Monday, October 20, 2014

Too Ruined To Serve?

A minister said he would rather use an old rot gut sinner just getting saved to do a job for the Lord before getting someone who is more seasoned in the church. Why? Is the minister looking for the zeal the seasoned Christian used to have? Interesting.

How did a more seasoned Christian get that way? How long will it take for an old rot gut to get the way of a seasoned believer? Whose fault is it that Christians get that way? Who do you believe should be doing the changing first? How can you keep from loosing your zeal? Is it always good to have? Why would a minister or pastor need a zealot to do anything for them? Is there a ministry for the zealot? Should there be? Do they need special protection? Interesting...isn't it?

Think about someone who is always excited. Can an overly excited person listen to do what is
orderly? Or will he/she run to do something they believe will be pleasing to the person they are trying to impress? Are overly excited Christians impulsive? What can you do with this sort of person? Is there a way to redirect someone without hampering their spirit?

There was a middle aged man just coming into the knowledge of the truth and realizing the importance of making a joyful noise unto the Lord. Every praise and worship service, he would be in front of the congregation dancing and worshiping God. He didn't care what people thought or how much they talked about him (if at all). He just loved the Lord and wished to express himself at every given opportunity. When he decided to volunteer in one of the auxiliaries, his reputation preceded him. All of the leaders and/or ministers of such groups already established how they liked for things to be and didn't need any shaking up. They tried to be subtle so not to hurt his feelings but how else was he suppose to perceive what was going on in the ministry where he would also like to serve? All of the leaders/ministers suggested for him to try this group where Sister such-and-so needs some help or try Brother so and so because he asked for volunteers...and so forth and so on. Finally, someone heard from God and asked for him to join the young people service to keep the children excited during praise and worship but manageable during the message portion of the service. That was it! His place where he fitted in comfortably. Not only was he a good influence for the young people, he was able to settle down to hear poignant portions of the sermons that assisted him in being a mature Christian.

There is always a place for someone who truly loves the Lord. All gifts and talents given by God are welcomed to be used in the body of Christ. Is there a time when gifts cannot be used (1 Corinthians 12:27-31 AMP)?

A well known celebrity had a horrific accident. He was bed ridden for months and the doctors did not have a favorable outlook. A minister heard of this celebrity's plight and decided to have a few of his colleagues go to the hospital to visit with him. The celebrity was awake and welcomed the visitors. They introduced themselves then proceeded to tell why they came. Afterwards, they witnessed to the man and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Personal Savior. Then they prayed for him. They explained that by faith he could be healed. During his stay in the hospital, the ministers came to see him regularly and rejoiced at the man's speedy recovery. The doctors were astonished. The ministers told the man that he was more then welcome to attend their church but if he chose not to, it was very important for him to attend a bible teaching ministry. He thanked them and asked when was their next service. The news traveled fast that this celebrity would be attending this ministry. That Sunday, the church was packed. The celebrity sat on the front row. When the pastor came to speak, he told of the celebrity's accident and asked for him to come and have a testimony about what God's goodness has done for him. Reluctantly, the man came and spoke. There was such a stir in the congregation by his status as well as what he endured but God delivered him out of it. When he was finished, the congregation stood and applauded God's goodness. But because the man knew nothing about Christian principles, he received the applause as he would in making a performance and thanked the people with a slight bow. At the end of the service, visitors came to the celebrity and asked if he could speak at their church or event they were having as well. He accepted. From that church came another speaking engagement, then another, and another. Finally, he was too exhausted to keep up the pace and began declining the invitations. As much as he would have liked to attend services, he couldn't. Eventually, he reconciled within himself to go back to the only life he knew. He would not receive any other phone calls other then from other celebrities and/or those that had paying jobs for him. Slowly but surely even the paying jobs stopped. Where were the original ministers that visited him in the hospital? Do they see the harm they did to this newborn Christian who happened to be a celebrity? He did as they told him to but he was never fed the Word. Where was the protection from all of those who wished for a piece of him as well?

