Saturday, September 27, 2014

Being with God... it's beautiful, courageous, awesome. 

God being with me... it's perfection.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beginnings Are Nice - Even If They're Old Beginnings

Here's a tiny list of the big things which are rehappening this week:

- writing! I'm writing again. I cannot say how much my heart has lifted just for this one thing I love.

- music! Drowning myself in tunes like this:

- prayer! Yes, I'm praying again. Which for me goes hand in hand with writing, as prayers for me are usually longhand. 

- singing! Badly, maybe, but still!

- dancing! Around my room. Pretending to be famous. Goofing around procrastinating important things. Having loads of fun!

- tidiness! My living space is officially clean, tidy, and rid of excess material items I haven't used in the past years.

The Lord is my companion this week, this day, this year, this lifetime, this coming eternity. I'm spending my single time growing in the faith, facing tests, progressing with education, and delving into those things I can enjoy. And I'm making an effort to "Keep Calm And Pray For Wisdom."

Another good song:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Life is more than a sad story.

We were all born to die, even Jesus.

Especially Jesus.

He died... grossly, horribly, painfully.

As He died, we began to live.

As He lived, we were raised with Him in Spirit.

Death to self allows life to happen.

Trauma gets us loving God's comfort.

Pain gives us sight, shows us the tunnel we run down.

The light there at the end is where I'll be.

- I've got nowhere to hide -

- and I don't want to leave, either -

- if here is where Jesus is... -

- then I'm a'stayin right here -

I Celebrate This Day

Aha! I'm listening to Christmas music and it's not quite August yet. Seems to me (peering over my glasses and pretending to be a partridge in a peer tree) that despite the general consensus that Christmas music is for Christmastime, I digress! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born not actually on December 25th and He is worth celebrating whatever the time of year!


God is so good. And I love God.

While we're talking about music, just want to add that you may come across some Relient K songs which are questionable. Such as "Faking My Own Suicide" and "Devastation and Reform." The former is one of their best written songs with the worst moral. The latter.... in my head, it's a sort of grueling psalm that I very much like. Another song, "Deathbed," is so poignant, catchy, long and includes every tone you could expect in Christian music all in the one song. Ten minutes in length, it is an amazing story with a beautiful ending. Have a listen when you can! I don't have a favorite song of theirs. I love the peaceful ones, the worship ones, the random ones, the funny ones. Right now... Let is Snow, Baby, Let it Reindeer. Bring on the snow, the cold and storms. I have a peace inside my heart which is so powerful and beyond any emotional... emotions. God gives and takes away. He gives me comfort through many facets. Lying on my bed earlier I was praying out loud and praising God for God. Some people find fault with music if it's not very obviously "Christian" (as in, praise music) and I don't disrespect them in the slightest. Just for me, part of my worship time is listening to ridiculous songs by Relient K because those guys' music is what gets me up and dancing and singing and laughing, and joy is honouring to God.

I just about fell over I was so involved in singing the good oldie "Shout to the Lord" ten times over. Not by Relient K. But definitely part of my worship time! I don't set aside a certain time of day, because that makes me think of God as an appointment and, like usually happens with appointments, I miss them, I postpone them, I rationalize my current "spiritual health" doesn't justify a worship time or spiritual checkup. Strange what arguments reach through my thoughts. "It ain't the well that need the doctor, it's the sick who need healing."

Thing is, I really do need healing. Sin is a curse (pretty much literally), and it is difficult to go through storms like anxiety, spiritual warfare or temptations and not have Jesus next to me holding me tight. I usually withdraw. Always, "Oh no, I can't let Him in."

I'll tell you a massive secret..... *whispers* ..... I let Him in. Can we now forget that people might think us weird and can I SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!!! Yes, I am a Christian! I have been saved!

...... on a side note (because I just thought of it) the emphasis the Church places on forgiveness as part of being saved is often wrongly directed. By which I mean, we are told to forgive all the people who wound us. We're told to continue this type of "forgiveness prayer" for all our lives. Rarely are we told that the foundation prayer we spoke at the very beginning, for God to forgive us for our sins, must be continued with focus and purpose.

As I shout with joy that Jesus is my Saviour and Rock, guess what? I'm a sinner! I don't want to hide myself; I'm healed completely. Ask and it will be given. For forgiveness to be given, first it must be asked for. And keep asking. Because not sure about you, but man I sin a lot.

