Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"I Love My Life"

I remember reading those words from a fellow classmate from response cards from our tenth year high school reunion which caused me to cry. How wonderful it would be to say those exact words, I told God.

You see, I often hated my life and couldn’t understand why God had placed me here. I saw no point in it.

This is odd since I am a positive person by nature. I am in a good mood the minute I open my eyes in the morning and have always started out my day in joy.

That’s what Satan does to us. He deceives us into believing that which is not true by twisting, magnifying and distorting the things we don’t like until that’s all we can see.

Today, I look back and I can truly say “I love my life” with sincere gratefulness to the LORD for showing me the truth.

Satan still tries to deceive me, but now I have the tools and the weapons to fight him off.

Once you hit bottom or come to a point in your life when you’ve had enough and turn to God for help, He comes through.

What’s the secret? A grateful heart. That is one of the greatest keys to happiness and a fulfilled life.

Today, I am grateful for the little blessings that I experience each day. Today, my focus is on the goodness in my life not the lack. Today, I’m thankful. And today I am in love.

By love I mean, I love everything from the LORD. I look at people differently and the things that happen to me. God has given me the weapons I need to fight off those old bad thoughts.

Today I realize that we are all in a battle and some have chosen better weapons to fight each day. We all are trying to do our best with what we have. Today, I can separate the person from their acts and see them as God sees them. Today, I can love everybody. We all mess up. We all make mistakes. There is no one perfect. It doesn’t mean I condone their behavior. Not the least, I still detest their behavior but I don’t detest them since I know they are being led by satan and not by God. They are being deceived just like I have been so many times.

Today when I’m faced with something or somebody that is troubling, I can draw my weapon and kill the evil thoughts so that only the good ones remain allowing me to see the situation in truth so I can deal successful with what life brings me. I realize that trouble will come my way, but I have enough years under my belt that I know I’ll be able to handle it, since I have in the past. I might not like it, but I’m going through that problem and not let it take me down.

Today, when I’m face with a situation not to my liking, I continue to praise God through it. I thank Him for giving me the ability and strength needed to handle it. I thank Him for His guidance through His Word that He will give me the scriptures needed to keep my mind focused on the solution and not the problem. And as a result, He gives me success.

Today, I trust God for everything. And as result He brings so many blessings my way that it often overwhelms me with His goodness. Little nobody Anne, who is somebody to God. Somebody that God adores, just like He adores you. His love for us is unimaginable. The closer I get to God, the more grateful I am and realize how little I know Him and can’t give Him enough praise that He well deserves.

Today I am grateful to live in His presence. The God that created the universe loves me. How could I not love the life He has given me? I never want to be ungrateful again. Today I want to recognize all the good things God has done for me. There are millions of things I’ll never know that He’s done since they are done in secret. He just does them because He loves us.

God is love. We were made in the image of God. Therefore, when we love or are in love we are the closest we can be to Him. That’s why when we love something it makes us feel that incredible joy deep inside.

God is everlasting. To have everlasting love and that deep joy inside, it’s necessary to place our love in Him and the goodness He brings our way.

Thank you LORD, I love the life you've given me.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Turning of a Knob

I love Burn Notice. This is almost an understatement. The show causes me to laugh, cry, and most importantly, think. What a novel idea. Think.

I love to screen cap and document the dialog in each episode which gives me time to focus on each pic and the words spoken. Typing them often allows the words to sink in letting me see something new each time. This is because I often become so distracted looking at Michael, I completely miss the words spoken and what the other characters are doing.

At the end of “Exit Plan”, Fi comes home to a worried Carlos wondering where his girl is. She had been retained in police lockup unknowingly at the request of the C.I.A. and now she was returning to her new home with Carlos having to explain to him her predicament. As the scene unfolds it’s déjà vu all over again as she mimics Michael and Carlos mimics her with the words spoken in reverse circumstances from “Long Way Back” and “Game Change.”

Life has a way of doing that to us. Sometimes we call it karma, or déjà vu. The bible speaks of this very thing that we need to be careful in our thoughts towards other people lest we find ourselves in the same situation.

Sadly, Fi doesn’t seem to recognize her error towards her reactions to Michael earlier in their relationship. But she now knows the truth as to why Michael is helping the C.I.A since she is being force for the very same reason to help them too. It is to save her own neck. She missed an opportunity to grow by holding on to hatred and not recognizing that life had placed her in a similar circumstance making her like the person whom she hated.

Events in life, like this scene, often take me back to a series of events in my life that changed me forever.

When I was in elementary school I became friends with a girl who invited me to my first sleepover other than with family. That sleepover altered my life forever. Unfortunately, I didn’t consult my mom since I thought she might persuade me not to associate with my new friend. As a result I carried hatred in my heart for many years until one day...

