Saturday, March 18, 2017

A song

I do not see you. I do not sense your presence. Yet I know you are always with me. You never leave me. You promised. I left you. I am sorry for leaving you. I do not want to leave you. Sometimes my pain carries me away.  I remember when you carried me, when I always felt your presence, when I felt you were pleased with me, when you took me in your arms. What happened? How come I don't have that anymore? How come you seem distant? How come you hide yourself? What went wrong?

For the past several weeks, my frustrations, confusions, doubts, and fears reached a new crescendo. The sound has become detrimental and explosive; cacophonous.  Yet, I didn't know how to word these. This song worded my frustrations and doubts beautifully. I heard the song before, but it never clicked until several days ago. It doesn't really answer all of my questions. It didn't answer any of my questions. But it delivered the message that I am not alone in asking these questions and in having the frustrations that I have. It also meant that the answers are coming. The Bible tells us to ask and receive. If we don't ask, we won't receive. You'd have to know what you are asking. So once the questions are worded, I can ask them. I know he will answer because he always answered my questions. Not necessarily immediately. He answers them in his due time and his timing is perfect. And in that, I found peace.

Without further ado, here is the song. It is in Egyptian Arabic, translated to American English. My translation skills are horrid and I had to look up a lot of these words. I hope the meaning is intact. If you speak Arabic and have a better translation, kindly let me know. Thanks and enjoy.

        1)  You know my troubles and reveal all of my secrets.
      Why not reverse my confusion? And arrange all my thoughts?
      I don’t ask for much; simple is my request.
      I only want an explanation. Is that from you, my Lord?
2)  My doubt isn’t in you. But it is in me.
      Do I understand your word? Or is my hopelessness deceiving me?
      I stopped up my ears to you. I no longer hear you.
      Is the ambiguity from you? And that because of your wisdom?
3)  My Lord, give me the victory in my battle because Satan awaits me…
      … to digress from your path. And he’ll become the victor.
      You know my capability … and until when I can endure.
      Don’t prolong my foreignness … and don’t allow me to stray. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dresser



Maybe this is a silly post. Sometimes we need to be silly to alleviate stress. We all know how life is very stressful with all of its valleys and mountains. Any who, here goes.

I caught the minimalist virus or maybe just the organization bug. I want to minimize materialistic belongings. Or at least, organize them. I have three dressers that I have used for years. Yes, I have a lot of clothes and a small closet. And no, don't judge me. With usage, one of the drawers in one of them is broken. I have attempted to fix it. My idea of fixing is duct tape. If that doesn't work, attempt a nail and hammer. Well, it needed a nail and hammer. It is all intact. But, one or two nails are hanging out on the side. So every time I open and close the drawer, I am damaging the inner side of the dresser. I have to maneuver the drawer in such a way as to not damage the dresser. In the meantime, I reduced the amount of clothes I have. In actuality, I am just using one dresser. Yes, the one with the broken drawer. The other two managed to contain storage items. The whole plan was to get rid of two dressers and just keep one. You guessed it, I was thinking of keeping the one with the damaged drawer. I didn't have the heart to get rid of any of them. Maybe I am being sentimental, but these dressers bring back memories. Albeit some were bad. The bad or negative usually causes us to appreciate the good. Each dresser has features unlike the other two. Each one is special to me. Each one has a unique character, even the damaged one. Because it was damaged, I took extra special care in handling it. Then it hit me.

All of us are created in God's image. He sees himself in each one of us. He wouldn't abandon us for any reason especially if we are damaged.  He takes extra special care with the damaged, broken, sickly, needy ones. He loves us all unconditionally. As someone once said, "There is nothing you can do to make God love you more or less than he already does." His love is constant as he is constant. He never changes. We change. We don't fully understand him because we are limited by our humanity. If we want to know him or understand him better, all we have to do is ask him.


