Monday, November 27, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Niagara Falls taken by Chris Sauer

I am a busy person lately. Not that I found a job. I've just been busy with church, working for the pastor, doing the church books(past and present), working on Chris Sauer's business and personal accounts, etc. Today is a very full day and the rest of the days leading up to the day my friend, Chris Sato(woman) arrives and we drive to my aunt's house in San Diego for her annual Christmas party on the 9th.

I have a new bare wood dining room set to stain and varathane. One table with leaf and six chairs with 8 rungs on the back each. I'm still not sure about the color, but have to get it done, so I'll have to pick a color and live with it. We got bare wood because I couldn't find a set I liked that was reasonably priced. I love this set and it's made of parawood. That is a fast-growing relative of the rubber tree and is highly renewable. It's as hard as oak when it has been dried. It takes stain about the same way too. I was very impressed with it. If I ever get hardwood floors they will be bamboo. Now they are making countertops and cabinets from bamboo also. If you have ever had bamboo in your yard, you know what a renewable plant it is......takes over!

Gotta go, meeting with the pastor tonight for secretary duties.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Community and Fellowship

We read in Kings 19:1-21 today at church. Elijah wanted to disappear because Jezebel put a hit out on him. He thought that the Jews had given up on him and God. He gave in to fear and the offshoots of fear: hoplessness, despair and depression. He wanted to isolate himself and be alone with his self pity.

As a person who has struggled with depression all my life I totally understand this desire. But it is not God's will for my life, nor was it His will for Elijah. God got his attention with a huge wind and an earthquake. Then when he was listening, God spoke to him in a quiet voice. He told Elijah that He wanted him to go back without fear and that he was to anoint 3 people to help him. God told him that there were 7,000 who were still faithful. Doesn't fear and depression make us exaggerate how things really are?

God has designed us for fellowship and community. If we have fellowship, others can offer us sympathy, empathy and encouragement. They can compensate for "soul fatigue" and lift us out of fear, anxiety and lack of vitality. God's answer for Elijah's soul fatigue was to rest and eat, rest and eat, then get up and go on a mission that God laid out for him. He was cured by obeying and doing. We need to put feet and hands to our prayers. Galatians 6:10

Fellowship will motivate our walk with God. We must be still and listen to what the Lord wants for our lives. If we choose our own way, we often come back battered down. We KNOW when we are on God's path for our lives--it feels right.

True community is: 1. love for others John 13:35
2. interdependence Phillipians 1:27

We need one another.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Are We Clear On Our Mission?

Our life needs to be in the context of God. We need to be in the fellowship of other believers--for most of us that means church, bible study groups and phone calls. We strengthen, build up, encourage and love one another. We cannot worship the Lord alone, because we are human beings. Jesus was usually in the company of His fellow humans. Except when he went to pray. Often He prayed all night long.
How long is our prayer time? Look at it this way.........
How often do we eat to sustain our earthly shell? At least 2 or 3 times a day, right? How often do we feed our spirit? If all we do as a Christian is attend Sunday service, we are not eating enough of the spiritual food we need to grow strong as Christians--how can we have enough left over to pass around to the world?
It's our mission on this earth to tell non-believers that God loves them. Remember the first time someone told you that God loves you and you believed it? How wonderful was that? Can't you put aside fear and pride long enough to say that to a non-believer? So what if they say, "Go away and leave me alone". At least you have told them. I had to be told many, many times before I believed it. Thank God the person who kept telling me never gave up.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Changed My Mind--A Woman's Perogative, OK?

Resting on God’s Promises and Grace

I moved the computer out to the living room where I can interact with my husband while he does his favorite thing—watch. Now I’m not in a distant room and I can write on my blog while I am with him. So I am going to continue with my blog after all. How blessed am I to be able to do this? I know that moving it was an inspiration of the Holy Spirit because I really did want to continue blogging. I kept reading other's blogs, but really wanted to write. Divine inspiration stepped in and gave me a solution. God answers prayer.

Faith is a choice. There is no magical moment when we are endowed with faith. We conciously choose to believe in God and His promises. We choose to believe that what the Bible says is true. With that choice and commitment comes the blessings of grace.

I read, pray and meditate (I meditate by writing, not sitting and thinking) on God's word. All of Jesus teachings and the writings of the new testament urge us to be in fellowship with other believers. “Whenever 2 or 3 are gathered in My Name, Jesus says, there I will be also.” We don’t gather at church, the group of believers ARE the church. We’re not required to go to church so much as we are gather together to uplift, challenge and encourage each other in His Name. I praise the Lord for the group of believers that I have found in Valley Baptist Church.

I have found that the more I commit to the Lord, the more uplifted I am. I lose my fears because faith and fear cannot co-exist. If I believe that God is holding me in His hands, what can I fear—Nothing!

That does not mean that I leave my home unlocked when my husband is out of town. I am not foolish. I still look where I step because I live in the rural desert and we have rattlesnakes. I wear a seatbelt when I drive. It’s just that the consuming thoughts of “what could possibly happen” do not dominate my thought processes any longer. I stay out of my head by helping others. There are always places to volunteer. The Baptist philosophy is that of missions. Not just support of foreign missions, but helping in the direct community. Giving of oneself is a good treatment for my depression. Commitment to continue serving is an important part of my anti-depressant treatment. Eating healthy and getting enough exercise—that is, being a good steward of my earthly temple helps me stay positive. Reading, radio ,movies and t.v. watching are limited to things that uplift me these days.

If you think of your brain as a computer and you input garbage……….well, you know the old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” I wanted to clean up what came out of my mouth—well, I quit reading, watching and listening to things that had negative messages and trash talking in them. Those things quit rolling around in my thoughts so that I no longer think in a negative way—ready to make a cutting remark or snide comment. I wanted to become a person who was supportive and gracious, not just one of the guys. I wanted to be that soft place for my husband to fall, instead of someone trying to nag him into being a better man. If I am a better woman, he will be a better man.

With God’s grace, I am getting there!