There are a number of different incidences that has happened to me while in ministry. I have seen ministers do things that caused me to pause not knowing that my mouth was still open in shock. In asking questions and was flabbergasted at the answers I received back from those who have been serving in ministry far longer then I have been a Christian. In all of that and those other things not worthy to mention, it took maturity to realize it wasn't them I was trying to please. The Word is magnified in my life to where resorting to means that would have resurrected the flesh wasn't a thought; however, if it was, there would be a disillusion of what I believed Christians should be (actually, that has happened). Should there be a ministry for that? Is there already one set up for that? Should the shepherd in charge of the flock be checking on that? Isn't that what he is supposed to be doing or am I expecting too much (Romans 8:8-17 AMP)?

In all 3 incidences described, ministers were involved in one capacity or another. Were they not prayed up? Did they not hear the voice of the Lord and just chose to disregard it? Are the ministers/pastors overwhelmed with their duties? How can that be? What is the responsibility of the church in that regard or in the place of the 3 incidences described?

There was a black out at my place of employment. The administrator had all of the staff come in to assist the elderly. For whatever the reason, the administrator failed to call one of the newest employees. When the administrator left for the night, I was responsible to do some designating to make sure all of the residents were safe. I called the new employee not only because we could use the extra help but so that she could feel needed. I would think the church would do the same thing. When the pastor or the minister fails at a small detail, pick it up and keep going. There is a job to be done. We have all been assigned to do what we must. Prayer is the first thing and knowing what to do comes right after. If you believe you have done all you can, stand therefore (Ephesians 6:10-18 AMP).

To the pastor that would rather have a rot got sinner just being saved to use for the Lord then a disciplined, more mature Christian, shame on you (Matthew 24:39-51 AMP). The reasoning is clear whether it was said or not. You are not looking for that baby in Christ to be a well rounded servant of God but rather one to serve you in whatever capacity you choose. This entry is for all pastors to know that the congregation isn't at all as naive as we use to be and if there isn't a ministry to keep the babies close and watch out for them, there should be (Matthew 7:15 AMP). We know that these are the last days. We have learned to read the scriptures for ourselves and whether the clergy aren't as steadfast in their prayers anymore - we are. Calmly think on that one (Selah).

Its On Like Donkey Kong!

Now, you do realize that we have a Lord and Savior that has been in the process of waiting for His bride. You also know that His bride is the church (Revelation 22:17 AMP).You have to know that we are the church and have to all be in one accord for us all to walk together to do what we have to do (Amos 3:3 KJV). You have to see that because it just looks crazy for a body with all of its limbs doing whatever each of those parts want to do. There is a head to that body and the head operates the body. We progressively yield our will to the Lord so He can rule and reign in our lives.

This is the same order in a successful marriage, in a well constructed business, in raising a healthy well adjusted child, and so forth and so on. If it works, there is no reason to try to fix it or believe you can do better then the One that created all things. Its absolute foolishness to think that you could. Humble yourself (James 4:10 AMP). Jesus didn't take the role of being judge and defendant for us. It was given to him because of who He is. We are also promoted in the same manner because of allowing Him to be magnified in our lives. We are because He is. Living with these principles in the forefront of our minds, we have peace and conduct ourselves accordingly (Isaiah 26:3 AMP).

Can we change our minds? Yes, but why would you? There is nothing better out there without Him. Once we understand who we are in Him, we have the liberty to do as we please. All of those things that would have caused us hurt, harm, and/or danger is no longer enticing because we know better. Therefore, we do better (1 Corinthians 10:23 AMP).

With these things in mind, what happens when tempted from the other side of the fence? Well, picture it. There we were trudging through so much mess and mire and then Jesus came along. He introduced Himself and taught you a better way. He took the burden that was loading you down and told you He will carry it from now on (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). Then as you both were walking together and He kept showing you what He has for you, you noticed that the mire had gone away. You noticed how clean you felt and the love that just seemed to be oozing from your pores, you just have to share with someone else (James 4:8 AMP). Why, when you have never done this before? Its because of Him, being around Him and developing that relationship, you just can't help yourself. But after so many years, you might get use to those wonderful feelings and skipped on a few services, missed some time you use to have in prayer, and made excuses for not reading your bible on a regular basis. One of your "old" friends sees you and remarks how long its been. He/she tells you that such and so is in town and is having a get together at the house. You are invited. Those were some of the best times back in the day. It was so much fun and the antics you use to do is what's going through your mind. Those entertained thoughts of a life from the past you are having with that smirk is just like peering over the other side of that fence. Its like Lot's wife looking back at the life she was leaving. Its as if you don't appreciate what Jesus did for you when you were at your worst. How could you miss the mire (Proverbs 26:11 AMP)? Why would you want the filth? Why would anyone desire to be burdened?