I went from music to the Gospel to forgiveness. Still listening to something about Santa Claus coming to town. So glad of Jesus. So much better than any superhero or some guy who only works one day a year. So glad God doesn't take breaks from working in me, sustaining me... because without one second of God's will for me to live and grow, I would not exist. His Word created me, He simply created me, and I will praise His Word forever.

I declare that God is the best of the best of the best. He is so much stronger than Satan's greatest weapons. We don't need to live in a spirit of anxiety. So let's let it go for once, unburden those shoulders, and remember the meaning of Christmas.

God was born as Jesus. And Jesus saved the world. Guess who's my hero.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Scarves + Pharmaceuticals

Physical beauty, eesh. One of those "most talked about" topics, among women at least. I'm saddened by the fact I thought to write this. However it does seem unavoidable because, as a Christian woman, I am dished out the same worldly beauty advice as everyone else.

Over the years my insecurities have not been dormant. It used to be about how an injury would swell on my face when I collided with a neighbor in a ballgame (although, after all that, I didn't really care besides the pain). Then it moved to worrisome teenage skin. Now... much of all that has remained the same... just shifted, upgraded, never demolished. 

I began wearing makeup when I was 16. It was not good for my self image. Turns out that being terrible at applying cosmetics can be worse than going natural in the first place. While this gradually improved, there were other things... my ears became pierced and decorated, my wardrobe housed new high-heeled calf-hugging boots, my dresses became shorter, and my hair remained a frizzy mess (...or perhaps a nicer frizzy mess). The beauty world spun my head around. It also fast emptied my pockets.

I do a lot of reminiscing - maybe I'm secretly too old for my own good, and too young to do anything about it. The past was so nice, when the choices were simple. Sneakers or bare feet? T-shirt or dress? Long gone are the days when practical necessity dictated my appearance; tying up my hair when it was windy, wearing a scarf when it was cold, and the only pharmaceutical products I touched were to fix up my broken skin and the occasional headache.

Yes, there are downfalls for being a Christian woman living in a world like this. Yes, I wear makeup almost daily and I take care with my clothing. I enjoy the me-time if I'm completely honest! The downfall comes when thinking through everything, after I take my makeup off again and wash my face, and take off those pretty scarves, what do I think when I look in the mirror? 

- I'm ugly
- I need to look nicer
- No one can see me like this
- Other people won't find me pretty
- I can make myself better

If any of those examples, womanhood is doomed. Positive thoughts are these:

- I'm beautiful
- I do look nice!
- Other people notice I'm making an effort
- Big things come in small packages
- God says I'm gorgeous

I must respectfully say that these examples are also wrong. The only thing different with them is the positive/negative tones, otherwise they're still the same fundamentally.

It's not a coincidence that several words have the common prefix "self" - here's a list of a few.

- confidence
- esteem
- hatred
- sufficiency
- image
- righteousness

I'm a Christian. So, I'm going to be blunt about my faith for a second. When I've talked to God it comes across as though the world has things fully backward. When I talk to the world, I get lies; from God, I get truth. God is very refreshing! He puts in place the concept that confidence is humility. Let's turn our heads around.

- God is beautiful
- God is our focus of esteem
- God hates lies but loves the world despite them
- God is our sufficiency
- God made us in His image
- God is our righteousness

All those years and I am still learning the point of Scripture where it says, somewhere, everywhere, that God must be our focus. In practical life when I see a woman all dolled up in makeup and high-heeled boots and pretty jewelry, my mind does not engage her with the word "beautiful" until I see that amazing, non-Colgate smile she tries to hide because that's her insecurity. Love God and the rest will be fine. Feel free to wear nice clothes and apply some cosmetics tastefully. Please - remember the most important thing. GOD is a woman's confidence. Her joy is in HIM, and her beauty comes from HIM. It is not herself who shines but His presence in her heart telling the world, "I'm God and this is MY girl."

I'm no expert on fashion or cosmetics. Honestly, some days I think I look awful (yep, it's an ongoing struggle). But can we at least study the Bible before we apply our makeup? Can we chat to God while we're changing our clothes? Can we tithe our me-time so God get's the 90% instead of us? Practically I have only simplistic advice. Wear clothes that fit and cover you, wear colors which bring out your eyes, and for goodness sake, SMILE like you're a queen. Women have so forgotten the lost art of laughter and smiling! Bring that back and trade the codswallop for God's truth.

Just enjoy God in the days that He has made for you.