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CBs: A does not equal B

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I hope you all won’t mind me taking a moment to address my new pet peeve.  I’ll keep it short and sweet.  Dealing with all the paperwork involved in applying for Medicaid for my dad has been a frustrating experience at best.  Any who have faced this Goliath or any beaurocracy know what I mean.

1).  Policy should be the same and knownby all.  Not my first time to waste a few in the paper chase, toda I showed up at the VA to attain a copy of my dad’s POA for health care.  I had called ahead to fin out if I could do so and what I needed.  I was informed it would be no problem.  Arriving at the VA, I discover that since my name is secondary and not primary, they will not give me a copy.  If you wish to avoid frustrating people, especially at a business or church, make sure you don’t have one person saying one thing while others say something else.

I have determined I will take down the full name of the person on the phone and ask them to explain the discrepancyyo the person who will not do what the other promised. Will it work?  I doubt it, but I will feel better.

 

I often feel like I’m putting together a puzzle without the picture on the box.  To complicate things, others are holding pieces of the puzzle.  If I ask for them, I will often get one and find out later there were more behind their back.  My dad’s memory problems + beaurocracy +lack of knowledge +  an argumentative family member = a crazy lady???

 

Fortunately, I know God has got this and is allowing it all for a reason.  I don’t have to be afraid of the paperwork giant, for I am not alone.  I am also not in charge.  And guess what I was reminded of today?

 

I am not a Savior!  I will do my best, but the outcome is not in my hands — whew!  I am also prepared to remind others that I am not a savior as well.  Eyes off me please.

 

Do you ever get frustrated by things that just don’t seem to go the way you think they should? (I’m sure that’s a big duh!)

 

Do you ever have a savior complex and take on responsibility for thins that are not yours?

 

Any nuggets of advice for going against this particular giant?

 

I do not go to battle alone 🙂   The battle belongs to the Lord…

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He is NOW…

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“MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE”

When, sin-stricken, burdened, and weary,

From bondage I longed to be free,

There came to my heart the sweet message:

“My grace is sufficient for thee.”

Though tempted and sadly discouraged,

My soul to this refuge will flee,

And rest in the blessed assurance:

“My grace is sufficient for thee.”

My bark may be tossed by the tempest

That sweeps o’er the turbulent sea—

A rainbow illumines the darkness:

“My grace is sufficient for thee.”

O Lord, I would press on with courage,

Though rugged the pathway may be,

Sustained and upheld by the promise:

“My grace is sufficient for thee.”

Soon, soon will the warfare be over,

My Lord face to face I shall see,

And prove, as I dwell in His presence:

“My grace is sufficient for thee.”

                                                                               —  Samuel Longfellow

Last Sunday’s sermon had a nugget or two for me to walk away with and ponder.  One was the phrase “My grace is sufficient for you.”  As my pastor pointed out, the phrase says IS, not was, not will be, not should be, not could be, IS.  Say it with me:

 

His grace IS sufficient for me!

There are parts of our lives where we go along our merry way, sufficient unto ourselves for the needs of the day (or so we think).  And then life hits.  A loved one dies, a job is lost, health is lost, or some of the many, many other things that can hit us in the solar plexis and make us wonder how we’re going to make it through.

It is then that this reminder sticks in our head, and even more importantly, in our heart.  It abides there, reminding us that:

 

We cannot go through this in our own sufficiency.

We DO not go through this in our own sufficiency.

 

He offers us His sufficiency.

 His sufficiency IS all that we need.

 

Wow!

MY grace IS!

My grace is sufficient,

Just trust me and see!

Don’t look at the waves,

Just lean hard into me.

Whatever the problem

You’re facing this day,

Assume, like the child

Dad will make it okay.

I see all your tears;

They’re not lost on me.

Feel me wipe them away

As you sit on my knee.

Just trust me my child

For I know what’s ahead.

I’ve got it, sweet one

So lay back on your bed.

Dream dreams of peace

Leave it all up to me

My grace is sufficient,

Just trust me and see!

                                        — Angela Masters Young   

                                                         © 2/29/2012

 

 

How has His grace been sufficient for you?

Is it a struggle for you to trust in the midst of the storm?

 

suf·fi·cient — adequate for the purpose; enough: sufficient proof; sufficient protection.

IT IS ENOUGH

The Maze

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Scream pierces

the darkness

As rat hits

One more wall.

He sits dazed

A moment

Then once more

Shakes it off

Beginning

A new race.

In the dark,

A thick fog,

Darkness clings,

Dripping down,

Covers all.

So which way

To turn now.

Will that wall

Await again

Or will he

Find the prize.

The way out

He can’t see

The way here

The turns are

blind as the

straight-a-ways

to the rat.

But the man

Is watching

From above,

And He knows

The ending

His purpose

Not thwarted

By the rat’s

Blinded eyes.

His own to

Understand

The purpose

Of the maze;

Mine is but

Trust and learn

His great plan.

