Celebrate Other People’s Successes

Sitting in the dark, I read a review that attacked an author more over their success than with the content of the book. Suspicion over how that success came about bordered on slander. How can we do well with what God has given us if we are too focused on jealousy? 

I have just a few of you that follow my occasional posts. Admittingly, I haven’t put forth enough effort for this blog to enjoy success. This is okay. My friend said to me the other day, “I hearken back to the day when blogging was in its youth. We were more interested in building a community than in making a buck.” In other words, blogging was other-centered and theraputic. 

My friend shared stories where bloggers globally gathered in sorrow when one of them passed away from illness. Can you imagine making such an impact that people miss you when you aren’t present? 

I guess my point in tonight’s blog is to share with you that my heart is for you. I pray for you. I think about you. I wonder how your relationship with God is going? Are you really following Him? And if you are, what do you base that relationship on? By what authority? 

Read the Bible 

Ugly Words Erupt

angry-2191104_640.jpg

Ugly words erupted from him via the comment section. Doing good isn’t always met with kindness or love. An unbeliever filled with fear verbally attacked the two of us online. He had legitimate fear, but no belief in God. In fact, he was angry at God at the moment and an angry person in general.  According to him, God took his father’s life. Fear is this man’s default now. So is anger and justification. When uncertainty hit his life, he wanted (and rightly so) to protect his family. With no belief or faith, it is easy to justify bad behavior. He believed his rights trumped another person’s rights.

Maybe you can relate? 

As I read the news, I know I have no guarantee that S.M. will come home every night. Or that our house will remain unscathed. Or our families won’t be harmed. Our freedoms in this world sit on the edge of a cliff. The wrong decision. The wrong words. This can suddenly tip our life into chaos. When I read about another country’s poor education system, I know we can one day be in their shoes. All our possessions might some day be taken away. All those things we value–prestige, community, material perks–might only be available to the elite among us. Abortion has opened the gate to late term abortion if there is a physical or mental defect detected to a one-parent working household becoming a two-parent working household with someone else raising our kids with different values. Parents don’t stay married. Marriage is redefined and that gate has opened to a plural marriage push.

The world gives us every justification for fear. Fear makes people angry and nasty. If you believe, you have assurance of a Home someday away from this mess. For now, we move in prayer from one day to the next, living in faith, appreciating the joys of life, and as a believer are instructed to love; to think of others better than ourselves.

This means taking the heat to protect someone else. You lose one relationship for a few better ones, because when people know you love them, they begin to trust you. I lifted this angry man up in prayer as I could not minister to him anymore, but the outrage opened up a relationship with two others.

So, I guess the experience wasn’t a total loss after all.

If you are struggling with something, you can email me at sistersarah40@yahoo.com. Can I pray with you? Would you like to understand more about Jesus? 

Start Reading the Bible

A Field of Flowers #LDS

flower-52268_640.jpg

 

via Daily Prompt: Pluck

We pulled over because the field of yellow flowers were irresistible. When you are visiting the ocean and driving along the coast in Palos Verdes, you just stop what you are doing to admire the things God has placed in your way. Like these yellow flowers…

I couldn’t wait to walk through them and run my fingers through their petals. I had romanticized the field of flowers so much so that I forgot its hidden ugliness. As I walked to the edge of the field, instructing S.M. to get a picture of me, I noticed a fat, ugly spider sitting on a web between two healthy flower stalks.

My smile fell. I no longer desired to pluck a few flowers from the field and put them in a Styrofoam cup at the hotel, or walk through the field, or touch the yellow petals.

Instead, I stood on the edge and admired the beauty from afar.

Maybe that’s what we do to our traditions…we romanticize them, purify the memories. A photographer never captures the spider in the field. Just the flowers are in his focus. In this day and age of internet marketing, catching the spider or even a poisonous snake in the field would disrupt the illusion that everything is fine.

God help us if our illusions are disturbed.

Verse: Philippians 4:13

 

How to Glorify God

baby-499976_640.jpg

One article and a response to an interview question doesn’t really give a complete answer. For instance, when I read about the Olympic athlete who talked about the pain of her abortion, the poorly worded article gave a response that is very different from other news sources.

