Thank God For Sunday

It’s been an absolute hell of a week.  To even try to go into detail about it would be both too difficult and too personal for all people involved.  The devil was surely nipping at our heals this week, nearly blowing out all our lights that shine our way on God’s path.  It’s amazing how one small thing can be interpreted so very differently and, therefore, get crazy out of hand because of it.  Sometimes I believe we, as a society, are losing the art of communication with one another, and the ability to understand each other.  It’s detrimental.

Couples should take classes once a year, health care providers should take classes on how to communicate with patients, people, in general, should take a class on normal expected human behavior, and the world would be just fine.  The amount of disrespect and misunderstanding between people is almost criminal in this world lately.

And it’s so easy to get caught up in it all, to get caught up in the bantering, or acting like you’re better than the person who is supposed to be providing you with a service, and letting your mind get over-run with that conversation in your head where you say everything on your mind but your mouth fails to actually filter it, thus hurting people’s feelings around you and scaring people around you because they have no idea what to expect of someone who just doesn’t harness their behavior at all.  And when people lack the ability to discern what is troublesome and what is not, it can get some people into worse situations, emotionally, mentally, or otherwise.

God gave us a voice, brothers and sisters, but He first gave us Love.  I’m pretty sure the voice was to express that, not anything less than.

Be prepared, however, when you speak of God and His glory.  There are some that find that troublesome as well.  As if believing in God, and His ability to pull you out of rough waters, is a mental disorder that is something that needs to be dealt with.  But isn’t that the way it’s always been?

Earlier this week, I was helping my mom through a Bible study in Acts 1-4, which I had never read before.  In the later parts of it, I learned that Peter and John had been arrested for, what my understanding is, preaching about Jesus and His good works and what He is capable of.  This did not sit well with the boss men, so they had Peter and John arrested, telling them they could never do that again.  It was something interesting to learn, and at the time, it was knowledge, at best.  However, the other night, telling somebody that nobody could help me through what I was going through but God landed me in quite the conundrum, one in which my rights and control were completely taken away.  I won’t say that the catalyst to this event didn’t play into that decision, however, my statement did not sit well with the one in charge of my fate at the moment.

So for quite a while, I found myself with only God to call upon for strength, remembering the verse from Philipians 4:13, which happens to be my wife’s favorite Bible verse, and the one I played over most in my head during my time of trial, so to speak…”I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”  And I waited, and prayed, and meditated, and Trusted, and relied on truth, and the Truth of God…and thought about this song.

Many thanks to God for renewing my strength during that time. 

My mother-in-law’s birthday was on Friday, we had a wonderful family meal at Outback.  It was great to be around everyone, although afterwards, it was nice to come home and just call it a family night around the television.  Saturday we started the day off lazy, although much deserved after the week we had.  We decided to go tubing down the salt river, however, after an hour of getting ready, getting in the car and hopping on the expressway, a phone call to the recreation park revealed that they were no longer renting out tubes for the day because the weather conditions weren’t favorable.  That was a kick in the junk, since we were trying so hard to take a mental vacation and just have fun, regardless of how much it cost that we shouldn’t spend.  We were quite disappointed, but eventually, the day went on…even though we had some battling to do with our daughter.  Some things never change.

Sunday…yep, church.  Nope.  We played hookey today and reclaimed our opportunity to take that mental vacation and just do something, dammit!  We deserved it…and it was the last day to go for the season.  We got all of our stuff together, drove up the mountain, got in the water, said our prayer, thanked God for bringing us all together, asked Him to forgive us for not going to His house today, as we were working on forgiveness with each other, and proceeded to float on down the river.  It was a blast…we had so much fun.  It was peaceful, beautiful, exciting…offered up a time for trust, and just…well, time together, and a break from the monotony of our daily struggles. 

For some reason, I have a calling to the mountains, and I feel the closest to God when I’m in them.  I had the time to just be close without thinking too much, just plug in and get recharged, and hopefully, I’m charged enough to face the week ahead.  I have Christ in me, I hear Him, through music, through the Word, and He holds me close….so too, shall I hold Him close.

~Dear Lord, please forgive me the sins of my week, as my weakness overcame me.  Thank you for your protection and for guiding me back to you, Lord.  Please continue to wrap your arms around me and my family as we face struggles of daily lives that the world imparts on us, help us to overcome them and to lift our family and our selves, our own hearts and lives above anything else.  Thank you for your blessings, and for allowing us to have this wonderful day together.  In your most precious and Holy name, I pray.  Amen~

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My Love Is Alive (Even though I feel half dead)

This week’s video is a simple one, folks.  Unfortunately, my time constraints with getting my last video worked out and able to play, and a busy schedule this week kept me from putting a lot of time into this one.  However, it did not keep me from putting in my full effort, thought, heart, and most of all, love of God behind it.  Enjoy.

