Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Livin' by my Own Convictions

This piece has been a draft on my blog for several years. 
I came across it today and decided to let it fly. 
It'll probably post as current. 

art/unknown source

I often find it difficult to express my beliefs. Call them theological, religious, spiritual beliefs. I call it faithfully living by my convictions.  Reconciling those convictions with the things I was taught growing up and scriptures and my spirit has been and continues to be difficult.

I'm gonna touch on a few things in this post that often stand out in discussions. You don't have to agree. You don't even have to keep reading!  Anyway, if I use the phrase "He told me" or "I felt Him say" or anything of that nature, well ... call it a quickening of my spirit like sudden clarification or .... simply peace or calm in the wake of a storm of sorts. It's how I know He speaks to me.

I believe God has a plan or will for each of us.  Unfortunately we often travel a different direction.  Not unlike our own children taking a path other than one we had hoped for.  Not unlike we ourselves stumbled off the path our parents hoped for.  Thus "free will" comes into play.  Sure God could exercise his power and correct us gently or harshly but wouldn't that negate "free will" entirely?  Ah, chastisement, another blog!

I believe in the power of prayer.  We each have our own way of praying....none is wrong. God knows our heart. He even knows what I mean when I look toward Heaven and nod with a thumbs up or shrug or throw my fist in the air. He loves me just as I am. He cries when I cry. He laughs when I laugh. I know he even gets a chuckle out of me when I get angry with Him. I'm human.

I struggle with prayer. Oh, I can carry on a conversation with God and have revelation often before reaching the end of my dribble. I've had lots of unanswered prayers. I still don't get why we pray and beg and believe for something .... like we're trying to convince Him .... knowing all the while we end our prayers with 'thy will be done'. To have the faith of a mustard seed, yet that loved one still dies or that storm still wreaks havoc.... can be disheartening, to say the least. My faith has never weakened in those events, though my prayers have changed. I pray for courage and strength and wisdom and guidance and discernment. I let Him know I trust Him to protect us, to provide. I don't believe fear is a sin. I don't believe the opposite of fear is faith. Fear is a human emotion. I try not to make fear based decisions.  Occasionally I fail.  I try to walk in faith.  The opposite of fear is peace .... in my humble opinion.  I'm human.  Sometimes fear dictates my actions.  Often He allows me the space to make mistakes and then I feel ... that gentle nudge.

I don't believe my mom got sick because she missed a few Sundays at church. The ones that said that to me should have considered she missed a few Sundays because she got sick. I have witnessed healing miracles of people who went for prayer for particular issues. I don't believe it is a sign of weak faith, nor a sure thing you've written yourself off by admitting you have cancer or some other awful thing going on. I believe God will get me through the situation to the other side of it. And if that 'other side' happens to be Heaven .. well, what's wrong with that?! It's rather amusing for someone to ask you what's wrong and then say "don't speak that" or "cast that out" right now. FYI: I am a child of God and nothing can indwell me other than His spirit ... unless I falter and allow it.

For Heaven's sake, we live in harsh environments (speaking of nature, not relationships, although sometimes, those can be poisonous) and behave (that "free will" thing) sometimes in ways that make us ill or up-end our lives. That, in my humble opinion, is not always a spiritual attack, but a result of bad decisions, or even disasters .... which I also do not believe are 'acts of God' but of nature.  Of course, I suppose anyone could call it a "spiritual attack" when you leave your world wide open .... come what may.

I believe He has a plan for each of our lives. Call it what you want. There's a lot of lingo out there on the matter. I dwelt on that issue for some time many years ago. The "Does that mean He knows play-by-play what we are gonna do before we do it?" or "If He knows the exact second we are gonna die, why shouldn't I live life on the edge?" questions! I dunno.  But, I stand on my belief that God doesn't play us like pieces on a chess board. I just don't believe that.  I'm not sure how to interpret those scriptures.  But to a degree, I don't believe the God I serve takes a loved one from us in a harsh way.  I don't believe His plans include babies drowning, women dieing from beatings or breast cancer, husbands being killed on the job, or children meeting their end by being kidnapped, killed and tossed aside, car wrecks, tornadoes and war.  Accidents happen.  Mistakes happen.  Free will happens. Evil happens.  Bad things happen this side of Heaven.  That "his number came up" thing?  Really?  And, may I add, telling someone "there in a better place" is NOT comforting.  Just sayin'.

I believe the "seek ye first" thing.  Why not?  Otherwise our lives get so out of balance and turned upside down with busyness and distractions.  And then what do we do?  We blame Him.  But in reality, it's ourselves that caused the chaos, either by our own decisions or allowing someone else to decide for us.

More later, until then,
Blessings and Peace!

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