Thursday, March 25, 2010

Suddenly! (part 1)

I was having a frustrating season. It seemed what I was praying for just wasn't happening. The answer I received when attending services, the pastor would preach, "the seeds you sow could be a redwood tree. You know that takes some time and could be a harvest for next generations." That did not comfort me but only added to the frustration.

As much as the bible has about not envying anyone else and build treasure in heaven, it just seemed as if God forgot about me. We know not to be selfish and as hard as we might try in prayer, volunteering, giving - there's just one little thing that keeps tryting to get a voice - what about me? Who is going to volunteer time to me? Who is going to bless me with a holy handshake? Who is praying for me? And while those questions try to get a voice, do you refrain from adding explicatives into those questions (just wondering)? God saw my heart.

A minister was teaching on prayer and added, "you know, you can pray for yourself?" realizing I hadn't been doing this, I let the flood gates go; while praying I also voiced the frustration of waiting so long and allowed it into my asking. The bottom line, while reminding God of His Word, knowing it can not return to Him void of power, I asked, "what happened to my suddenly?" I kept reading about them in scripture. Jesus said this and then suddenly or immediately, or instantly. Well, what happened to mine?

Suddenly ! (part 2)

Being a domestic violence counselor of a fairly large sized Social Service Company, I was content - even enjoyed my job by giving advice, providing resources, and essentially helping people in whatever that was needed.

One afternoon the company called a staff meeting. The director announced the events to come and made everyone aware of the budget restraints but affirmed that no one would be losing their jobs due to the econmy. "The recession wasn't going to touch us," she made us believe and we reciprocated with applause. Earlier, I had received an accomodation for my work and the trainers from the city's capital came to the company to tell the director about how impressed they were of me. I was elated; and then it happened.

My suddenly was a phone call from a disgruntled client who was trying to milk the system. She got a "no" from me so she went to the director. I wasn't afraid but SUDDENLY I was terminated. What?!! The director seemed to scramble for the words. It still doesn't make sense even after the accomadation, her affirmation, the trainers? What else could I do but look for another job?

It rained one day. I was driving through an under pass where the water collected. A woman and her 3 children were stalled. I slowed down and waited for her. Looking in my rearview mirror I saw a pick up truck behind me that didn't seem to be slowing down. Then SUDDENLY, BAM! His bumper moved my trunk closer to me.

Shortly after recuperating from the accident, I was driving home when SUDDENLY I felt the car shaking. Pulling it to the side, I got out and saw the tire was completely flat - like blow out flat. I walked to my mother's home which wasn't far. I called another relative for assistance. When I got home the relative called asking where was my car? I gave specific directions. I was driven to where I parked the car and there was no car there. I had no car?

Walking and taking public transportation seemed to be test of my endurance. SUDDENLY pain like I never experienced before made itself known. I needed transportation. I needed a job; without either, it was seemingly bleak. On my way home with gritted teeth, I tried to be optimistic, unlocking the front door my children greeted me in the dark! The lights were out - not so suddenly. The other utilities were also following suit.

Suddenly! (part 3)

What could I do but get on my knees? This was a beating to me. What was I being chastised about - for asking? What was going on? This kind of stuff never happens to me. I had always been blessed. Granted, there are some things I would have liked, but for the most part, my life had been very happy. Then, SUDDENLY, while in church services, the pastor changes, the way he was teaching. It was as if attending Vacation Bible School for baby saints. He was catering only to them! Doesn't anyone else need spiritual food? What was going on? By this time I was wailing. The restraints were off. Anxiety and stress were tap dancing on temperance and I didn't care. If anyone told me to be patient, at that given moment, they were going to get the beat down of their lives! I don't believe my prayers were coherrent to anyone else, but God saw my heart.

I did get a job. It wasn't what I would normally do, but it is work. To do it well, I have to be still. I never knew how hard that was until I had to do it. In that time I learned that asking for a suddenly isn't bad. Asking for a suddenly at the appropriate time is better. It took 3 years for me to realize that I have grown up and my gifts are needed elsewhere. Provision flowed plentiful at one time, but when changes occur, your attention is being beckoned. I still have provision (God will always supply); however, abundance directs elsewhere. Know when its your time to move.