Barbara Payton – My Love Is Alive (Detroit Native)

****AGAIN, AND MY APOLOGIES, BUT THIS IS A HOMEMADE VIDEO AND NO LONGER ACCESSIBLE VIA YOUTUBE, AND I’VE STILL BEEN UNABLE TO FIGURE A WAY TO UPLOAD DIRECTLY.  IF YOU GET A CHANCE TO CHECK OUT THE ARTIST THOUGH, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT****

I’m sitting here on my back porch, Saturday night, twenty minutes until ten, having just finished up the final touches on a very simple video for this week, smoking a cigarette to keep the skeeters away (if you’ll believe that), and exhausted as heck.  It was another yard sale day, trying to sell off some more stuff that we aren’t taking with us to Arizona in 16 days in an attempt to raise more travel expense money and moving cost money.  Today wasn’t as great as last weeks sale, but it was still a blessed day. 

All except for that phone call we got from our mechanic that we took my wife’s truck to so we could get the brakes fixed.  He’s a good guy…we trust him.  We had to get her brakes fixed because they were squeaking really bad and he gave us a good price, plus we have to take my truck in because there’s a rattle and I’m pretty sure I need brakes as well.  Considering we are driving across the country in 16 days, we’re going to need our vehicles in tip-top shape. 

Well, the mechanic called and told us it wasn’t the brakes, and what the actual problem is will cost us almost three hundred dollars more than what we had planned.  Major wrench in the operation, especially considering we haven’t even gotten my truck in yet, which I know is going to be the undertaking.  So…on to a whole new set of prayers…  🙂

I’ve been having more doctor appointments this week, trying to settle things up here before I head out of state.  So far, they say my heart looks good but I just need to watch my anxiety levels, as they may be associated with some of the symptoms I’m feeling.  Heh, and here I thought I was doing better.  I would say that I’m stressed because I’m 16 days away from moving (not like I’m counting), but these symptoms have been lasting longer than that.  I’m still awaiting results from an upper and lower GI procedure from Thursday and I have another procedure coming up next week.  If nothing is found, we’ll have to call it official….I’m absolutely crazy, lol.  So we’ve been praying a lot for health around here already, but we’ll keep those going, although I can fairly honestly say, I don’t think I feel half the anxiety I normally do considering all the circumstances going on right now.  Maybe it’s just not all registering….nah, I know what it is. 

I’m trusting that God hasn’t given us more than we can handle.  I’m not worrying about it because I’m praying about it.  I gave it to God and that’s the best I can do. 

Earlier in the week, actually, starting on Sunday, there was a big issue with the “Let’s Go Crazy” video from my last blog.  After I went through four days of making the video, which is actually a very short amount of time to make a video that was that “cool,” for lack of better term at the moment, I suddenly found that it was not able to be viewed due to copyright restrictions.  Ouch!  See, first of all, I have a YouTube page that I post all my videos to first because I, for some reason, can’t seem to upload any of my videos that I make directly to my posts on here.  It says I can…but I can’t.  Perhaps the wrong format, I don’t know.  Anyway, I’ve only run into this problem one other time before, but I ran into the problem again with this last video with the song “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince.  Apparently Warner Music Group really doesn’t like people using that song because in less than twenty-four hours of it being posted on my page, and after I had already published it to my blog, it was blocked for viewing. 

I panicked.  I was so proud of this video.  I love all the videos I make, especially since I can go back and look at the timeline of progress I’ve made in what I’ve learned to be able to do with them.  But there’s only a few of them that I am really psyched about!  And that video is one of them, and the fact that I couldn’t share it with anyone other than the people around me was driving me crazy.  I tried everything.  I couldn’t find the dispute form on YouTube that I had only found once before, I remade the video with a different song source…you know, trying to back-door the system thinking that they might not be able to “content id” a different source or something…didn’t work.  I uploaded it onto Facebook so at least just my friends could see…nope, they blocked me too! 

I started thinking bigger, I called my pastors at my church and asked them if I could show it at the church.  Well, they have the same problems….copyrights!  Gah! 

It all keeps coming back to Prayers and Patience it seems….okay.  Take a deep breath, that dispute form is somewhere.  We’ve prayed before to change the hearts of people who may not be giving us a fair shake before…sometimes it’s worked, sometimes not so much, what’s the harm?  Within minutes I found the dispute form, offered up my statement of good faith that I meant no harm, that the video was intended as inspirational, and submitted it.  I let it go and checked back the next day…well, it’s still up.  Thank you, God and people at YouTube and WMG.

