branches bare. My 15-year-old daughter and I have determined that it knows we’re watching and has decided not to drop all its leaves. A few days ago we realized that spring is fast approaching and we wondered whether the old leaves would be pushed out by the new ones.
So, no change this morning. I didn’t think much about it until I was driving my two youngest children to daycare. There were trees up and down the streets and roads that had bloomed white flowers. How marvelous, I thought! Spring had bloomed!
The blooming trees had thrown me back into my realization of God’s beautiful creation. How amazing, don’t you think, that the seasons change and in doing so it’s all so exquisite.
It doesn’t matter what we’re going through in life… the seasons will still change. It doesn’t matter what problems we’re having, what feelings we have … nothing stops the seasons from changing. Now think of it in terms of celibacy (you should have known I would bring that up). Celibacy is just a season. Even for those who decide on a lifetime of celibacy, it will eventually come to the end of its season. Look at celibacy in your life as a season of time that you have to endure. Then think about the beauty that will come of it. You’ll share what you’ve saved with one person who God has ordained for you to share it with. What a wonderful way to end a season!
As for our tree, some of the other trees and bushes should tell it that spring is here!
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. -- George Santayana
Friday, March 09, 2007
Whatever the answer, there’s something in the air that makes this a hot topic. In the March 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine (www.oprah.com), there is a story called “The Innocence Project,” which was written by Amanda Robb. It started off like this: “A lot of fathers hope their daughters will be virgins until they walk them down the aisle. But some are going a step further – taking pledges to support the girls’ commitment to chastity. And formalizing those pledges at what are called purity balls.”
Before I even finished reading the story, I thought, “What a wonderful idea!” As a, what I like to call, born-again virgin before I married (celibate for five years before), I have talked quite a bit to my 15-year-old daughter about maintaining her purity until she’s married. I even passed on my covenant ring (review some of my earlier posts that talk about covenant rings and making the commitment) to her after I got married. So, the idea of a purity ball seemed like a wonderful reinforcement to what I am already teaching her.
But, as I continued to read the story, it seemed like Robb revealed some statistics and facts that indicated there may not be that big of a difference between teenagers who take the pledge and teenagers who don’t. Although between 1990 and 2002 the United States teen pregnancy rate declined by more than 30 percent, which supporters of abstinence-only initiatives believe their programs are largely responsible for, according to Robb, social scientists don’t believe that the programs are behind the declines. It was further revealed that 88 percent of teenagers who make the pledge end up breaking it.
Robb, and O magazine, presented a well-researched article that offered a variety of viewpoints on the subject. Everyone from adults who made the pledge as teenagers and still ended up having sex and adults who made the pledge and remained virgins until marriage to experts in the field of sexuality, abstinence and statistics. The comments got me to thinking: Should parents get involved in encouraging their children to make a pledge of abstinence/celibacy before marriage?
Absolutely! The obviously unsuccessful storied and discouraging statistics didn’t change my viewpoint. In fact, they gave me a little insight. Although it’s necessary to support our children in the correct decisions for their lives, it is also necessary to give them complete information. Parents are remiss if they don’t tell their children the dangers of having unprotected sex and give them complete information on protecting themselves. Wait. Wait. Don’t get mad at me. There’s fine line between supporting premarital sex and providing necessary information. A lot of Christians, and parents in general for that matter, believe that if you give complete information then you open the door for sexual activity.
The fact remains that some teenagers aren’t going to abide by their abstinence pledge. Most often because they’re taking the pledge at such a young age, don’t really understand it completely and are doing it to simply please their parents. Which means a lot of times parents, although they have good intentions, are missing some key ingredients in providing their children with abstinence information and support.
Also, pick up a copy of O magazine and check out “The Innocence Project” article. It was excellent reading.
Whatever decision is made on how to promote abstinence among the single, teenage people in your household; it is still the right decision to make. As we encourage our children to be celibate until marriage, we encourage a future generation of adults to do what God has called for them to do, which is not to commit adultery (any sex outside of the bonds of holy matrimony).