"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Glory


I was privileged to hold a cute baby of four months on a Sunday at church. Her name is Glory. She is as unique as her name. She was sleeping at the time. Every time the preacher raised his voice, she jolted in her sleep. She did that a couple of times. Her mother was sitting next to me and noticed the jolts as well. I sensed that if I brought her closer to me, she may stop. And she did. It took me some time to figure out why she stopped reacting to the higher pitch. She felt my skin and heartbeat. She felt safe. There is no need to feel fear when one is safe.

Reminds me of when children run to their parents on a stormy night. They need to feel safe. They want to feel safe. Life can be a very scary place and adults lost their sense of security. Where does one go when they are too old to climb into their parent's lap? When they have little ones who need them for security?

I am reminded of a post I did several years ago about the kitten who taught me a lot. She clutched my shirt as I was carrying her. Yes, cats experience fear.

Or have you seen those videos online where the dog resists taking a bath or going to the vet? Dogs experience fear as well.

Why is it little children talk to strangers more easily than adults? Parents have to constantly remind them to not speak to strangers. What is it about little children that Jesus Christ said that unless we become like little children, we cannot enter heaven? They trust easily. They believe easily. They love easily. They are new at everything. They experience everything with enthusiasm. They are color blind. They are religion blind. They are carefree. They experience the now only. They do not think about yesterday. They do not worry about tomorrow. They have no regrets. They are not jaded or bitter. Everyday is an adventure. They live each day with zest. They are innocent.

Where have we gone wrong? Let us settle our accounts before it is too late. Let us settle in the arms of our Heavenly Father just as Glory settled in my arms. How? Talk with him. He will take it from there.




Sunday, April 17, 2016

Journey Lessons


This is new to me. I started typing my dated journey lessons in January. Some of these may seem repetitive, yet important. Perhaps they can be a blessing to someone.

Jan 13, 2016 – 1) God has been teaching me this lesson for a while now. I am to question what spirit /attitude I am of. Then I am to question if I want to be known or associated with the source of this spirit / attitude. For example: selfishness, greed, egoistical, egotistical, prideful, resentful, unforgiving, lying, bitterness, hatred are some of the negative attitudes. These are of the devil. Do I want to be associated with the devil? If the answer is no; then I, as a child of God, have the authority to refute these. Compassion, love, hope, faith, patience, forgiveness, joy, peace, and perseverance are some of the positive attitudes. These are of God. Do I want to be associated with God? If yes, then I accept them and think on these. It is like renewing of the mind. It is like exercise of the mind. It takes discipline, endurance, and commitment. There will be failures, but the end result is what really matters. I believe Paul the apostle illustrated the simile. 2) It is quite a phenomenon how one releases all cares / holds in life when one is fighting for his / her life. Nothing else seems to matter. Money, houses, jobs, clothes, jewelry, even appearances are some of the things that lose value in the face of an illness. The question of purpose arises. It may propel one to fight for life or give up entirely.

Jan 14 - there is a link between thoughts (even passive ones), words, and life. If I get a passive thought and do not refute it actively, then it happens. If I say anything negative, it will take place. Same is true with positive words for words have power. Our thoughts and our words are alive. I have to be conscious of every thought and word all the time. Take every thought captive … Paul the apostle stated this.

Jan 15 - Jesus Christ is very profound, yet he requires simplicity. Since we are complicated beings, we tend to complicate matters. But that is not what God wants. He wants us to always go back to simplicity. It is like being childlike. The core of this simplicity is love. God is love. Everything else should be built on that.

Jan 16 - just believe is a lot harder than it looks. For everything that God asks of you, it will be tested. For everything you claim for yourself will be tested.

Jan 17 - you are what you believe; positive or negative.

Jan 18 - procrastination does not pay in the long run. Because you never know what life has in store for the following day. Better to get things done right away before it is too late.

Jan 19 - sometimes things must get worse before they get better. Sometimes an awful thing happens to shelter us from another terrible thing. The tougher the battle gets, know that relief is very close behind.