My apologies

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I don’t know for sure what has gone out and what condition it was in.  I apologize if I have scheduled a post and then been unable to finish it!  I am in Indiana with my dad.   His full pay time (Medicare) runs out next Tuesday, but he’s not ready to go home.  So, either pay $145/day for him to stay or find a transition care or take him home and pray he doesn’t fall ….   So I will be in and out (hard finding wifi) but I’ll be back soon.  Angie

CB: Why me mentality

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All of us know people who struggle with this.  Some of us may be one of these people.  All of us struggle with it at times.  This mentality looks around and sees what is going on with others.  The person then looks at his or her own life and makes comparisons.  In the comparing, his or her own life usually comes up lacking in some way.  We could also call this the “grass is greener” effect.

Valentines day was a good example of how this mentality can pervade one’s thinking.   No honey bun for Valentine’s Day?  Poor you, sitting there all alone with no one to say ‘I love you’ and give you sappy presents.  Your loneliness must be harder to bear than that of anyone else’s.  {Sorry if this hits anyone in the solar plexis, but I had to pick something for my examples.  We’ll get to the others later.}

 

Lies believed by the alone at Valentine’s Day:

►No one cares about me.

►Valentine’s Day is for lovers; if you don’t have a love, I am a loser.

►This day was created just to point out how alone I am.

►Other people’s joy somehow effects me by comparison.

►If no one reminded me that I am alone, I wouldn’t feel this pain and loneliness.

 

Truths to counter the lies:

►It is definately not true that no one cares for you.  [God and probably at least a few people care deeply about you.]

►It’s also not true that others don’t care that you hurt.  They may be looking at the outer package and your inner hurt may not be as evident as you think.

►Valentine’s Day is for love, true, but not just a lover type of love.  {Regardless of the reason it was created, it has become a time to spend lots of money so the stores can make a profit.}

►Just because it is a special day that brings joy to some, their joy has nothing to do with you.  Comparing to others, especially when you don’t know their circumstances (only seeing the surface), brings two things:  envy or pride.  Which one depends on which side you are on.

►Should others go around with mopey faces all day just because you are lonely on this day?  Would that really make you feel better?   (add bible verse about sharing joy sorow********)

►If Valentine’s Day makes you sad, it’s not because of what happens to other people on this day; it’s because of what you’re telling yourself/dwelling on on this day.

 

 

 

Seeing beyond the surface:

There are others hurting just as bad or worse out there.

► Consider the one whose Valentine has left to give valentines to another.

►Consider the one who finds out that her Valentine is giving valentines to another while giving Valentines to him/her as well.

►Consider the one who lies beside his/her Valentine, but is just as lonely if not more, because the love has died or they’ve grown apart.

►Consider the person who has never had a Valentine to remember.

►Consider the one who has just lost his/her Valentine to a senseless death.

 

As always, I could continue, but I hope this is enough to make the point:

We cannot compare our insides to someone else’s outsides. ~unknown

~*~

What to do

When we catch ourselves looking at the grass over the fence or thinking “why me?” or “why not me?”, what can we do?

1.  Stop comparing our insides with other’s outsides.  We have no idea what’s really going on in that house.

2.  Look at what we’re telling ourselves.

3.  Change what we’re telling ourselves.

4.  Do something for someone else.

 

I bet there are other hurting people out there, even in your world.  The best way to turn a “why me” into a “why not me” (who am I not to have problems) is to do something for someone else.   Do you know people in a nursing home who have lost their Valentine to death (if they ever had one) and have no one to brighten their day?  Go visit and take some time to give them joy for a while.  Do you know a recently divorced person or someone who is going through marital issues?  Send them a card to say you’re thinking of them/praying for them.  Do it anonymously.  There are so many people out there who would love to have love shown to them on this day and every day.  If you want to cut your own pain, give the love you so desperately want away.  I guarantee you it will return to you a hundred-fold.

When you find yourself falling into the world’s biggest pity party, go look deeply into the insides beyond other’s outsides.  You will feel better about yourself and your life.  Life is hard for everyone, and we should not feel that we get all the pain while others don’t or that we deserve better.  From a Christian standpoint – we all deserve Hell.  Anything we have above that is a gift and a blessing.

 

How to get love:  give it away!

                                       As always, I appreciate your feedback.  This was not meant to hurt anyone, it was just an example and not about anyone specific. 

The challenge:  Have you ever shared love and found out you felt differently about your own hurts?  If you have share the story.  You may either share in the comment box or on your own blog and leave a link back in the comment box.

If you have not done this, or would like to do it again, feel free to try it and share with us in the same way as above.

Sharing love is a great perspective changer – agree?  -disagree?

If you post a link in the comments, I will multiply the love by sharing 🙂

Communication busters: What lens are you looking through?

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Before we get to the meat of this post, I would like to go back and make a few comments on another.  In my response to Miro’s poem, Christians, I was reminded that this is nothing new.  True.  Those who do not want to be bothered with Christianity have been hating it and it’s proponents through the ages.  Many will continue to do so no matter how well Christians act.   I was also reminded that what I said may be misconstrued.  This is true as well.  And that leads me to this post.   The reason my words might be misconstrued is that we all tend to look through different lenses.  The Christian might read my post and understand completely what I was trying to say.  The non-Christian may see something else.  For instance,  I did not mean that Christian’s need to meet other’s ideas of proper behavior.  They need to meet God’s criteria.  Others will disagree, and that’s their business.

