Healing Emotional Scars

I grew up in a negative household. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I had a rotten childhood.  I used to think I did, but I grew up and realized that my parents did the best they could, given their childhoods. At least my parents paid attention to me and my mom did play games with me. That’s a lot more than what some other people can say.

Unfortunately, though, many of my memories are of being belittled and criticized. One of the last things my dad ever said to was, “You’re dumb.”

I am technologically challenged and I am easily frustrated with electronic devices that don’t seem to like me. Our phone belongs to my husband. When he texts a message he doesn’t have to keep hitting the back button to get the correct letter. Most people text with their thumbs. I have to use the edge of the tip of my index finger and even then I don’t get the right letter half of the time. I know it has auto correct and you can just touch the word and it will be entered. But I want to do it right. Anybody else got this hang-up?

When I get frustrated I feel stupid. When I feel stupid I often ask God why I couldn’t have a better brain. Why can’t I understand, accomplish, use simple things like a cell phone without crying because it doesn’t work for me? In other words, “God, why do I have to be so stupid? Why can’t I have a normal brain like everyone else?

A few days ago I had one of these episodes and God finally answered me. He said two things, and both of them are right out of scripture. First He said, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” Rom. 9:20.

The second verse He used was “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” I Cor. 1:27

So I may not be as smart as I want to be, but I am as smart as God wants me to be, and if He chooses to use someone as “dumb” as me, I’m okay with that.

And as I write this, one more verse comes to mind. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Col. 3:17

So if you are in need of healing some emotional scars, remember that God made you on purpose for His great purposes. God can use handicapped people. He can use deformed people. He can use lame people, blind people, mentally challenged people, people who flunk out of school, people who are rejected by society and/or their families.

God created each and every person for a specific reason. If you don’t get to know Him by receiving Jesus as your savior, you will never know God’s purpose for you. And if you’ve been in trouble with the law, spent time in prison, no matter how bad you think you have been, God still loves you. Jesus died on the cross to take your penalty and mine, for our sins. His arms are stretched out, ready to receive you. He is just waiting for you to invite Him into your heart.

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Does God Change With The Times?

John 1:1-5, 14 prove Christ’s deity, that he was God in the flesh. Don’t try to understand how that can be, just accept that God said it and that settles it. Some things are too high for our finite minds. Jesus was with God in the beginning (Gen. 1:26-28). He left the splendor of heaven to be born as an infant, suffer childhood ailments, rejection, heartache, bullying, etc. for our sakes. He chose to allow himself to suffer as we do so he could identify with our sufferings.  And we, in our prideful audacity, think we have the right to change His word, even though in at least four different places in the Bible, God tells us not to alter His word.

The Bible is not a buffet from which we can choose what to believe and what to throw out or ignore. God’s standards don’t change with the times or circumstances.

God is the supreme intelligence. He knows how to use words. He says what He means and He means what He says. The Old Testament is the history of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in respect to their relationship with God. It is filled with prophecies of the coming of Christ, the Messiah (which means anointed deliverer). It has been given to us to show us God’s character. It also gives us the Ten Commandments (not suggestions), which show us God’s righteous standard. It also shows us how unable we are to keep them. It shows us that we need God’s help and intervention in order to live a life that pleases Him. We need a relationship with God, which only comes through faith and trust in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

God’s rules (statutes, commandments) are not arbitrary. They were engraved by His mighty hand in stone tablets.

But when we treat His word like a smorgasbord, picking and choosing what we want to believe and what to dismiss, we incur His wrath. We lose His blessings. We lose His fellowship. God’s word is full of promises and blessings for those who choose to live by His rules. Both Old and New Testaments show us the consequences for ignoring His rules and trying to have fellowship with Him by our own means, we exalt ourselves above Him. That’s what Satan did before he got kicked out of heaven. He tried to dethrone God. It didn’t work for him and it won’t work for us.

Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

A God who stays the same, who doesn’t change, is a God we can trust. He is not arbitrary. He is steadfast, immovable. If it was wrong yesterday, it’s still wrong today. If it was right yesterday, it’s still right today.

God warns us repeatedly not to change His word, yet we have, many times over with all of the new “versions” of the Bible. I refuse to glorify them by calling them Bibles. They are Satan’s imitations of God’s word, designed to create confusion and controversy.

Rev. 22:18, 19 says, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 12:32 says, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

Proverbs 24:21,22 says, “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?”