To assist you in your commitment to remain celibate until marriage or to help you talk to your teen/children about celibacy and abstinence, I’ve listed some organizations that may help:
Organizations that support “abstinence” until marriage:
True Love Waits -- http://www.lifeway.com/tlw/
Silver Ring Thing -- http://www.silverringthing.com/
National Abstinence Clearinghouse -- http://www.abstinence.net/
Heritage Foundation -- http://www.heritage.org/
Articles, links and information -- http://www.insideout.org/documentaries/withthisring/links.asp
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Now, I’m no expert when it comes to relationships. In fact, I can probably tell you all kinds of things NOT to do when you’re in a relationship, but what I do know is that you must prepare yourself. When I say prepare, I mean “be ready” for the spouse God has for you before you actually meet the person.
How do you do that? There are several different things that you should try to have in order. Most are relevant for both men and women.
The primary thing, before we go any further, is having a strong relationship with God. That means regular prayer, worship, praise and fellowship. Relationships – especially marital unions – can be the most trying of your life. Why is that? The devil doesn’t want the marriage relationship to succeed because it’s ordained by God.
A girlfriend of my recently voiced it this way, “If something great wasn’t going to come out of the relationship then it would be a piece of cake!”
How many of you have heard of Prophetess Juanita Bynum? Well, Prophetess Bynum had a sermon called No More Sheets and she has a book of the same name. It has been more than six years since I’ve seen the video, but some of the preparation things she spoke of have stuck in my mind.
One thing is ensuring you have your financial house in order before you get married. It may not be practical to have zero debt – although that should be the goal – but do not enter into a marriage with a lot of financial baggage. If you don’t know how to balance a checkbook and are incurring a lot of fees then learn how to do it. If you don’t know how to stick to a monthly budget then take a debt management class. If you have consumer debt then work with a financial planner to get it paid off. If you don’t know anything about savings and investing then do some research and start some savings and investing plans that will benefit your future.
Do you like to eat? Then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to cook. I’m talking to men and women. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef, but you should know how to prepare some general meals. Men, let me ask you a question, what are you going to do when your wife is sick or recuperating from having a baby? Are you going to expect her to be able to get up and cook your meal, feed herself and any children that you may have? And, be realistic, it isn’t always practical to eat or order out – it’s not cost effective either.
One word to a small group of ladies I’ve been coming across lately: What’s with not knowing how to cook? I’ve encountered several adults who still live with their mothers and they don’t know how to cook. Now cooking isn’t everyone’s gift, but you have to be able to provide for your family that way so although you don’t have to know all the ends and outs, grab a cookbook and follow the directions to prepare dinner for your family. Ask your mother or a trusted friend for advice and recipes or take a cooking class.
That leads into general housekeeping abilities. Even if your wife stays at home or works from home, men should still be competent enough to take care of the house and assist in keeping it clean and orderly. Pick up after yourself, etc. And, women, general housekeeping knowledge is a must.
One of the most important things, if this applies to you, is to get rid of any soul ties that you may have. Let me explain, soul ties exist when you’ve had sex outside of marriage. Every person you’ve ever slept with has left their mark on your soul and it’s important to pray to God for help in cleansing that from your soul.
You don’t want to be in your marriage bed comparing your spouse to someone from your past. You don’t want to be doing something in your marriage bed just because someone from your past enjoyed it. … I think you get the picture.
As I’ve said before: I’m no expert on the ends and outs of relationships. But, like most people, I do have some general knowledge to share that may make things a little easier for you. Just because you’re celibate doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for your spouse.
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest -- never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership." Jane Austen
Friday, March 02, 2007
If you recall from my last post I mentioned two young women who I knew who died recently. Although I’ve been doing what I told you I would by focusing on ensuring that I’m living a life God wants me to live, I still had a few questions in the back of my mind. And, true to God’s word, He has answered my prayers and questions.