My interpretation of the article caused me to believe the person’s wrong choice was perceived by her as glorifying to God. Other articles constructed a very different point of view.

And here I thought I would write an albeit gentle diatribe about bible illiteracy!

Instead, I am glad I didn’t write off the cuff. It’s a good lesson in any life situation not to come to erroneous conclusions and instead seek out the bigger story.

The bigger story is this:

Read the Bible before you make big life decisions like abortion, transgender operations, shacking up with someone, joining a church, or doing those drugs.

What kind of glory is God really looking for from our actions? He created life. He created us. We brought sin into the world and creation.

The Bible records the historical actions of followers like a heart beat on an echo cardiogram–up and down, sometimes erratic paths that aren’t the straight line God would like to see from us, but at the end of each story is a heart for God, lessons learned from bad decisions, and records of standing up against popular culture (FYI, not everyone ended well or began well).

You aren’t glorifying God by having an abortion, doing those drugs, or any kind of sin, or even worse, not understanding His character and choosing to go with a religion which isn’t biblical.

Repentance is the first step of a healed life and a right relationship with the Lord. Where are you in your journey? Start with the Bible. 

Email me your answer: sistersarah40@yahoo.com 

 

 

Shacking Up is Not Commitment 

I am really curious. 

Why are you living with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Why are you trying them on like a shoe to see if you both are a fit? There are no guarantees in life. 

The laws have taken away the benefits of marriage and made shacking up almost equal. We’ve re-made relationships so anything goes. 

Bottom line? 

Marriage is honoring to each other and to God. If you claim you are a Christian, can I encourage you to think about putting your relationship with God first? Forget articles that try to talk for or against shacking up. Forget your own rationalizations. Forget what is popular. Forget the dreams of white dresses, dripping candles, and bridesmaids. 

What does God say about shacking up and marriage? What was it like in the Old and New Testament when two people were “married?” How does it apply now? Where do you get your theology, and deep down, I know you realize marriage was created for a reason. 

You know this. 

First, get your relationship right with God and let Him transform you from the inside out. If your relationships are based on God, you will have a real commitment, better than the stuff we make up in romance novels. 

Want to talk? sistersarah40@yahoo.com

Why Do You Hate Work?

S.M. was complaining the other day of people who don’t want to work. I can see why people are complaining about millennials. They want higher pay for little productivity and even less experience. 

Not all millennials, mind you. 

Just a lot of them. 

Each time he talks about millennials, I am reminded of that scene in Office Space. The main character hates his job and wants a job doing nothing. I tried doing nothing on a Sunday. This was more tiring than doing something.  Is our area the only area where people don’t want to work? 

If you hate your job, here are ways you can hit the ‘refresh’ button: 

  • Challenge yourself to compete with other employees and do more than what you are asked. 
  • Even if your job is filing, and the files are the size of a mountain, make it a game. See how much you can file in an hour and beat your time the next week. 
  • Serve others. For Christians, we need to understand we work for God, not man. Our standards must be higher. Keep your nose clean and work hard by serving your boss as you would serve your fellow church member. 
  • Be ethical. 
  • Don’t cheat on your timesheet. 
  • Don’t be entitled. 

Even the most boring job can be fun and fulfilling if you only change your perspective. 

A Joke in Poor Taste

She shared the joke on Facebook. I laughed until I got to the part where it included Mormonism in the definition of Christian. My impulse was to comment on this. 

Then, I recalled that my family was on my Facebook list and Facebook shows all your activity to your friends. While I pounded the delete button with my index finger in frustration, I also knew the person who posted the joke would get offended. 

People nowadays are easily offended and snap at the slightest perceived insult. 

How did we get this way? 

The thought that stopped me from posting was the lack of relationship that I have with this person. Who am I to correct when I am not a personal friend? I don’t go to church with her and I haven’t earned the right to say anything? Even if I did say something, it would not bring change. If we were close friends, saying something might bring change. 

Each of us should be open to different perspectives. 

Meanwhile, I narrowly avoided an incident. 

To comment: sistersarah40@yahoo.com