So now the weekend comes to a close, it’s Saturday night.  Like I said, it’s been a long week.  My brother, sister-in-law, and nephews are in town…they have been all week, and were having a family get-together over at my other brother’s house tonight.  Unfortunately, because of such busy schedules, previous plans, and plain exhaustion, I wasn’t able to make the drive to go to the party.  We have tentative plans to see each other after church tomorrow, and I’m going to do my best to get out that way, but again…plans and time. 

I guess here is where I have to look to God to help me figure out what to do.  I have my parents telling me what I “should” do, because I’m 34 years old and that’s what every 34 year old has, their parents telling them what to do.  I “should” go, if at the very least to see my nephews…yes, this is true.  I should go to see them all, I love them all and I miss them.  They live far away and we don’t get to see each other much.  My struggle comes in with the part where I have so much going on and so little time and gas money to get it all done with.  My brother has been here for a week, and I don’t know where they have all been in that amount of time…it’s not my business to know or care, however, I know one day has been given to family to be able to see them.  Their schedule has always been a tight one and I find myself struggling to fit into it without it being an inconvenience to either side, and that’s the part that sucks about it. 

After church tomorrow, we are supposed to be finishing up this garage sale then hauling every last bit of garbage out of this house and garage so that nothing is left here except what is being moved.  It’s going to be another long and busy day, followed by another long and busy week that, as of right now, we’re not financially prepared for…yes, the truck. 

So now, I’m going to pray that at some point tomorrow, I’ll have a solid answer, followed up with love and not just obligation, that a good compromise will come up in order for my family and I to be able to get together.  I’ll also be praying for safety of all of our travels, guidance in all of our decisions, strength during our trials, and positive results during all health related concerns coming up this week.  Thank you, God, for all  your blessings, those big and those too subtle for our small minds to recognize.  My heart, soul and mind remain open to all that you have to offer, Lord, as I commit to offer all that I have to you, Lord.  Amen.

So church was this morning and the service was wonderful, as usual.  Rev talked about becoming “evolved people” in our spiritual journey.  He talked about how the patterns of thought and behavior in our lives can keep us from our spiritual destinies.  In other words…practice what we preach!  If we are believers and followers of Jesus, then do so with the commitment that we preach to others. 

He even gave us steps to help guide us!  Yes!  Directions!  Some of us aren’t very good at figuring things out on our own, especially in the beginning…so now we have guidelines.

1.  Figure out who you’re going to serve!  God or your Ego?  Are you going to get caught up in God or in the conditions that surround you?  Need help?  “The Lord is my shepherd….and that’s all that I want”

2.  Give thanks each day, each moment for what most people ordinarily take for granted.  Give thanks even in the midst of the storm because God is preparing you to elevate you to grow.  You’re thinking, “yeah…but…” right?  That’s what Rev. Jim said too.  Response?  “As long as you keep saying ‘yeah, but,’ your butt is going to be in your way!”

3.  Give to live until you live to give!  Turn you “me-ness” in to “we-ness.”  Giving comes in all different forms, doesn’t always have to be just money.  God has blessed everyone with gifts to pass on to everyone that can bless someone, and blessings come back from unexpected places, they don’t just ping back from the people in your own circle.  Remember the four T’s – Tithe of your Time, Talent, and Treasures.

4.  Know how to forgive!  Forgive ourselves.  Do not place guilt, blame or shame on yourself, it has no spiritual platform in your life to bounce you toward a higher ground, only hold you down.  Just admit you made a mistake, apologize, make amends, and move on.  If they can’t move on with you, then love from a distance.

5.  Celebrate life rather than view life as a problem to be solved.  We will always run into trials, but with Jesus as our savior, we can Trust that He can help guide us through all that we face, and through Him, celebrate all that we overcome and the people we have become because of His love.

6.  Understand the value of “down time.”  No, this does not mean be a couch potato every chance you get.  This means, take every opportunity you get to commit to meditation or whatever means necessary to further your spiritual journey.  Take time to get in touch with your spiritual self.  Every other religion is strict about it!  We can get a little more strict with ourselves about it too!  “Stay prayed up”  Don’t wait until the going gets tough to pray…just pray because…

7.  Let go and let God.  You’ve done all that you can do.  You’re a human being and you have limitations.  In the grand scheme of it all, God has the final plan, and it is His will and you are His faithful servant doing the best you can do according to what you honestly believe is His will for you.  So at the end of the day, after all your prayers, worries, heartaches, aggravations, etc…let go and let God.

Amen.  God bless!