Jan 24 - life has a way of bringing back unresolved issues to the forefront. These must be dealt with before a person can move on. They can be swept under a rug. But guess what? They will be back at an importune time.

Jan 28 - declaring something will bring about change. This change may take a bit of time depending upon how long it would take for the root of the problem to be solved.

Jan 31 - if the Lord tells you to do something, he will provide. He will make life easier for you. Never doubt. Just believe.

Feb 01 - when a certain train of thought keeps haunting me, I find the opposite of this in the Bible or a promise that I can apply to myself. I would then declare it out loud until it becomes a reality for me. At first it sounds superficial, but with time it will sink in and raise my faith; because faith increases / comes through the word of God / Bible verses. One well known verse is no weapon formed against me shall prosper.

Feb 02 - God wants me just as I am. My best is never good enough. He wants me. He is able to make all things beautiful in me.

Feb 03 - journaling helps with de -stressing. Praising God helps with de- stressing. Reading the Bible helps as well. Praying, meditating, and walking. There are many.

Feb 04 - in life, you will make mistakes. You are only human. Learn from them.

Feb 05 - focus on Jesus. Not easy, takes discipline.

Feb 09 - focusing on Jesus changes everything, the entire course.

Feb 10 - stay focused on Jesus. Routine kills the spark in a relationship.

Feb 12 - sometimes in life, you have to take a risk; preferably a calculated risk.

Feb 14 - I want to live each day as if it were the last. Different perspective? A risk?

Feb 20 - healing accompanies the presence of the Lord; even if no one prays for healing.

Feb 21 - fear should be eliminated in one's life. God will make sure that one faces his or her own fears.

Feb 25 - fear is an enemy. Once a fear is recognized, take steps to eliminate it. Pray and ask for God's peace. Do it afraid as Joyce Meyer would say.

Mar 02 - instead of succumbing to the emotions and the hurts, pray asking for healing.

Mar 10 - just because things didn't work out according to your plans or on your timetable, doesn't mean everything is lost or it is too late. God can and will restore everything according to his plans. No need to blame self or others. He got it. Just forgive. Just believe.

Mar 18 - being with someone who is angry, makes one angry. Being with a fearful person makes one afraid. Learn to clean oneself in God's presence. It is quite easy. Just a simple prayer.

Mar 20 - when God chooses, it doesn't matter who approves or disapproves. He made his choice and he knows who we really are. No need to worry about consequences or feelings of inadequacies.

Mar 26 - always be grateful to God for everything especially Jesus' redemption and resurrection.

Apr 09 - God deals with me according to my personality. He knows I like being independent. He also knows that I like to know the why, how, when, and everything else. So he allows me to do things the hard way. He gives me the freedom, knowledge to search things for myself. That way, I can help others needing my expertise. This will make it easier for them. And I usually stand in awe of it all.

Apr 10 - there will be times when God is silent. Those can be unnerving. Learn to wait for him and his voice. He does speak when asked to.

Apr 16 - I heard this a while ago and it makes sense. We open our spirit to God when we think of him, imagine him, envision him. Some of my best healings were done when I focused on him.


Apr 17 – 1) because Jesus Christ gave us his all, he allows us to pursue him. When we are ready to give him our all, he will be found by us. 2) We have to arrive at a point as born again Christians that no matter what happens, to God be all the glory. Whether he heals or not, whether he resurrects or not, whether he fills a need or not, he deserves all of the glory. He doesn't make mistakes. He knows what he is doing. He is good, all of the time. He loves us unconditionally.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Where is your focus?





Moderator: Good day, Ladies and Gentlemen. We have a new subject today. Where is your focus? Our usual guests are here. We are always privileged to have them. Beth, the floor is yours.

