The Day I Let Animosity Go

Forgiveness is not easy.

It requires a lot of time, patience and most of all grace. Often we don’t realize how much work it takes. It isn’t only about the person we need to forgive either. We have to find a way to maintain our own emotional physical and spiritual well being.  One of the things I have struggled with  is something which surprised me.

I had a close friend- a Christian woman who mentored me and supported me. During that time period, I felt misunderstood and frustrated. I found myself spending a lot of time defending myself with scripture and biblical principal. I was defending myself to other Christians who should have known better than to be judgmental. Some had known me my entire life, so when they acted on an assumption I struggled to overcome.

This friend believed in me, supported my ideas and encouraged me to move forward with plans for women’s ministry. She stood beside me when I had rough family situations, and I, in turn, listened to her struggles. We talked about all those things we “aren’t supposed to talk about” because they are “taboo”. We spent a lot of time together and it was a very fulfilling friendship.

Until one day, it wasn’t. Read More

The Dirt of Distraction

There are certain things which distract me on Sunday morning.

People, of course, are always going to distract me. Sometimes it’s the earrings of the woman in front of me. Sometimes it’s somebody’s tag sticking out of their shirt. On occasion, I am completely thrown off by the lighting, the clothes on the people on stage or the baby crying in the back.

But nothing distracts me more than spiritual unrest. When I am restless spiritually, I am really discombobulated. When others around me are spiritually restless, I can barely focus long enough to get through the entire hour. Being spiritually in tune makes me a bit more perceptive to the unrest which surrounds me.

There are always going to be things which distract us from worship, communion, the message, even giving. There are many things happening in church while church is “in session”. Behind the scenes, there are people working hard to make sure your worship experience is what you need it to be. Unfortunately, there are also people who are disruptive, whether they realize it or not. They allow politics and issues within a church body (because there are people) to supersede the worship experience.

It is so unacceptable to me.

I feel during the worship hour, regardless of the situation, we are to be a family. We should be a body of believers, all gathering to worship The Creator of the Universe. (That is so huge.) We are all gathered up for the same reason, and during this time, we should be focusing on worship, singing, praising and being our soulful selves. Instead, sometimes we act like a kid who dropped his ice cream.

We like to think our issue, our situation, our motives are all the most important thing happening in a room. We like to focus on our hurts, our losses, and our selves, instead of focusing on The One who brought us together in the first place. We push the Holy Spirit aside and do what we want to do because we can’t see past our own emotions and people-driven nonsense.

It makes a person tired when the baggage of others is repeatedly thrown in the aisle to trip us all up. It is the fissure and cracks that the great deceiver looks for, then he pounces. He wants to make sure division grows, takes over and destroys. He delights in the madness which ensues when we stop turning to Jesus and turn inward to lean on ourselves. He laughs and laughs.

He’s laughing at us. He is laughing because he knows he can impact everything we have worked so hard to build. He brings doubt where there was no doubt before. He brings dissension where dissension doesn’t belong. He relishes in destroying lives. He relishes in causing defeat.

We cannot let him win.

He doesn’t like it when we resolve to find victory.

So we must persevere.

There is nothing worth trading the precious family of God for.

There is no fight, no argument, no amount of pride, no amount of time which can replace the wondrous love Jesus has for The Church. There is nothing which can separate us from the Father unless we allow it. There is nothing biblical about being proud, loud and divisive.

There is only Jesus.

If we are having trouble focusing on worship, we need to decide first to pray then to rise above the distractions. Go to the front and sit. Come in early and go to your seat. Be a positive role model to others, smiling and hugging and worshipping the best way you know how. Show your church family what unconditional love looks like. Show your leadership what respect looks like. Show the younger generations coming up what worshipping as a body of believers looks like. Show the great deceiver what defeat looks like. Show the community your church is the place to be.

Galatians 5:13-26

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

 

Dirty Truth for a Dirty Subject.

It may sound crazy because it is. There is a little-known thing called a platform on the internet, and everyone is fighting to build one. The biggest statistic publishers look at are subscribers and social media followers to a website. Does this person who has submitted this idea for a book already have a following?

Do you know how much of an authors success of being published is up to their readers?

A. Lot.

It seems unfair.

It seems left field.

It seems like there are probably a LOT of really good books out there getting self-published, costing authors a lot of extra money and with very little return. It seems there may be some who are not getting published at all, based on these vital statistics, their following or lack thereof.

I have to admit, though I am willing to play the game, are the readers and clickers on my page also willing? Are you willing to support an up and coming writer in their adventure to write a book, be published and have their voice heard?  I can answer that for you- NOPE, you are not willing.

Last week I had a book I was supposed to give away on my page, for a well-known author of a very amazing book. The only criteria~ to subscribe and leave a comment so I knew to look for your name.
Guess what?
NONE of my friends, family, readers subscribed to my blog. NOT ONE. Not that day, and not ever. Completely stunned, I sat at my computer and cried. I almost shut my blog down all the way.  If a girl can’t get her friends or family to subscribe, then why would anyone else do it?

Even my writer friends I subscribe to don’t return the favor. There is no reciprocation. Yet, they expect it. It is so dang frustrating. It is also very hurtful coming from them, because hello?! We are all in the same place here. It tells me I am not good enough for weekly reading. It tells me my words don’t matter to them personally. It tells me other people are better at this than I am so why even bother?

I am, at the very least, honest. I know writers who never look for fear of the truth. And now I know.

Then a thought occurred to me. Think about your passion. Your home based business. Your coaching career. Your education or job. Think about all the ways people support your endeavors and what it costs them in money, time and resources. Think about the investment other people make in you that makes a difference in your life accomplishments. Think about what would happen if no one bought your products, shared your frustrations, supported your education or your job change.

Clicks on a page. Seems simple enough. Yet…

You are all going to be clicking somewhere. You will be reading stories, looking at pictures and watching videos.  Is my content too much? Too little? Is it too boring?  And if it is all these things, why not just say so?

The frustrations of not getting reciprocation when I KNOW God calls me to write are immense. The silence of no comments, no participation, and no support boggle me. How much does one give of themselves when receiving so very little?  How long do I spin my wheels giving giving giving, and never accepting because support isn’t offered?

This makes me feel raw. It makes me feel exposed. It makes me feel too human. I know I do not write because of people- I am convicted to write for them. People make things hard sometimes. More complicated than they have to be, actually.

 

 

Book Review : Loved Baby by Sarah Philpott PhD

Loved Baby ~

31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish your Child After Pregnancy Loss

 

Loved Baby is a dynamic new devotional giving parents who have experienced infant loss a source of hope. In this book, there is remarkable information to assist with the grieving process and help in answering some of the questions about moving forward without letting go.

Sarah Philpott Ph.D. has written this book from her experience with infant loss and the resulting emotional, physical and spiritual results. She guides the reader in a variety of circumstances. There are many topics discussed we may not even consider until we experience a loss like this. I personally love this book because it opened my eyes to things unfamiliar to me and helped me understand others losses a bit more. There is so much more to infant loss than not having your baby. Her book is clearly prayerfully considered.

Loved Baby can be purchased at the following links:    Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook

You can connect with Sarah at her website here.  You can also connect with her on various social media sites: Sarah on Facebook, Sarah on Twitter, Sarah on Instagram, Sarah on Pinterest.