Live and Learn

A friend of mine posted this:

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I laughed at the sentiment because I understood what she meant.  Not that I would call another human being trash, but I understand the thought.  People that are toxic to you emotionally and mentally, need to be removed from your life.  They are useless to your forward motion and your journey in life.  They become neither helpful or relevant. Part of walking on water is learning about people and who those people really are.   Those that withdraw love, friendship or contact with the wind are “fair weather friends”.

My mom used to use this phrase all the time and it’s taken me until 54 to learn what that truly means.  My son and I were up at 2 AM one morning and I told him that in life you probably only going to have 1 or 2 true friends.  That’s reality.  Everybody ain’t yo friend. When people withdraw themselves from your life, sometimes it’s a blessing.  It makes you see how much they did not value you as a person in the first place.  You were, to them, some kind of tool they could use temporarily.  Maybe your presence made them feel a certain way, or they simply looked at you as an acquaintance and not a friend.  It’s not that you become close to everybody—that’s impossible, but it’s the people who try to sell you on their love and care and then cut you off that are amazing.  You can’t think of anything that would cause it, or anything you’ve done but all of a sudden the contact stops.

It’s tough when the cold water of reality hits you in the face.

I was never that important to you anyway.

So you live and learn.

God encouraged me one time when cold shoulders have hit me in life that I had not wasted time at all.  Everything we do in sincerity and every person we meet teaches us something about life.   My husband told me years ago, “Because you’ve experienced these things, sweetie, now you know who not to be”.

  1. He encouraged me that hard lessons learned are the ones that stick, never think your time was wasted.
  2. He let me know that my sincerity is what HE values.
  3. He removed toxic people from my life because God is truth and he never wants us to be deceived about who people are.
  4. He reminded me that their removal was His design so that I wouldn’t lean on false support but only on Him.
  5. He showed me that anything we do with a good heart will never be ignored by Him and He is what is important in life.

Often you can look at the mistakes you’ve made in trusting people and say “how could I be so stupid”?  How could I have been so careless with my life and my time?   But it’s then you begin to see that those people who’ve cut you off, never did truly value you as a person.  You meant something to them but only in your own mind but not in reality.

And that’s the point, isn’t it?  The line between fantasy and reality.

A person showed me a chart one time.  On one side there was a circle called Fantasy and the other Side was an overlapping circle called Reality. There was a space in between where a person has to find a balance of what is achievable in a relationship.

Our fantasies about the character of people will eventually clash with the reality of their character.  We are all human.  Thankfully, I am learning to find those spaces where I keep fantasy at bay and deal with the reality accepting who they are and who they are supposed to be in my life.  Sometimes people are just lessons—that’s all.

When people say they love you and care about you, should you believe them or realize that people often just say things to fill up space or because they have a feeling of love, but don’t understand the reality?  You figure, “Oh… I get it.  It’s time for me to lower my expectations”.

It’s like buyer’s remorse.  You bought what they sold but you were sadly disappointed in the performance of the product.  No matter how hard the sell, (and you often do get the hard hustle sell “I really do care about you” “I really I do!”).  You look at their actions and sometimes you can even look into their eyes and you know it’s a scam.  It’s particularly disheartening when they are using the bible to sell the love product.

I was listening to a detective story one time and the detective explained his approach to his casework. “One or two coincidences, maybe, but when you have coincidence, after coincidence, after coincidence. Well to believe anything else is just plain stupid.”

I saw a sign one time that said:

“YOU WILL NEVER FIND THE RIGHT PERSON UNTIL YOU LET GO OF THE WRONG ONE”.

Lesson learned.

 

 

 

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The Crazy Comey-esque Church Firing

Watching what happened with FBI Director James Comey reminded me of the time I was fired –at church.  Like so many, I’ve been watching with interest the current events of the last week regarding the firing of James Comey.  I’ve heard comments about the messy way the firing was done (not even a heads up or a handshake?), Comey’s prior mistakes, Comey’s support or lack of support in the FBI.  Of course, if you listen to the Huckabee-Spicer-Trump connection from the White House, you would think he’s the worst FBI director of all time, but that’s politics. Continue reading

Can Oppression Make You Crazy?