You see my friend’s mother had abandoned her family. The kids (6 of them) went off to school and when they came home she was gone never to be heard of again. I couldn’t imagine a mother doing that. It was beyond my comprehension. I hated that woman for doing what she did. She hurt her family. She hurt her children for the rest of their lives while she selfishly went off with a new boyfriend. At least, that’s how I saw it.

At my first fulltime job, I met another woman who became a friend and she shared with me how her mother had abandoned her and her brother in the care of a wicked grandmother since her mom’s new boyfriend hated kids. She chose her boyfriend over her children. Again, my hatred arose for these two women whom I had never met.

Fortunately, the father of my childhood friend was a very loving father. The children weren’t resentful of their mother which I found odd. However, unfortunately, for the second friend and her brother, they were put in an abusive home which destroyed her brother and caused pain for my friend that would last a lifetime removing all trust of people including her own children. Her pain was passed down to her children which likely will be passed down to their children and so on for who knows how many generations.

God has a way of straightening out my wrong thinking just like Satan has a way of taking advantage of my wrong thinking.

A few years later, I was at my wits end after an accumulation of experiences that left me emotionally weak, not knowing what to do and not willing to burden anyone else with my problems.

One day, as I was leaving for work, I closed the front door and an “extremely” strong thought enter my mind. “Run, and don’t turn back.” The desire was so strong to get in my car then leave the state never telling anyone where I was going and starting my life over from scratch leaving all of my problems, my belongings behind me including those who I loved most in this life so that I could have peace once again. No reminders of the past except what was in my mind. If I could have left that behind too, I would have.

Instantly, I found myself at a crossroad of becoming like the women I had hated. And what was more startling was the fact that I entertained the idea of abandoning everything more than once with my hand still on the door knob. My mind had become so weak that Satan could strongly implant an idea in my mind that I could grab hold of, meditate on which could have eventually caused me to act upon it. I can’t even describe how strong that feeling was. It overtook my entire body. It was all I could do to resist the urge. It was a terrifying experience that I will never forget.

Fortunately, my sense of right and wrong were stronger than Satan’s plan. Each time that thought came up that day and the days that followed I fought it off and changed my focus on something different.

I couldn’t hurt my family and those that loved me and that I loved. I would have to endure what life had dealt me. I had to stay and fight rather than run away. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t the end of my problems with many more to come, but as a result I became stronger and today, with God, I can handle anything that life throws at me.

I learned a valuable lesson that day about judging people. I can now relate to people who abandon those who love them the most. I can understand a woman’s desire to leave her life for a new one. However, I know that it is wrong to do so. It is selfish and misguided. If I had gone with those strong desires that day, I would have ruined my life and caused so much pain for others.

Today, when I start judging people I am reminded of that time. I have to separate actions from people. It’s okay to judge the actions of others to prevent us from becoming like them. But it is never right to put that judgment on the person themselves. I was vulnerable that day as they are vulnerable to the wiles of the devil. They are weak in an area, just like I was weak and therefore can be easily persuaded to do a “piece of stupid,” like one of my ministers says.

Life repeats itself in reverse like it did with Fi as it has often done with me, time after time.

Often we give up too soon and fail to grow stronger never experiencing the blessing that lies ahead. If I had followed the urge that day thinking I was running towards peace I would have realized too late that in fact I was running to what would become regret and torment.

My hatred is gone for those two women and replaced with compassion and love. They gave up a lifetime of love from those closest to them for a moment of pleasure. In time they will have to deal with regret for the rest of their lives that can never be reversed. Only when they turn to God will they be able to use His teachings to help them through what they have done. Hopefully, they have. God can mend the broken relationship with their children if they put their entire trust in Him. It won’t be easy, and it will never be like it was at one time, but it can be restored.

I could have never have changed my life around if it weren’t for God's grace. God made all the difference. If God hadn’t been an ever presence in my life, who knows what dark hole I would have walked into. The numerous lessons I’ve learned from that one sleepover and the encounter with two women I’ve never met has made me become a better person. God has a way of taking the bad and changing it around for the good, if only we put our trust in Him with patience.

God never causes anything to happen to teach us a lesson. We do that to ourselves by the choices we make. However, He can take what we and others do to teach and bless us.

Just like Michael and Fi, once we put our pride aside and our selfishness we can restore a relationship or our life. It never will be like it was at one time, but it can be restored if we so choose. The changed and renewed life can in time become better than the old. Not like it was, just better.

It's Been An Honor

Anybody who knows me, knows how much I love the series, “Burn Notice.” There are probably hundreds of reasons why, but one of the top five would have to be that God has used the dialog in the show to teach me valuable lessons. The words have a way of registering in my mind so that I meditate in greater depth and as a result they impact my life.