Understand the above scenario as you would teaching a toddler how to walk. If the toddler falls, it is expected. He/she doesn't get punished because of a temporary fall. You have to be taught some things and with practice the toddler will be walking in no time and trying to run. Its in him to do.

So, you say you are a Christian and you said it out loud too. God smiles. Its like, "awe, that's so cute." Then you go a little further. Got some moxie and now when you say you are a Christian, you got a little base in your voice like no one can ever change your mind (Hebrews 10:35 AMP). God smiles. Its as if He, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are elbowing each other to show, "that's our child!" Still walking the walk and talking the talk. Nothing is going to stop you now. It looks like its time. Time for what? Its time to enlarge your territory. Its time for you to use all of the lessons you learned. Its time for those that talked about you to stand up and notice what God is doing to and for you in your life. Its time for you to recognize that this was no fad, not a ritual, no religious ordeal that's here today to be gone tomorrow if not sooner. This process was as real as God is. He has watched you all of this time and now is not the time to withdraw, or pretend that you aren't as grown as you were when you were talking the talk. You cannot shrink and go back to diapers making believe that you didn't learn or haven't seen God's glorious power at work! If you do, that would be a lie....and you know what's about to happen if you continue on that route.

This is not play time. This is for real. The position you have been called to do is a necessary work for
the body to function properly. We don't have time to go over the same stuff that you already learned. You cannot claim to have dull senses (Hebrews 5:11-14 AMP). If you do, you might have to move out of the way for someone else to take your place. We have to be in position for each member to operate in the way God created for the body to function. Jesus epitomizes patience as He waits for His bride (Revelation 19:7 AMP). His return is closer then ever before. Are you on your mark? You have a place and should be set. When God says go..... no man will stop this from happening.  Go means go - we learned that way back in kindergarten.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paying For It

There are several passages in the bible that gave me reason to furrow my brow and ponder for great length. Some of the verses gave more freedom then thought was allowed while others caused fear making me even more aware of who God is. Yet for this particular entry, the verse about buying the truth and selling it not made for an interesting topic when I called an evangelist that was accepting questions for his radio program (Proverbs 23:23 AMP). He chuckled knowing that it was a stalling tactic he was using so his assistant could either pull the verse up on the computer or come up with a viable answer to my question.

You see he, as with many others from ministry, have received a variety of gifts from the Lord. These gifts are for the perfecting of the saints (Ephesians 4:11-13 AMP). We are to be strengthened so that we can continue with what we are called to do. So why have some of us used these gifts for our own livelihood (1 Corinthians 2:14 AMP)? When did God give approval for that seeing that He would not go back on His Word?

The evangelist chuckled again and tried to make me feel ridiculous for asking the question. His reasoning was that how I was stating the question wasn't plausible because there wouldn't be so many versions of the bible and other books from those in ministry - including his. What he was avoiding was his own accountability. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right. Everyone used to sing and preach climbing up the rough side of a mountain until some of us decided to read the bible for ourselves and found that hymnal to be a fallacy (Mark 11:23 AMP). In all, there was a whole heap of words being said by him and my question wasn't sufficiently answered (Colossians 4:6 AMP).

Since then, I have heard a sermon preached about the poor widow with 1 son. She was going to make her last meal so she and her son could die. Elijah came to the woman's home and told her to make the food  for him. He ate and told her what to do in order for her to have the finances she needed for the both of them to not only to survive but thrive (1 Kings 17:8-24 AMP). The sermon answered my question, yet I wondered why the ministers didn't use that passage so not to go against what God gave them to do?

Notice when the church is in "the red", it becomes the congregation's problem. There has to be bake sales, dinner sales, car washes and the like so that the bills can be paid. My question is, what were the tithes and offerings used for? When the DVD's and CD's of the sermons were being sold, what was that money used for? Why when the members of the church have volunteered to do everything else, that there happens to be so much more to do? I know the answer to that is going to be made simple as if the pastor was supposed to receive an income from what was given. Then the ministers get their portion and the worker's that come throughout the week must also be paid; otherwise, why would they do it? Now what to do with the bills and everything else? This sort of reasoning has been going on for years and it answers why there are so many conventions, revivals, and various speakers asked from all over the country to come and speak. Does it revive the "spirit" or rejuvenate more income? Is the incentive to teach the Word to all of the land or the "love offering" after the TRUTH has been preached?