Before I tell you how, let me tell you this first: When I posed a question to my mother on how could these women have died when God’s word says “we’re already healed,” she told me not to dismiss that God also says His will will be done. Hmm? So, then I got to thinking well isn’t His will for us to be healed since He says that in His word?
With those thoughts in the back of my mind I have continued on with my daily life… not dwelling on death. It wasn’t until February 27 when I was reading “Our Daily Bread” that I think I got the answer. The title of the entry is Keep Praying and it is written by Dave Branon. Mr. Branon wrote about his daughter who he and his wife had always prayed to keep safe. As his daughter and her friends began to drive, they prayed, “God, please protect Melissa.”
Well, Melissa was killed on a warm spring night as she was driving.
How devastating for a mother and father to have to deal with the death of a child, but that didn’t stop them from continuing their prayer life. In fact, they needed prayer more, which was Mr. Branon’s point. But, for me, I stopped to think. Why didn’t God answer that prayer? Or was it that it seemed to me it went unanswered?
Dave Branon and his wife prayed “protect.” What God brought to me is that by taking Melissa home to Him was the ultimate protection. He answered their prayers just not in the way they saw fit or would have assumed. Well, I’m not sure anyone of us would have assumed that. And that brings me back to my friend who died of cancer. Although we had prayed for her healing there are no stipulations in the Bible based on when, where or how. With her death came the ultimate healing and an end to her suffering.
Amazing! God protected Melissa by bringing her home to Him. He healed my friend, Doris, by bringing her home to Him. As always, God is true to His word. We, as His children, simply have to continue to trust and believe.
“Faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God’s goodness in spite of life’s tragedies,” Mr. Branon wrote.
Thank you Dave Branon, thank you Doris and, of course, thank God!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The other lady had cancer – breast cancer, I think. Most people may not be surprised by her death, but not only was I surprised but I was devastated. This is a lady who firmly believed in her healing. She professed that she would live to tell her testimony, which would bless other people. A group of us all prayed, touched and agreed that she would be healed. And, for me, that was the end of it. There was no doubt in my mind that she would be healed.
So why is she dead? While I grapple with that question I’ve also been made painfully aware of my own mortality. Here we have two women who were my age and they’ve passed away. Of course, I’m well aware that people die everyday some my age and younger, but to have two people you know personally pass away so closely together gives you reason to pause. Well, at least that’s been my reaction.
I’ve experienced unexplained healings and I know others who have as well. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why these women are dead… and especially the woman battling cancer. There seems to be something I’m missing. If God says in His word that we are already healed then that makes it so. Why not in this case?
Well, you know as well as I do that asking “why” will yield no answers. God is not obligated to reveal to us “why,” but we are obligated to trust that His will is done and continue to have faith in Him. In the meantime, we must ensure that we are living a life pleasing to God, according to His word so that when our time comes – when we die – we will see His face.
That includes living a godly lifestyle and abiding by His word. Including “thou shall not commit adultery” – have any sex outside of marriage. Hint, hint. And for me, rather than dwell on the deaths of these women and wonder in the back of my mind if I’m next; I’m going to concentrate on being the person that God would have me to be.
In the meantime, I pray that the families, friends and loved ones of these women are comforted in their time of grief. Please pray for them as well.
Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9 (New International Version)
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I was going to post a comment to simply ask them why they started a blog such as that, but decided against it. The nature of the comments and posts on that blog were such akin to a person I would avoid talking to.
So, I've brought the discussion to you. Why would someone post a blog like that? And, given the nature of this blog, I ask another question: When you tell someone your beliefs in God or mention your commitment to God to remain celibate until marriage; what type of feedback do you generally get?
“A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance.” – Anatole France
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Throngs of people approached the alter and knelt in reverence to God. We prayed, worshipped, cried, shouted, sang… well, you get the picture. Right before we started to pray, Bishop Bronner said, “God only answers desperate prayers.”
His statement caused me to pause and think, but instead of pondering what he said at that moment I went on a prayed with his statement at the back of my mind.
