Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can We Be Thankful For Everything?

This is the day when we are to think of all the things we are thankful for--as if we shouldn't do that every day. Instead of just listing what I'm thankful for, I want to talk about things I don't like at all but am thankful for them anyway. (Didn't Paul say something like this? In Everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.) I hate/dislike big family gatherings because of one reason only. All the activity and food sucks the energy right out of me and I'm like a walking zombie. But I'm thankful I have a big family. There have been years in my life when I had no one and was alone on holidays. Those days are just awful and it's a fight to stay out of the dooldrums as you see cars parked around your neighbors' houses. All the stores are closed so you can't go shopping to take up time. It's just you and the dog at home alone. I don't like public restrooms but I'm so thankful for them!! It's been noted in my family that I don't pass up a bathroom when we are away from home. I've been in some clean, pleasant public restrooms and some really scary ones, too. I remember one---I'll let your imagination take over. I really hate politics and politicians. What can a person be thankful for with this? The people who truly care about this country and aren't in it for the fame and fortune. Even the ones I disagree with are probably coming from heart-felt beliefs. So I'm thankful I'm not in this arena. It can be wicked and has to taint a person clear down to their toes. I don't like to dust my house--don't hate it but almost do. But I'm so thankful I have a house to dust and am able to move my arms, hands and body in order to wipe that dust away!! I could go one but you get my drift. In everything we see as "bad" we can find "good" if we look for it. Life is a balance. Nothing is all bad nor is it all good. The man who has the perfect children will soon find that one of his kids has a flaw. The woman who is proud of her body will find a blemish that she can't get rid of. All my life I thought of myself as overweight. I wasn't but this belief robbed me of enjoying where I was and what I looked like. A couple of years ago my belief came true and I was truly "fat." Am I thankful for this event in my life? I am because it showed me how much thoughts have to do with reality. We become what we think about. I love free speech. But I don't like the porn festival that will soon take place in my town that is being allowed under the guise of freedom of speech. How do I find thanksgiving in this? I won't attend it, of course, and don't know anyone who will. I remember Paul's admonition about giving thanks. This is one place I can't. What do you think is the answer to finding something to be thankful for in situations like this that we see every day? Maybe it shows us the Lord's coming is near? Maybe it gives us something more to pray about? Do you have any thoughts?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Change the Way We Hear

Our church has been going through a total meltdown, and that's putting it mildly. I won't go into detail but will only say Jesus wasn't part of the equation and that was only the beginning. Instead of prayer, humility and love we have seen people lusting after power, being angry with others--even spewing hate. Many people left but not because of this. They left because of seeing their treasured traditions shaken by a new view of scriptures of equality between men and women.

We have been on the fence about what to do. Stay? Go? So much ugliness has turned us off and made us weary. But we have many friends who are still there and relationships like that are hard to walk away from.

This morning we had a guest speaker--a wise man in the faith. He was open and honest with us and gave the church suggestions of how to go on from here. His ideas were good but what I didn't hear was "seek God with all your heart."

Church denominations that have been strong on teaching the law have failed to lead people into the Spirit. Only in the Spirit can we really find and hear the heart of God. This is my prayer. "Lord, lead us by Your Spirit." This works for a church and it works for an individual. Let us stop depending on our own minds and power and start hearing what the Spirit is saying.