A pastor spoke to a room full of believers. He said that he was a guest speaker and had preached the Word about prospering in Christ. At the end, he saw the congregation come to give a love offering above and beyond their usual giving. Some tried to give the guest pastor the money in his hand but was intercepted by the ushers to put it in the basket along with everyone else. The baskets were gathered and were all overflowing with cash. The ushers took the baskets in the back for those who are assigned to count the monies. At the end of the service, the pastor was handed an envelope from one of the head ushers. He then made a grand gesture before the congregation and gave the envelope to the guest pastor that came all that way to speak. The guest pastor graciously received the envelope, as he told us, thanked the members of that ministry and returned to his seat. Off to the side, he looked in it to see $50.00. Those of us that were listening to him gasped including me but then I thought, which is worse? The pastor that was controlling the money to keep for whatever he chose or the guest pastor for telling us what he thought was as appalling. What is the incentive?

I thought about this when a minister said something that was so poignant. He said being a minister was something that he does because he believed God called him to ministry. But it is not how he makes his income. He then divulged what he does as a career. He said that his other colleagues have other jobs as well. This, I didn't know and had all the more respect for them because of it. However, as time rolled on, I later learned he sold his business and became a full time minister. He received a paycheck and soon many of the other ministers did as well (Ephesians 4:28 AMP). Was that God's intention or was there so much money it had to be shared rather then being used for the perfecting of the saints?

Is there a better way? You see in the complete passage, the Word says to "buy the truth and sell it not; not only that but also get discernment and judgment, instruction and understanding." So if this way was received of the Lord, then the church should never be in "the red" - right? It is written, "... never hath the righteous been forsaken nor his seed beg for bread (Psalm 37:25 KJV)." What if the tithes and offerings were used to pay for the building where the services are conducted and if any remainder to be used for giving to those that are without. Why not save money to purchase cars for those that really need them or pay off the tuition for a member or members that have been diligent in good works? Why not assist a few members in paying their household bills, or purchasing new appliances for those in need? Why aren't the ministers put on a schedule so that they can have jobs outside of the ministry and the rotation is for all of the ministers to use so that the congregation is given free time for their families? When it is done like this, there is no burn out and the people can be appreciated while the Word is going forth without anyone being stressed not having enough money to purchase it!

I never understood the purpose for the telethons on the Christian networks that broadcast the Word of God. Would not God provide for his Word? Is it necessary to pre-empt the regular programming for believers only to see their beloved ministers begging on the air for people to give even more then what they already have? When will the ministers decide that the money they receive belongs to God and they give it back to the church for the perfecting of the saints? A pastor said that he doesn't designate how much he should receive as a paycheck. There is a board that makes that determination. He then said that "the board" told him because of the offices he holds as a pastor, teacher, and administrator, that he should be paid for all of those positions. If he agreed to it, that's one thing. If he accepted the 3 paychecks for the one position as a pastor because its what a pastor does, that's another thing. But if he took those 3 paychecks and cashed them in for himself - that's something else! Is the love of God there?

This particular blog serves to answer the believer's question, "is this all there is?" or "why has my life turned out this way when I have been obedient?" For those in the ministry, I hope your question has been answered. Pastors, preachers, and evangelists should know better after all, they are teaching and feeding God's people - right? So why are they living in lavish homes and driving luxury vehicles when the ones they are preaching to, aren't? What happened to feeding God's sheep so that we are all on one accord (Ephesians 4:13-17 AMP)? What happened to the perfecting of the saints? Shouldn't we all be as mature as God has called us all to be? After all, we are all one body - right?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Abundant Life and Suffering Too?

How do those 2 things come together? Many Christians chose life because what they were dealing with was much worse then what Jesus was offering them. Course, many believers chose life having no idea what they were doing until they did it. Yet, who made the decision to choose life and when finding out what that consisted of, decided to go back where they had nothing?