Proverbs 30:5, 6 says, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

So what are God’s standards? What they are not is situation ethics!

I Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” Fornication is any sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage. Adultery refers to sex with someone to whom you are not married, even though you are married to someone.

Colossians chapter 3 gives us a list of things Christians are not to participate in, or have as part of their character. If you are a Christian and have not had these teachings before, be patient with yourself. Ask God to help you overcome the things that pertain to you, and ask Him to tell you or show you what He wants to work on first.

I Corinthians 7:10-16 talks about God’s attitude toward divorce.

I Corinthians 13:1-8a is often called the love chapter, but the KJV uses the word charity, which is a stronger word. Love can fade, become stale, or get buried under hurt and bitterness. Charity is unselfish, completely others-oriented, sacrificial denying of self for the benefit of others. Charity never fails, and can only be implemented by the Holy Spirit living in us. We only get the Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus to forgive us our sins and invite Him to take over our lives.

Ephesians chapter 4 gives us a lot of information about how to have a good relationship with God.

Here is an important note: You cannot earn your way to heaven. You cannot do enough good things, be charitable enough, volunteer enough to get into God’s good graces. The only way to have a relationship with God is to accept His free gift of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. “ If you could earn it, then it isn’t a free gift. The only thing you have to do to have a relationship with God is accept Jesus’s sacrifice for you. Everything else, every good deed you do, if you do it for the Lord, comes in response to your love for Him, because He first loved you.

What happens if you mess up? What if you commit adultery after you’re saved? Or if you get mad and cuss somebody out? What if you take God’s name in vain? (That doesn’t just mean saying it like a curse word; it means saying “God” or “Jesus” or any form of Jesus’s name as if it is just another word, with no purpose or meaning.)You tell God you’re sorry, ask Him to forgive you, and ask Him to help you change. You need to apologize to whoever heard you say those things, and the person you said them to, and explain that you are a new or baby Christian, still trying to change your old habits.

What if I’m in a situation where I have to live with someone of the opposite gender and we’re not married?

The answer is: Ask the Lord to show you some alternatives. Could you live with a relative, a friend of the same gender? What if you love that person but living together is more economical than marriage? Phil. 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Trust God and do what is right. He has never broken a promise to anyone. You need to be in constant prayer in order to learn to trust Him, but when you read the verse out loud it encourages your faith and sets things in motion that you have no control over: God does. When do things our own way we rob ourselves of God’s blessing because it means we are not trusting Him.

I strongly suggest reading one chapter of Proverbs every day and begin reading the gospel of John (the fourth book in the New Testament). If you don’t have a Bible, ask a pastor if he can get one for you. I know some of the language in the King James is archaic (very old) and we don’t talk that way today, but if you take the time to think about each sentence in segments or phrases, it will become easier to understand. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand.  That’s His job. Remember to thank the Lord for His blessings, and thank the Holy Spirit for helping you.

Next segment on Monday afternoon.

 

Compassion vs. Hatred

I can’t get this news story out of my mind. A little girl, three years old, was left by her mother with a male friend. First the mother told reporters she had left the child with the friend for a month but would visit once a week. The mother’s family had been told the little girl and her mother were staying with friends in another city, and that they were fine. We don’t know where the mom really was.

Police found the child sitting in a large trash bag, feet, hands and mouth duct taped “because she was too noisy.” She was covered in feces.

There were other details reported too horrific to print. Neighbors of the man who was supposed to be taking care of the little girl were shocked. They said things like, “That’s a shame.” “That’s too bad.” “A child should never have to go through something like that.” To me, those responses sound cold, just an automatic, expected response.

I must admit, my first response was not at all Christ-like. I ranted and raged against the evil mother who cared so little for her child’s welfare. I wanted to punch the guy that was supposed to be taking care of her.

The reporter was talking to a professional counselor, asking how anyone could be so evil to a child. The reporter’s answer put me back on the right way of thinking. The counselor said many times, through counseling, people like this can change. They usually treat children this way because it is how they have been treated. It is their sense of normal. When they receive counseling and realize that this is not normal, nor is it right, they realize they didn’t like being treated that way when they were children, and don’t want to continue the pattern.

I read a poster many years ago that said, “Children learn what they live.” It is true. I don’t think any parent wants to be abusive. When you are raised with anger and bitterness, it becomes a part of you. If you don’t know you can change, you won’t. Unless someone shows you how to be a better parent, you are doomed to repeat what you’ve grown up with.