Beth: thank you, Moderator. It is always a pleasure to be here. About a week ago, my Father told me to focus on him. Mind you, this isn't my biological father. He passed
away when I was twelve years of age. This is my Heavenly Father. It was a difficult task because my mind was traveling in many different directions at a rate of 1000 miles an hour. But I tried. Few times, I fell asleep. But tried again. On an early Saturday morning, I tried again. While doing so, I felt some stomach pain. I just laid my hands on it without thinking about it. Then I noticed that the pain was gone. It was a WOW moment. I didn't pray for the pain to be gone. It just left. Yesterday, I had another chemotherapy session. The nurse was having a hard time finding a good vein. Once she did and during insertion, it would be painful. Now I would usually take a deep breath to minimize the pain. This time with the deep breathing, I focused on my dear Savior. The pain was very tolerable; almost nonexistent. Now, I am addicted to focusing on him. And not just because he heals me, but because I find rest in him.

Moderator: Wow indeed. Welcome Father, so glad you are here. And cannot wait to hear what you have to say.

Father: thank you, Moderator, always a pleasure to be here because I love all of my children. I said once in the book of Matthew 11 that whoever is burdened and heavy laden and comes to me, I will him / her rest. Although I love all of my children whether they know me or not, I cannot help them until they come to me. I want a relationship with all of them. Some want it, too. But many just want to acknowledge me from afar.
There are those who claim I do not exist. I love them all. It is worth repeating. I sacrificed my only Son to be able to adopt many, many more sons and daughters. I want my family to be complete. I want my family to truly love one another just as I love each one of them. There is responsibility and accountability. But there is also joy, peace, and rest among other things. As long as they all fix their eyes and minds on me, they will always have all of me as well as my rest. Thank you, Moderator, for having me.

Moderator: thank you Father. It is never enough to thank you. I can spend the rest of my life thanking you. Thank you, Reader, for taking the time to read this experience. I hope you have known what true rest really means. If not, test where your focus is. And what that focus is breeding in your life. Until next time, stay blessed. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Questions

This is unusual for me to do. But I have some thoughts that I could not envelope in a story and have no commonality. This is basically a string of questions that many may have including me.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, the question was why? Why me? Although I heard many religious leaders say one thing or another, the number one person’s thoughts that mattered to me was Jesus Christ. And I asked him. And he answered. Even after getting his answer, I tended to veer in other directions. The problem is not in him. The problem is in distractions. Satan loves to distract. Some of the answers that I heard from religious leaders were: there is a sin that needed to be cleansed, God is removing some rubbish such as complacency and laziness, a spiritual battle, a trial, a test, preparation for eternity, preparation for his glory, etc … Right before my diagnosis, I started getting more serious about God. In my experience, everything I say is usually tested. And this is no different. The turmoil that followed is unforgettable and unspeakable. It is one of those experiences where you have to walk in another’s shoes for a mile to really understand.

When I first received chemotherapy treatment, several people including my oncologist stated that chemotherapy is poison. Isn’t that a moral dilemma? God can protect me from this poison per Mark 16:17-18.

One of the endearing characteristics of Jesus Christ is that he uses one circumstance to accomplish many things. He had one main reason for the experience, but it is accomplishing many. It is a battle. I am also being cleansed and prepared for something which I do not know yet. I just hope I retain and use everything I learned. I believe he is healing on a deeper level. I tend to suppress my emotions because these are not right or “proper”. This suppression causes many illnesses. Our bodies were not created for that kind of stress. As time went by, we have forgotten how to release our burdens. And that is exactly what God wants to do; give us rest. ~ Matthew 11: 28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

I have always sought God’s will in my life. It wasn’t because I was religious, righteous, or even good. It is because I was and probably still am a coward. I wanted someone else to make decisions for me because I wouldn’t be responsible for the consequences. Boy, was I wrong! We all suffer when an associate makes a bad decision. We suffer when our ancestors made wrong decisions. It is part of life.