 

Knowing we have these lenses, it makes sense to take a second look at everything we see/hear/read/etc., as we navigate our world.  Are we seeing the truth or have we donned our own biased lenses to view it.  Misunderstandings abound because of this tendency.  We use the same words, but they have different meanings.  For the Christian, this means we need to see things through God’s lenses.  How does God see this person/situation/…?  If the Christian will look at his or her world through the lens of God’s eyes, we would better know what to do in each situation.  I apologize for the rather disorganized thoughts in this post, but it is what it is.

 

Lens 1:   God does not hate homosexuals conservatives democrats tea partiers occupiers gossips gluttons adulterers _______.  God hates SIN!   When God looks at a person, He sees the heart.  He may hate the sin the person is bound to, but He does not hate him or her.  He loved him or her enough to provide a way back to Him from their sinful condition.  Christians have to walk a line.  We are not to say bad is good, but we are to love the person.  This is an issue I struggle with, not because I don’t love the person, I do.  I struggle because I also have a deep need to speak God’s truth.  God reminds me that there is a time and a place for everything, even speaking truth.  I can speak the truth and still love.  This love is not dependent on other’s acceptance of it.  I love because God loves and gives me the grace to love others despite how they treat me or feel about me.

 

Lens 2:  If I do ____________  or don’t do ___________  I am better than others.  No, you’re not!  God’s criteria is the same for every person.  You cannot earn it.  You cannot get to it by following a list of “do”s and “don’t”s.  When we give Christ our sin, He gives us His righteousness.  It is the only righteousness that is good enough to meet God’s standards.  Our attempts at personal righteousness outside of Christ are pathetic at best.  This lens looks around and compares to others.  God’s lens looks at Christ and compares only to Him.  If we are wearing His righteousness, we make the cut.  If we are still trying to get good enough on our own, we do not.

 

Lens 3:  I have __________, so God must be happy with me and blesses me more than others.  NOT!   God doesn’t look at the things you have or don’t have when determining how or when to bless you.  He looks at your heart.  He looks at your future and what will be best for you.  He looks at your relationship with Jesus.  We cannot determine for ourselves whether something is a blessing or a curse.  Look at Job.  His life looked like a blessing, then looked like a curse, and then looked like a blessing.  None of what happened to him was because of something he did or didn’t do wrong.  You have to look through God’s lens to see whether something is a blessing or not.   Any time we elevate ourselves above other people, we better watch out.  That is pride and pride is not from God.

 

 

There are many more lenses, but I’m going to stop here.  What lenses do you see out there that keeps Christians from living like they should, bringing glory to God?   Can you see through God’s lens?    Has there been a time when you were looking at a situation or person in a certain way and God showed you how He sees the situation/person?  How did this effect/affect you?  What do you believe are some of the biggest distortions in our lenses that keep us from knowing truth?

In the stillness . . .

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In the stillness…

“Be still. Cease striving.” He said to me.

“Stop churning the waters, when I’ve set you free.

Your attempts at control make no sense when I!m here.

Why struggle and fight, why flounder in fear?

Just calmly lay back and rest in my arms.

Where my hands hold you firmly, and my love for you warms.

Let it go. Turn it over. Surrender all to me.

Learn to be still, and in me you’ll be free.

Your control’s an illusion that oft’ gets in the way,

When I’m trying to carry you safe through your day.

Just as a babe lays with trust in your arms,

As you tenderly nurture so’s to raise no alarms,

I will hold you, protect you, just lean hard into me.

For I promise, my child, your trust sets you free.

 

Angela Masters Young c 2/2012 all rights reserved

Striving, Resisting, fussing, fighting, whining, struggling, et cetera, are all futile attempts at control.  It is like telling a plan to grow itself.  It simply does what it is created to do, and it becomes a plant.  Look at the butterfly.  Is there struggle?  Yes, there is struggle as it makes its way out of the cocoon, but this is not a struggle for control.  This struggle allows the butterfly to become all he was meant to be.  Without the struggle he would not be able to fly.  Yes, there is struggle in our lives.  There is pain and loss and so many other things.  However, the struggles that we make in trying to stop these things from happening, trying to stop the feelings, or trying to control the uncontrollable just wear us out.

When I find myself not being still/striving/fighting, I take a moment to relax and turn it over.  Easier said than done, but making a habit of this makes a huge difference in so many things.  When we step out of God’s way, He can show us who He is and what He can do.  Prepare to be amazed!

 

Do you strive against God?  Against things you cannot control?  Against feelings you don’t like?   How do you deal with it?  How does that work for you?  What are the consequences? 

What are you trying to control?  How has that worked for you?  Have you had a time when God showed Himself to you in the midst of a trial?  Feel free to share.  

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