Maybe you’re wondering, ‘Why did you pause?’ Or, like me, the statement gave you something to think about. When I think about “desperate” I think about someone who is crying, screaming, jumping, shouting and flailing about in desperation, but what I’ve realized is that if I limited my thinking to that then I would limit my experience with God.
I feel (when I say that, I mean that I believe God is telling me) that God wants us to have desperation in our hearts. Now, that doesn’t null the person who has an outward appearance of desperation. God, I’m sure, recognizes that as well and he recognizes an individual who has desperation in their heart when they seek him.
If you think about it – as a very good friend of mine pointed out – there isn’t any reference in the bible of Jesus screaming, shouting and jumping. He did cry out to the Lord, but that doesn’t necessarily mean how I initially pictured desperation in my head.
What I think we should remember as we seek God is to just seek God. Know what I mean? Don’t let the how, why and ‘what for’ keep you from seeking Almighty God. Worship him. Praise him. Thank him. And pray to him. He’s waiting for each and every one of us to seek him… in desperation. :-)
“Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything depended upon man.” Francis Cardinal Spellman
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I’m doing something a little different today: I’m posting a book review I wrote about Robin McGraw’s book “Inside My Heart: Choosing to Live with Passion and Purpose.” This post is more for my female readers, but I encourage everyone to read it.
When I’ve watched Robin McGraw with her husband, Dr. Phil, on television, she appeared to be a centered person and a down-to-earth woman. That’s why when her book, “Inside My Heart: Choosing to Live with Passion and Purpose,” was released last year I had to get a copy and read about this woman for myself.
Not only is “Inside My Heart” an easy-to-read book, but among Robin’s life story are lessons every woman should learn. The primary one being that we – as women – have a choice. We shouldn’t just ride along on life’s highway and allow others’ choices and decisions dictate our lives. Robin relays this by giving examples of some of the things that happened in her life: From something as seemingly small as not letting a bank employee tell her she didn’t make a deposit when she knew that she had to watching her mother refuse to let a group of drunken men into their home to take their furniture. (This was after her father, who was an alcoholic, had gambled it away.)
She says it was instances like those that allowed her, and allows her, to make choices about her life. Including not being involved with a man who drinks (Dr. Phil doesn’t drink at all) or being bullied by someone into believing something she knows isn’t true and standing up for herself.
One of the important things that I gather about Robin making choices in her life is that she does it with the grace of a woman and the spirit of Christ. “Inside My Heart” allows a brief glimpse into the life a woman who we only know through television and in the process it teaches us a few things about being a woman first as well as a wife and a mom. With a little sprinkling here and there on how others should treat you and loving the life you’re living.
Robin says, “My wish is for you to perceive, as I do, the presence of God within us and around us and feel the love He feels for us all. I want to get you excited about whatever phase of life you’re in, excited about being a woman in this day and time, excited about being the woman that God created you to be. And it’s all there for the choosing, because I believe in the core of my soul that how you live, how I live, how we all live as women is largely a matter of choice.”
Now why would I post this review here? If you’ve kept up with my entries then you know I have a reason for everything. Well, just about everything. I wanted to impress upon the women about making a choice when it comes to having sex outside of marriage. A lot of women get into situations where they are afraid their boyfriend or significant other will leave them if they aren’t putting out. You know what I mean: Giving up the goods. Ladies, don’t fall for the lines: “I thought you loved me.” Or “I really need you.” And the killer: “Let’s just be friends.” All because you don’t want to have sex.
Don’t be pressured. Don’t be afraid to be alone. Honestly, if a man is going to use that against you then he may not be the man for you. Most likely he isn’t. And if he happens to be the man God has for you then he’ll come back to you the right way.
Remember: You want to be in relationship with someone who has the same beliefs and commitments that you do. Don’t get into a relationship with a man who doesn’t believe in being celibate before marriage. And if you’re already in a relationship, ask God for guidance in bringing that relationship into order or eliminating it from your life.
Make a choice! I know it’s easier said then done, but your spiritual, emotional and physical well being is on the line.
I love you!
“The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” – George Eliot