Friday, January 28, 2011

For the Lost

Today i received the news that my brother has decided to give up on keeping the little girl he raised as his own from birth. Recently he found out that he is not the father. She is 17 months old, and an adorable, wonderful, lovable little girl i call my niece.This whole story has been a rocky road from the onset, and as the mother is currently in jail and will probably be there for awhile on 2 charges of endangering a child (her own) by having them in tow while drinking & driving, my brother has been caring for her.
There were a few times this past month that i was on that emotional roller coaster. The first being when he told me of the paternity test results, another being when he made the decision to contact the possible true father.But i spent much time praying and trying to help with care & advising him on things, and i had hope that he would do the right thing and fight for some rights to the little girl who loves him dearly and calls him dad.
But , in spite of many previous conversations, one just this week, when he stated that he was going to try to maintain custody, he called to tell me he was going to give her over to the mothers parents.
The reasons were two: it would take thousands of dollars to fight for her, and it would go on & on years.
When did it become okay to give a child back to a mother who lied about first pregnancy,then paternity,is in jail for endangering both young children, and threatens to fight to keep them both?A woman who has a bi-polar disorder, is an alcoholic and prescription drug addict, has never held a job and is only 22 years old? A woman who has 2 children that have been shuffled
around to various caretakers because of her instability and poor choices?
When did THAT become the acceptable , reasonable, or right thing to do?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Edition

...of "giving" according to the bible.
Today i am posting on 2 Corinthians 9:7 ""each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver."

Sometimes i know it is difficult to know what God wants.There have been many times where i have wondered "is this God speaking to me, or just the voices in my head? Am i telling myself something because i want it to be true? Am i going crazy?What if i am deceiving myself?"
I know that recently i gave an amount of $500. Let me say that in the weeks leading up to the actual giving, i questioned the amount several times. I would think, "well, maybe they don't need that much. I have to watch my budget." And then a little red flag would fly up & i would have to remind myself that this was the amount that, through no other means or investigation of that persons needs, came into my head.And just the very fact that i am questioning it tells me that this line of thinking is straight from the devil.How do i know that?
Just this week i noticed in the word that wherever satan shows up, his lines include one thing in common. They are always about placing doubt in the receivers mind.In Matthew , he tempts Jesus 3 times , starting out with "IF...., then....?"Bringing the question to his intended victims mind.Another example is in Genesis, when tempting Eve.."Did God really say..."
I am sure there are other examples.
Additionally, in James there is a passage about double-mindedness that we need to consider.
Because according to it, anyone who is wishy washy about decisions is no better off than the man who "looks into the mirror intently, then when he walks away, forgets what he looks like."
Most of todays scripture about giving is in reference to those who give because they are persuaded to, and , in their hearts they really dont want to.And also about those who give for personal gain--for instance those who give in front of others , so that they" look good".God says that if you give under those complusions, you are receiving your reward here on earth, and so it will nopt be credited to you again in Heaven.
God loves a cheerful giver, not one who sliently questions after the fact why he or she ever gave in the first place. Even when the "rewards" are not immediately apparent.
We need to remind ourselves that we give in obedience & in faith. For whatever happens , we must be confident that the Lord will see our obedience and keep His word to take care of us!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finally got a Mac

So, i have not been on blogging for awhile. i got the Mac Book & have been trying to figure it all out. I still have lots of programs to transfer somehow from windows format. My son-in-law (crazy word to say for me) is supposed to come over tomorrow sometime to help me. I really do like it, and it is supposed to last longer & have less viruses.
I have been spending lots of time typing up stuff on here too. I am helping to edit our new pedia prep class manual, plus doing the monthly in-services (which require a ton of research) and i was recently asked (again) to look into getting my CPR instructor certification .That class isnt until April or May , depending if i go through the American Heart Association or the Red Cross. i hope the companyy approves the Red Cross because it is in April & is closer to attend.
In other news, today is the last day of our church's Daniel Fast & my husband has lost a total of 40 lbs! He looks great, but says he doesnt feel any better. He has been dealing with serious dental issues this month as well , including a root canal & temporary crown. Lots of pain.
I have been getting more & more inquiries about my paintings. The talent show went well, i presented 2 paintings. My daughter is requesting the first one with the waves...i almost hate to part with it, since it's my frst seascape, but i agreed in return for a new canvas of the same size. The other one i'm selling for no less than $100. I havent had a chance to paint this week, working alot so i can pay the mortgage before i head out to St. Lucia on the missions trip Feb. 11th through the 18th.I am really broke right now...but of course, my hubby isnt, and he has been spoiling me lately for some unknown reason. All i can do is thank God for such a wonderful man! Through this fast he has , i believe, grown inwardly as a spiritual person. I even see him as more of my spiritual leader now.He has been kind, patient & consistent despite practically starving and in severe pain.My birthday present (besides this computer) is a brand new commercial grade Nordic Trak treadmill!!!(Coming in about 2 weeks).
Well, that's about it for updates. I will be baking cookies today for our church spaghetti dinner. We are donating all proceeds from the ticket sales to the missions trip & selling baked goods there as well.Since i have to serve, etc. i have to be there at 2p. Its over at 6p-but i assume i'll be cleaning up also. This is our last fundraiser (that i know of) and they will take 2 offerings at service the next 2 weeks.
So, i have to, run, run!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Talent Show