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

Ecc 7:7 (KJV)

I had never considered this scripture before but it is filled with understanding. Trust me, I will probably be meditating on this for a long time.  Not to excuse crazy behavior, but because I never realized the depths to which oppression can drive a person.

Extortion is a special type of oppression, but in some versions of the bible, the Hebrew word simply rendered Oppression.   To be clear, oppression is being unjustly treated or controlled, especially over a length of time.  This may send anyone over the edge.  God made the human psyche to have free will and not be controlled.  When a person is controlled in everything they do or not allowed to exercise their abilities or gifts, it can make them act out of normal character.  It can cause them to break ranks from the norm.

I believe God wants us to have the understanding for people that have been oppressed.  To expect a group of people or a person to stay under oppressive systems or a person to continue to stay in an oppressive situation is unreasonable.  When God sends us through trials and difficulties, he never allows this just as an exercise in cruelty.  On the spiritual side, it is a controlled situation.  God will get us out of it when He’s ready.

God realizes that persecutions, tyranny, confinement is a punishment that’s against our natural creation. He does not mean for us to stay oppressed.  Even the wisest and humblest person can be affected.

The second part of this scripture says that  “a gift destroyeth the heart”, which is often rendered as “a gift can bribe the heart”.   People can change their principles and integrity for money or support. They get bought out because of something they want.  As Christians, this is something we should never do.  We should keep our beliefs and integrity even if the entire world turns against us, as long as we are leaning on scripture.

The moral of all this:  good men can be turned and we have to be careful to not allow ourselves to be moved from a godly path in life.

What Is Worth More Than Money?

Some people never realize that money has its limits.  Now, I know you may say “hold up”, everybody needs it and nobody really turns it down, do they?  And many may even quote me the scripture that it’s the “love” of money that’s the root of all evil, not the money itself.  All true, but here’s what I’ve noticed.  In all the talk of people trying to defend the value of money in our lives, nobody really talks about the limited value of money.

According to the bible, money is less valuable than wisdom and understanding; neither of which you can spend at Neiman Marcus nor Macy’s but stick with me.

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According to Solomon, who had lots and lots of the stuff?  He says that looking over his wealth he realizes that money will not protect you in times of trouble.  It may actually create more troubles for you.  You’d be surprised if you just did a quick search of the term money in the book of Ecclesiastics and Proverbs see what Solomon had to say about money.

 Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it. Ecclesiastes 7:12

This is the same man who said that money is the answer to everything.  And that is probably true in more cases than not in this world.  However, Solomon wrote down his observations about life in specific and just his passing observations.   In his writings, it is clear that his greatest treasure was his relationship with God.  He knew that it would outlast every dime that he possessed.

So as you go about your week, and work hard to get money, keep in the mind the things that money cannot buy and the eternal things that Solomon tells us is worth more than all the gold in the world.

 

Searching for God

Indeed, if you call out for insight   and cry aloud for understanding,
 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:3-5 images (139)

In the hurry and hustle of life, the scriptures cry out to us to take the time to seek and search for God.  This takes time and effort.  Often we fail to realize the ramifications of not spending that precious time alone with Him.  We get overcome by an emptiness that seems to make life more of a struggle.  The loads that should be lightened become heavier. The decisions feel more burdensome.  This is why the bible encourages each one of us to call out for insight.

When I spiritually counsel people, this question, always seems to come up not only for their sakes but also as a reminder to me, “have you sought God about this?” It’s a query that usually causes a mix of feelings. People frequently seek human counsel while seeking God about a particular matter.  Nevertheless, it’s a question I have to ask.  I want to know how they believe God has already directed them or where they feel he’s leading.

The scripture invites us to ask God about our every step.  He wants to be invited into every aspect of our lives. Sometimes I would think “God knows about everything anyway, so do I really have to pray about this”?   Yet, I believe that it is the action of seeking that helps us interact and connect with God on a higher level. That’s why he invites the action and actually uses “seeking” in a separate way from “prayer”.  Two different words in scripture, because these there are two different emphases.

Yet, in this particular scripture, Solomon encourages deep effort and a high level of action on our part to know God.  We are his creation, not the other way around, so it’s important to understand who he is and what his desires are for our lives.   The bible says that the heavens declare God’s identity and character, and still there is more to know.