Choosing life as opposed to death consists of having a completely different life style (Deuteronomy 30:15-20 AMP). Yes, there are rules to live by on a regular basis but death has its own boundaries as well (Romans 8:8 AMP). Is it changing the life style that is scary to those that haven't made a decision yet? I find that interesting. Let's uncover the scariness to reveal why that emotion even comes about and in so doing we will also answer the entitled question: Abundant Life and Suffering Too?

Oddly enough, this topic came to me while I was whimpering about my hair. My hair journey consisted of both: abundance and suffering. Why? Because I didn't recognize the voice that was giving me wisdom. All I knew, at the time, was my hair keeps reverting in the humid weather. I need something to stop it from doing that. The products for me to achieve that goal, at first were weak and smelled like burning tires laced with cat urine. It took almost 6 months for me to stop using those products....well, along with people asking what's that smell when I would enter the room and remain for more then 10 minutes. Eventually, I found the products that did keep my hair from reverting. But then, there came a new elixir. It not only keeps the hair from reverting it also offer the hair to remain bone straight. Now, the word bone in front of straight absolutely has no purpose other then to emphasis to the consumer who wants straight and silky hair. Of course, I gravitated that way as if I was lifted from my feet and placed right in front of the product. I couldn't wait to try it. The results were amazing. My hair was glorious. It grew so long and was easy to manage. I could wear all of the different hairstyles with ease and envied by so many. Going to the hair salons, all of the operators asked to be the ones to do my hair. Many of them were scissor happy but it really didn't matter, it took a few short months for my hair to grow and be back where I was even before I met those scissor happy fiends. Seriously, I was in my own little world, skipping along this path with a knowing that I didn't need to use so much product and to lighten up on the heating tools.

"But its so nice and pretty", spoke louder then common sense. Over 2 decades of changing perms, stylists, heating tools with no rest in between took its toll. I was at work and one of my co-workers started brushing off my back. When I turned to ask, she said, "you must be shedding. It isn't much." Shedding? Animals shed. But every time I came to work, she or someone else would do the same thing. I then started to check myself closely by grabbing the ends of my hair and pulling downward. I opened my hand and there was a handful of hair. This is shedding? I kept grabbing the ends and pulling until there was nothing else in my hand. I looked in the mirror a little horrified. I calmed myself by saying over and over again that it was fine. It must have been dead split ends. A few more years passed. I looked in the mirror and saw the faint glimpse of my scalp looking back at me. I don't think fear is an adequate description of what I was feeling when I saw that which should have been hidden by thick, glorious, silky, and bone straight hair. I recall a slight whimper that sounded like, "oh no!"

Fast forward, I have drawers and a linen cabinet filled with different combs, brushes, natural products, cremes, conditioners, shampoos, essential oils, elixirs, vitamins, minerals, and supplements all promising to do this, that and the other for my scalp and hair. I have researched, bought books, clipped articles and continue to hope that one thing is either going to work or do a better thing then the other thing (Hosea 4:6 AMP). I have changed my diet, I drink more water, I brush my hair while lying down, only comb my hair when wet, but haven't relinquished the grooming tools entirely which was the advice from someone else who only uses her fingers. I have eaten spicy food because it's supposed to encourage circulation in the body and in so doing cause the hair to grow (I know, right?). I have a recipe that I used for almost a year of hair adrenaline where I seeped black tea with garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, 5000 milligrams of biotin (crushed) jojoba oil, olive oil, and coconut oil was supposed to be the thing to use. None of these things worked. In fact, I have learned that too much coconut oil makes my hair feel like straw, hot oil treatments need to be washed out thoroughly, co-washing is not washing your hair but adding more product to it, and vitamins are not for topical use. This experience and what I took from it lasted for the better part of 6 years.

In those 6 years, I began wearing a ponytail to cover the thinning of my hair. Covering the ends
helped the length to grow out but where the ponytail was positioned, caused for that spot to thin as well. I have retired that hairstyle and using heating tools about 8 years ago. I have allowed for the perm to grow out about 7 years ago and had to calm myself from being tempted to go back several times. I relapsed once. Last Autumn, I wore a wig in public for the first time. I hated it!!! It took too long for me to feel comfortable with it and all awhile I felt it was a matter of time before someone pulled it off of my head. After all, when I wore my own hair, people thought it was a wig and instead of asking me, they would come and pull my hair. When I screamed ouch, not one apology - not one. So why wouldn't I believe someone would do the same thing?