In the episode, “Brother’s In Arm”, Randall Burke told Michael Westen, much to his surprise, “It’s been an honor, Mike.”, just moments before sacrificing his own life for a greater cause allowing Michael to escape being held in a secret Russian facility in Cuba with a woman who was being held in a nearby cell after being tortured for two weeks.

Even though I’ve heard that line over and over including several times in the last few weeks, it spoke to me this morning. How many people could say that about me? Have I conducted my life in a manner that they could say it has been an honor to know me? Have I lived for God, so that God has shown through me to bless others?

And more importantly, have I missed the opportunity to say that to others? Have I given honor to others that have blessed my life or have I let the moment slip by? What impact on that person’s life did I fail them by keeping silent? What impact on a person’s life could be made by telling them it was an honor to have known them?

What we speak and what we do has a spiraling affect that we can’t even comprehend for generations to come on people we touch and we don’t even know it.

Just the mere words “it’s been an honor” could turn a person’s world around. It could literally save a person’s life years down the road when they think no one cares. Or it could make them see themselves differently, encouraging them to go beyond what they thought they could accomplish, contributing to the welfare of society.

Sometimes we need to be willing to let go of our selfishness and humble ourselves to give honor to others. By giving honor to Michael that day, Randall Burke received honor himself. Burke’s cause wasn’t honorable, but his final actions were. Michael will always be grateful of the sacrifice made for him that day and see Randall's final actions as being honorable. Those words will reign in his mind for the remainder of his life. Someone saw him as being honorable. Whenever he is about to do something dishonorable, he will remember those words spoken over him causing a change of direction, avoiding a path he would never want to take.

And now those words will impact my life as well for years to come.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Does Anyone Care?

I received a new book this week and last night I read the opening paragraph:
When you’re going through a challenging time (and we all do), it can be one of the loneliest feelings in the world. Whether it’s a threat in your marriage, a struggle in your finances or the pressure of day-to-day living, when you’re the one going through it, you begin to wonder, “Does anyone know I exist? And if they do, does anybody care?
I had been dealing with something along those lines that very morning.

Our thoughts have a way of deceiving us into believing things that aren’t true. We live in a time where people unknowingly are listening more to the world than they are to God. The world speaks the lies of Satan without realizing it. Satan would love nothing more than to mess with our thoughts and make us miserable. After all, we are children of God and Satan hates God.

It is vitally important to know the scriptures and to understand how much God loves us in order to handle this life we’ve been given. The truth will literally set you free. The Bible is the truth and God wants to share with us the secrets of living successfully in this life He has given to us, if we would only let Him.

I have been pursuing God more diligently in the last few years than any other time in my life, determined to live as God intended me to. I had to come to the realization that I no longer needed to be in control since I seem to mess up my life more than anyone else. It had to stop. I wanted to be happy again like I was when I was a small child. I had to let go and let God led me. I was so tired of battling life I had to say “uncle.”

On the day I made that decision, I can imagine God and all the angels in heaven doing the “happy dance” thinking “it’s about time.” That was one of the best decisions I have ever made. That was the day I was set free and started on the most wonderful journey of my life.

Today when those thoughts enter my mind I can quickly chase them away since I know the truth. Scriptures instantly come to mind from the Holy Spirit telling me the truth. I can quickly turn a sad, frightening, or aggravating situation into one of happiness. I now see the true reality of life, no longer being deceived other than for a brief moment.

No matter what you are struggling with today know this. God loves you more than anyone in this world ever can. Because He loves us He has given us an instruction manual for dealing with this life. He is our Father and He wants to be our Father. He wants to take care of us. He wants to show His love to us. He wants to take away our problems and deal with them Himself. But it’s up to us to let Him be that and do those things for us.

It simply takes a decision. You have to desire to want to know God. You have to desire to want to walk with God. Once He knows this look out! He will bombard you with the truth about life. He will tell you the mysteries of life that He keeps hidden from those who do not diligently seek Him. It is quite overwhelming when this happens… in a good way.

Your prayer life will change from a time of begging to a wonderful time of the day just talking with God sharing your life with Him. He will speak to you in a way that you will understand. God is tender and He is funny, after all He invented humor, as He pointed out to me.

You will experience a peace that you never have. You will experience love like never before. You will have contentment. And you will experience the happiness of a small child.

And to answer the question, does anyone care? Yes Someone cares. God cares about you like no one else could ever care about you. You are His child. He created you because He loves you. You are never alone. There is always Someone looking out for your best interest if only you would allow Him.

The truth will set you free!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Let Go of that Thing!