These are the two paintings i "unveiled" at the Church talent show, along with reading from the book of Jonah, and an original poetry piece which follows:
The surfer rises to the glint of the earliest morn
Pulls on a suit of sleek black
He heads towards the horizon with his board in tow
Away from what is past
On the water , he swims alone, shivering
Amidst swirls of a storms aftermath
Gracefully quiet, but pressing forward
Breathing in Poseidons bath
With a swiftness, a wave is cresting and
He mounts the board upright
Strong and confident, balanced, noble
Silouetted in soft ,pink morning light
It is a dance of supreme illusion
So much more than it seems
It is a time for gaining strength by solice
It is a time for living dreams
He is joined as one with the oceans song
For a spell, sailing, but not to impress
Surrounded by the rushing roar of saltwater
But only a small form on its vastness
While back on the shore a beachcomber saunters
Slowly , collecting pretty gifts from the sea
Feet in the foam, smelling the briney air
Never wading past his knees
he notices the surfer from the shore
But does not understand the inner strength it takes
To stay on the board, appearing at ease
In the oceans constant wakes
The beachcomber stays safe on the sand
Takes home his treasures and other things
To sell, or keep and to remember
How lovely the mermaid sings

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Whether you like it , or not

Still going to stretch your capacity for being open minded (you readers who've receeded). I'm not ashamed of my love for God's word. Someday, you might wish you had loved it more.So, here we go....

Proverbs 21:5 "the sluggards craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.All day long he craves for more , but the righteous give without sparing."
First, let me say that just because you hold a job and maybe even use your hands for work, you are not exempt here. Let's get past the excuses and see where we stand.
A sluggard- i picture a person who is basically lazy. They are lazy even while they are at their job.Then they get home,they may cozy up on the sofa or at the kitchen counter with a nice meal, perhaps watching tv for awhile...they maybe get on the computer, take a shower, climb into bed and fall asleep.Doesnt this descibe most Americans? I know a good portion of that in some way applies to me.
One thing i re-learned today is how over -the -top wealthy we are in the United States. Wanna know what rich is in comparison with most of the rest of the world? Here's the litmus test:

Can you read?
Do you own a book?
A "Yes" to one or both means that you are in fact, considered wealthy by current standards on most of the earth.
Chew on that if your feeling an urge to snack tonight.
Every time i hear that statistic it hits me right in the gut. And what is my own personal mantra?

"If your not part of solution, you're part of the problem"

I've been using it since my teen years. But it means more to me each year i age.Sooooo...
What are we doing about that?Are we using this gift we take for granted every single day and using it to help someone else? Are we teaching , educating, reading to someone? How bout loving them enough to give them a book....and of course the best book ever-THE BIBLE- would be a nice start.
But any book that is uplifting or practical is good.If you're not sure how, contact the Gideans. They are on the web and ,yes, they are the worldwide organization that puts the bible in the hotel room drawers.
What about teaching literacy? Anyone can do this - local chapters have training to help you get started with the American Literacy Council.Many adults , even in our country, still cannot read well enough to fill out their opwn job application.
While ,most of us sit at home eating and relaxing, many shiver in the cold- homeless, alone, without adequate food or clothing.How , o sluggards that we are, can we sit back & do NOTHING???
I am not just another bleeding heart, but I know God's heart, and i know it bleeds for me. In fact , i know who literally bled for me.And this year i'm at His mercy- to serve, and not be served.
To give, and not be given to, in as much as it may affect my own lifestyle. What is a gift, if it costs you nothing...this is my time to put aside myself, and i will use that time wisely!