Touch Not My Anointed

There comes a time in our lives where we must move from the nest. We already know that time within ourselves when to move from Mom and Dad's home and into a place of our own. The parents might initially feel ambivalent about the decision because they know they trained you but also you will be embarking on matters that you really know nothing about and that makes them feel insecure with what they trained you with. So what happens to this same instinct for the child spiritually?

We have made up our minds to be devoted to the faith, we have volunteered, have done the work, and we have learned the lessons taught and applied them to our lives - now what? When is it time to put all of that in operation? When do we move from the place where we grew up? That first ministry (church) that taught us the most. When do we act upon what God says when He tells us to move? Is it scarier to move from that first ministry than it was to move from our parent's home? And when we do, whether forcibly or not, do we move quietly or kicking and screaming?

I moved from a good ministry and it took some doing to get me to do it. I had become comfortable with the routine and the work I was doing plus with the messages taught the emphasis was on, why would anyone leave? But I also remember the pastor telling new members, "this may not be a perfect church because you are here, but God lead you here for a reason so get involved." I knew that the ministry was going to train those new members and their particular gift or talent would enhance the church and others all the more.

Apparently God was going to use my gifts elsewhere and I couldn't see as to why He moved me to a Jewish Community where oddly enough, I found others just like me. Not necessarily in the community itself but in places I would have never seen if I didn't do the first thing He said to do - move. I heard people talk of other ministries as if they had been there and knew what was going on. These were influential people to me. So when it came time for me to move, to those ministries I couldn't help but to wonder why would I go there if that ministry is like that? Where I come from the choir is so anointed and the order by which the auxiliaries conduct themselves is timely and well managed. I enjoyed it so much. Why would I go elsewhere where none of this is being done? Man, I would like to enjoy where I am going! I don't feel like complaining about some out of tune choir, haughty ushers, and a nursing guild whose attitude is that they are doing me a favor. After all that I heard those people say about this ministry, why God, why can't I stay where I am?

The answer was in my question. It is where I AM. The Word says to depart from evil, do good, seek peace and pursue it (Psalms 34:14 KJV). If peace leaves for me, why would I continue to stay? Where there is no peace, would trouble fill the void if disobedience is in operation? Trouble in finances, relationships, understanding, work, business, home, etc.? How much more convincing do you need?

Ministers don't usually speak of members growing up and moving because they are gatherers. It is their nature. Taking members from other ministries I find reprehensible but some have done this too (give me scripture signifying that it is okay to do and I will retract that statement). To understand both, you would have to look at your own situation. Has He told you to move? Still kicking and screaming? What do you have to be afraid of? Don't listen to that which can do you no good. The opinions of others should not touch you. Hear the voice of the Lord. Take heed and do.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fight Fire With Fire

Let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14 KJV). The verse is written in Psalm of the Holy Bible. With us living Christian lives by means of this bible, why would we then use such phrases as that which entitles this blog entry?

Think about it for a moment. When one fights fire with fire what you would have is a raging inferno. What does that settle but consume everything in its path. Who does that sound like? Even with the understanding that the phrase may have been created from anger, it still doesn't rationalize its intent. The Word tells us to be angry and sin not (Ephesians 4:26 KJV). Fighting fire with fire opposes that. The Word tells us that we fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6;12 KJV). The aforementioned phrase opposes that. The Word tells us to carry the shield of faith to be protected from the fiery darts of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16 KJV). Again, the created cliche from anger opposes that. The Word says that the Word was God and is with God; therefore the Word (as told in other verses) is God. The Word also tells us that if you are a friend of the world then you are an enemy to Him (James 4:4 KJV). If then this phrase was created from the world's means (anger, resentment, offense, revenge) and one adhere's to the purpose and intent behind it, then shouldn't one also believe that he/she is an enemy to God?

I have been reminded in my studies of how God doesn't like arguing of any kind. While in James,he states that arguing doesn't promote righteousness (James 1:20 AMP), it is more detailed in 2 Timothy. However, while staying in James, righteousness is one of the traits to Kingdom Living. Then shouldn't it be obvious that arguing can't be healthy for anyone? Also the word, tells us that God is in the business of leading souls to Him. When those who are lost sees those who claim to be found arguing, why then would the lost gravitate towards those arguing? Why would the lost desire to be anymore like that?

Many of us have said some pretty asinine things in our ignorance. We don't know what kind of damage has been caused because of those things said, but because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can ask for forgiveness and repent knowing that all has been forgiven and made anew.