One thing I kept hearing over and over again is that God allowed this illness or this circumstance; the reference being the book of Job. I question that. I know God is good. I also know that I am his daughter through the reconciling work of Jesus Christ. Would I, as a human being, allow someone to hurt a loved one especially a child of mine? Why would God do that? He even said in Matthew 7:9-11: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” It seems to me that my decisions and choices are the ones that get me into trouble whether I know the consequences or not. For every choice, there is consequence even generational. Sometimes we are ignorant of the consequences. If I know that eating a certain food will cause me to be ill and I eat it anyway, what should I expect? If I don’t know, what will happen? God mentioned several times in the Bible that his people perish / get exiled for lack of knowledge. ~ Hosea 4:6 and Isaiah 5:13.
Guess what? There are lies a plenty in this world. Satan thrives on lies. ~ John 8:44. Because his aim is to steal, kill, and destroy everyone and everything God loves. ~ John 10:10. It is our responsibility to gain knowledge and truth by asking, seeking, and knocking until we get an answer. ~ Matthew 7:7-8. And God is faithful. He will answer at the perfect time.

Throughout life, I‘ve heard references of how the good die young or the wickeds’ days are cut short. It is in the Bible both ways. I’ve seen both during my lifetime.  Which one is it? The good die young or the evil does? This is purely a generalization. Is this a defense mechanism to deal with pain?
Another thing I kept hearing is that cancer is a sure ticket to heaven. Really? How? What I know is that belief in Jesus Christ as a personal savior and son of God is the sure ticket to heaven, not disease. His redemptive work reconciled me to God, the father. This idea diminishes the whole ministry of Jesus. Why would he heal the sick if sickness would transport people to heaven? It doesn’t follow. Another lie? This seems to be a tactic to please people so they would not get too upset and leave a certain denominational church. At what price? Their eternity and the church leaders’ eternity? The church leaders are under greater judgment at the end because they are responsible for what they teach. ~ James 3:1.       

Church leaders encourage people to serve in the churches and give money. Very few actually encourage them to get to know God better; to draw closer to Jesus Christ, to whet their appetites with morsels from the Bible. Many condemn the people for their actions or lack of, yet, few speak of the love of Christ. Many state what God will do for them if they did such and such or gave a certain amount of money, yet few speak of what Jesus Christ already did. Who or what are we focused on? If the churches want to see the miraculous, they need to get serious about God.  

Religion or relationship? If I venture to be bold, I’d say that we are all religious. We are religious in attending school, going to work, eating, personal hygiene, doing daily things that we need to do. Most of us attend religious services. All religions have commandments and rules that we need to adhere to. Christianity is no different, that is, if you want to look at it as a religion. We have to attend church, we have to read the Bible, we have to pray, we have to love our neighbors and much worst, we have to love our enemies! It is such a burden. “We have to” is a tricky phrase. Why? Why do I have to? If you think about it a little further, all religions are such burdens. By the way, atheism is a religion. According to thefreedictonary.com, religion is defined as “a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.” Fanaticism and extremism is born of religion. Mental illnesses are born of religion. Being zealous is very good, in fact, as long as you know the reason. ~ Galatians 4:18. Some think they are following the truth; while others negate that same truth. Is it really truth?

Unlike other religions, Christianity is about relationship. It is a relationship between two persons who love each other. You have tried it. I have tried it. There is nothing more satisfying than spending time with a loved one. The number one regret of many on their death beds is that they didn’t get to spend a lot of time with their loved ones. Everything else didn’t seem to matter. Who are the two persons spending time together? Jesus Christ and any person. Out of this love relationship, something beautiful begins to grow. I start to change and become more like him. He doesn’t change. He is eternal. I can always change for the better. So the burdensome commands in the Bible are not so troublesome.  Because I do them for someone who loves me and I love him. It becomes easier with him lightening the load. ~ Matthew 11: 28-30.

I see pain, sorrow, death, and illness everywhere. It breaks my heart. I know God is the healer and restorer, yet, I do not see him working. I know he is. He listens to prayers and always responds at the perfect time. My prayer for everyone is to know the truth, the whole truth, the absolute truth, and nothing else.