We are to cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for us. God loves us so much that He wants to handle our problems for us. Worrying will destroy us and a product of the devil.

1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

There once was this lady who looked out her back door and saw her three children playing with three little skunks.

She shouted, “Run, kids, run!” And they did. Each one grabbed their little skunk and took off running.

So often we do that as Christians. We bring our problem to the Lord and say, “Here is the problem, Lord,” but when we get up, we take our stinky problem with us. We worry about it all night. When we keep worrying over it, then we still have possession of the problem. We need to leave the problem with God and walk away knowing that He has taken possession of it for us.

Or suppose you have a watch that doesn’t run. You take it to a jeweler and ask him to fix it for you. As you are holding it in your hand, you keep asking him when he is going to fix it. He replies, “When you give it to me.” If you have the watch (the problem) then He can’t fix it. But when He has the problem, you don’t have it anymore. It is foolish to worry over something you no longer have.

God cannot do anything about your problem until you give him possession of it by letting go then put your complete trust that He will take care of. If you are still worrying about it you haven’t given it to the Lord to take care of so He can’t do anything about it.

God cares about us and is our loving Father. Like our earthy father, God wants to take our problems upon Himself and take care of them for us. So start casting you cares upon Him, leave the worrying behind and trust Him to take care of it for you.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Lost Sock

Today, while meditating, I realized that the answers to life are like a lost sock.

While folding clothes we find that we have one sock left over without its mate so we search for it. We do that when looking for answers in the Bible. We start searching.

Like the lost sock sometimes we tell ourselves ‘I’ll look for it tomorrow.’ Then we go on our way putting off the search until another day.

We know that the sock is in the house since it couldn’t just walk away. Just like we know the answer to our question or the answer to our problem is in the Bible. We just don’t know where to look.

When we remember that lost sock, sometimes we will set aside a small portion of time to look for it. Or we will get an idea in our mind where it might be. The same applies to the Bible. Sometimes we find the answer but other times it still remains lost.

It isn’t until we become determined to find that lost sock when we actually find it. Of course, there are times we will stumble upon it by accident. But it isn’t until we decide we will search from one end of the house to the other end tearing apart everything as we go. We turn clothing inside out. We look closely at everything. We look for it in an organized determination not to quit searching until it’s found.

The same goes for life and to understand how life works and the answers to our questions. We need to be determined to “know the Word of God.” We start at the beginning and go page by page often rereading it over and over again before the answer is revealed.

Like a lost sock often when we find the sock it is in an area where we had looked before. It wasn’t until we were determined that the sock is revealed.

Then there are other times that we find the sock in the most unlikely spot. Like the Bible, sometimes the answers are in the least likely book of the Bible.

If you need answers keep searching. The Bible says if we seek we will find. It just depends how determined and thoroughly you search.

Matthew 7:7-8
7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Many times we have to be willing to ask for assistance. Ask God and expect that He will reveal what you are searching for. Or knock and wait patiently for the door to be opened. Never give up. All the answers you are looking for are in the Bible. All your hopes, wishes, dreams, will be answered when you are determined to find them or determined to obtain them. You need to be like a blood hound and never, never give up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Divorce Papers...Again?

It has been a few difficult days. On Valentine’s Day I was hit with what felt like receiving divorce papers even though I hadn't. Like someone told me they didn’t want me in their life any longer so they were leaving and never returning. Of course it wasn’t exactly the same, just a minor version of it.

Having experienced the real thing, I have to admit the same nausea, rejection and sadness came upon me. Even my heart hurt slightly. It was a very mild version of the same thing.

When events like this occur in our life it is important to immediately take our eyes off from ourselves and start putting things into perspective. Selfishness is the root of all unhappiness, depression and grief.

Life will go on regardless of what we are facing. The awesome news is that we are going through something and eventually we get through it. We might come out a little battered and bruised but that depends how long we want to stay in the storm. If we want to get out of it quickly then the scars won’t be as deep and we will heal faster.

This life is short; shorter than we can even imagine until the end comes when it’s too late to do things differently.

Life is meant to be lived in the present and not in the past.

Sure I am disappointed but more so, I am grateful to have had the time I did.

Life is changing once again and I hate change. But that is unrealistic to think life will remain as it is today. Everything that we can see, touch or smell is temporary. But our memories, which are unseen, can last a lifetime.

Always keep the good memories and leave the bad ones in the past where they belong. It’s too much a burden to carry sadness, grief, resentment, bitterness or anger around with us each day.

Happiness, peace, joy, hope, love and contentment are no burden at all, so fill your life with these instead. Focus each day on the good things that life brings us. That way when disappointment comes, which it will, you will have a storehouse of good memories to draw upon to get you quickly through your storm.