I am thankful that Jesus saved my soul, and through His love and the teaching and preaching of His word, I learned not to be an abusive parent. These people who mistreated this little girl, and all who mistreat their children, need the Lord’s help to change the pattern. They need help, guidance, compassion, and forgiveness.

OMG Moments

To me, OMG stands for Oh, My Goodness!.  My husband and I became full-time RV’ers seventeen years ago. We had a tw0-weekend yard sale, packed up the stuff we wanted to keep for later years to give to the kids in boxes, and took it to a relative’s house. We are at that house now, opening boxes that have been in a storage shed, going through things, and throwing much of it away.

But then there are those treasures. You know, the photographs you never wrote on the back of, but they bring back fond memories. There is a box with the set of dishes my my parents got for me to take to business school (44 years ago). There are handmade curtains I can no longer use, afghans I had made, gifts that had been given to us, keepsakes from long ago travels.

Memory Lane is such a sweet place. I love my life now but reading back over signatures from my JUNIOR HIGH autograph pages, and my senior memories book and yearbook bring tears of joy as I look back in time. Not all of my school days were happy ones; in fact many were not, but they helped mold and make me who and what I am today. I am grateful and wistful. Some things are wonderful, sweet memories, and others are reminders that I’m glad to be the age I am now.

If you are one of those many people who have been bullied in school, take heart. It’s tough; it’s cruel; but it is training ground for who you want to be. It isn’t easy to ignore the hurts and frustrations, but please, for your own sake, do try. Ignore the taunting. Ten years from now they won’t remember why they picked on you. The bullies will have moved away, or you will, and life will go on, and you will have grown more confident and bolder from the experience. You will learn where your strengths are and they will guide you to fulfillment. My favorite phrase in the Bible is “it came to pass,” because that means it didn’t come to stay. Life is a journey with valleys and mountains, sunshine and rain. We need them all. Keep pressing forward. Never give up your dreams. You’ll be glad you did some day. I know from experience.

 

Lights of Christmas at night

Lights of Christmas at night

The Consequences of Disobedience

How many of us, as parents, would allow our children to just do whatever they want, with no guidelines for wise decisions, no consequences for rebellion or disobedience? I have to believe that most parents want the best for their children and want to instill in them an attitude of respect for authority.  Here is a lesson from king Saul in Israel’s history.

King Saul was the tallest man in Israel when he was anointed king. He was humble and shy. But as he won battles his popularity grew. As his popularity he grew so did his ego. He became proud and thought he could do things his own way.

The background: Saul’s son Jonathan and his army won a battle against the Philistines in Geba while his father and his army fought in another area. Saul took credit for the coup (which was normal in their culture, but still displeasing to God) and his pride grew a little more.

Saul blew the trumpet that called the nation of Israel together in one place and made an announcement. There would be a celebration seven days hence. That was the appointed time for the prophet Samuel to come. Sacrifices would be made to honor and praise God for being on their side and giving them victory over their enemies. The only people allowed by law to offer sacrifices were the priests. Saul was not a priest.

On the seventh day Samuel was delayed in getting to the meeting place. Saul decided that he would go ahead and offer the sacrifices. I Sam. 13:8-12: “And he [Saul] tarried seven days, according to the set thime that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him (Saul). And Saul said ‘Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings.’ And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”

The fact is Samuel did arrive on the seventh day, just not when Saul wanted him there. Also, Saul did exactly what he wanted to do; he did not force himself to disobey God. He was justifying himself, as we are all prone to do.

The consequences for Saul’s disobedience: verses 13 and 14: Samuel said to Saul–“Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”

This was the first time Saul disobeyed God’s commandment. It was a few years after this that God effected his promise to give His nation a new king. I Sam. 15:22, 23–These are not the whole verses, just the parts that make the point: “To obey is better than sacrifice. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” God would rather have our obedience than all the “favors” we could ever do for him. God sees deliberate disobedience as rebellion, and rebellion as witchcraft. More about witchcraft at a later date.

Sorry For Delays

Just a quick note here. We are traveling and have limited internet connection. It connects and may stay connected for two hours or it may dump out after ten minutes. Very frustrating and keeps me from being able to be consistent with my posts. So please don’t give up on me if you don’t see a post for a couple of days (except Sundays; I don’t post on Sundays).

Please do leave comments. I’m very interested in the ideas of other people, as well as their experiences. Sharing is how we learn from each other.

Have a wonderful day! More this evening.