Last week, in what seems to be a regular thing, I was doing more hair research and came upon a video where a woman was losing her hair in patches. She was so distraught. She claimed that she was going to allow for her beautician to take over the task of doing what her doctor signed off as being a case of alopecia. The beautician proceeded to shave this woman completely bald. Afterwards, she gave her some products that she was trying to market. Within 6 months, the woman had an even amount of hair all over her head. She was so pleased; however, I was not moved to purchase yet another failed promise or cure all for one. I had enough. I spent too much and I am tired of it. What I did take from that video was to shave it all off and treat my scalp rather then the hair.

Is that prophetic? In the last days that there would be women having bald heads? My crowning glory...I asked what happened Father? Why has it come to this? Well, in my mind anyway. I knew and could see the framework that shaped this journey and I had no one to blame but myself. You see, its how we minimize what we do for the moment. Back in the day, it used to be said to live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse. The reasoning behind that was for the person not to be conformed by anyone else's rules. No regrets, take chances, and anything you want to do - go do it! The reasoning sounds good, but is it? Without wisdom, what sounds good can lead to hurt, harm, and danger. Who wants to be strung out on drugs seeing no light at the goal in sight? Who hoped to be an alcoholic, drug dealer, gang leader, bank robber, extortionist, and/or executioner? Never are those positions written on a resume, neither has any child wrote a report on such aspirations in grade school; nevertheless, some neighborhoods wreak with the stench of them.

The analogy of my hair journey shows what many of us go through in our lives. The purpose for writing was for you to see where you are and to stop to go back to pull up that root system and sow better seed. Its going to take time for you to reap that harvest but it took time for you to get to where you are now. I knew when I began using all of those chemicals on my hair that I would have to stop to allow my hair to rest (just like my body), but as the years passed, I kept making the promise to myself and breaking it because I liked what I saw. It was only for a moment and now, I have to deal
with it (Romans 8:13 AMP).

Some of you liked the feeling of being loved for a moment (sex). The after affects weren't so nice (no relationship), and the end result didn't feel as good (disease). The responsibility of that decision didn't go away (unplanned pregnancy) and eventually you will have to answer some pretty tough questions (paternity).

Others went to a party for harmless fun. The gang was taking shots and your buddy gave you one (acceptance). Not even liking the taste of liquor, you did it because everyone else was doing it and you didn't want to be the one to put a downer at the party (compromise). Before you knew it, 1 turned into 20 and they said you were the life of the party (camaraderie). They had to tell you because you don't remember a thing until you walked outside to begin your day only to see your car in a mangled mess and blood on the fender (confusion). You call your buddy to ask what happened last night, he says he doesn't know but you can tell he does and he hangs up on you (rejection). The police pull up to your residence and asks for your name and if that is your car (fear). Because if it is, they need for you to go to the police station with them to answer a few questions (solitude).

Or a decision was made to make a little extra money and there was no other way you could see clear then to do a little drug run for some quick cash (problem). In asking around, you are introduced to a gangster from the old school. This isn't what you wanted (bigger problem). The dealer doesn't care especially now that you know who he is and where he works. He puts you through a test to see if you have the moxie to handle the course (problem is growing). He tells you to take some of his guys to a particular house to pick up his bags (mountain of a problem). There are 7 guys and they are all big (mountain with giants). They all talk as if they have your back. When you get to the place, you have to wait outside and the guys tell you what the job is about. They all pull out their guns from various places hidden on them then ask which one would you be more comfortable with (monumental problem).

You see, the suffering is choosing to do different from what your flesh would have you do (Galatians 5:19-21 AMP). Many times it will take work to do it. All the while your flesh will tell you to quit or give it to someone else to do. Your flesh would have you listen to foolishness and make you think it is a better idea then to do the right thing. Your flesh will justify laziness. The suffering is overcoming those ways, thoughts, and actions. Changing your habits by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25 AMP). Along the way you learn when choosing life God is right there with you and will walk you through it. It won't feel good at first because you have to overcome what your flesh did. Its a lesson learned and one you are not soon to forget. Life is good. The problems are only tests that can easily be resolved when choosing life. That means when in doubt, ask God, find scriptures that are similar to what you are asking for. Speak those verses....activate those words. That's choosing life.