Political darkness 

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So to start I have to say I strongly dislike politics in general, I believe there’s a lot going on in this broken world that can’t even begin to be solved by them. And a lot of the choices we make within politics perpetrate a certain level of hate within our nation. We get behind issues instead of getting behind and loving people on both sides of the aisle. 

And our nation is in a state of upheaval things are clashing and I’m hoping it’s a clash that will eventually lead to positive change. But at this point in time I think it’s only driving us apart. 

Instead of coming together as a family of believers who love one another and choose to live in the world but not of the world we are driving people away. Even within a faith based family we judge one another and are so quick to point out the speck in each other’s eyes without taking a step back to look at ourselves to examine wether the choices we make are allowing Jesus to live through us.

And to be real I struggle with this it’s a daily battle with our flesh. Thankfully it’s a battle that in the end Jesus has won. And the problem lies not in that we have different political values or beliefs, (I have close Christian friends who I know are trying their best to walk in the word who fit on both sides of the political spectrum), it’s how we treat each other in the process. Our standards for that should not be set by those of the world where we cast stones before a person can even speak. We need to listen, we need to think. 

I think we also need to remember those in America and other free nations of how blessed we are. That we have the ability to worship freely and to speak, so when the time comes do that too. But I also think we need to not live in fear. The government is not the end all be all and while as Christians we are called to respect our government as long as it does not require us to do something that actively goes against the Word of God, the ultimate authority in our lives is the Lord, and through him will come positive change in our nation. 

I also want to take a moment here to lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ who are actively being persecuted. It’s easy to forget it’s a reality for many when we don’t see it in our back yard. 

I guess to close I want to say God is in control and to take the time to listen to hear everything people are saying and not to vote out of fear. 

Living in a Dark World “Hate”

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In light of all that is happening in the world. I wanted to take a moment to attempt to pen my thoughts and feelings. I apologize this could be a little rough.

It has been one week since the Orlando shootings and there has been a variety of reactions. And I’m thankful that for many people this has allowed many communities to come together and share the pain they are feeling especially those in the LGBTQ community. Yet, as a county, least on some level we have taken this tragedy and used it only to further political agendas. Whether it’s agendas toward gun laws, people groups, or religions.

Politics aside the thing I want to talk about is what this behavior has led to and that is hate. It’s been directed muslims, Christians and even those directly affected by this tragedy as well as I’m sure many others. And I don’t like it. Simply put I hate hate. And I know we live in a dark and broken world, and a by product of that is going to be hate.

Yet, its not just the unbelievers. I want to take a moment and address specifically my fellow believers. Because, we are contributing to the hate, we are contributing to the darkness in the world instead of shining a light into that darkness. We as Christians are not called on to hate, we are not called on to judge others and discriminate we are called on to love. It is show time and again in the Bible. Ex.

Luke 6:35a “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return;”

1 John 4:18-19 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love cats out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.”

And there is so much more in his word about love. We are called to love. I think sometimes as believers we get a kind of complex and often look at others and we judge. We see the sin in their life and we think less of them, we think down on them. The thing is we all sin, without Jesus we are all doomed we would all suffer the same fate. So for any of us to look into anyones else’s lives is not right. It is not what we are called to do, we are called to love and we are called to speak light into the lives around us.

Matthew 7:3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye.”

 

 

 

It’s Haunting Me

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In classes and in the news we talk about people being bullied and dealing with abusive relationships and the aftermath. For a very long time I thought myself to not fit into this category and was thankful for the fact. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that some of what I consider at least to have been verbal abuse from high school still has an impact on me today. I have been out of high school for about 6 years now and today some of the insecurities that the abuse from all of those years ago showed up today while I was at work.

I grew up in a small town and their were few options for things that teenagers could do to keep myself out of trouble I played sports and loved it managing to letter in 4 different sports throughout my high school career. My favorites being volleyball and basketball. Sadly I didn’t play that latter my senior year because I couldn’t play another year for the coach of both of those sports after the way she had treated me during Volleyball. 

During the 4 years I had her as a coach and especially for the 2 I played varsity for her she instilled in my a fear of failure. And while failure is not something anyone wants or desires, this was to an extreme no one should have to deal with. To make varsity you had to have a certain amount of talent, and yet all it took to get you on the bench was one mistake. I was retelling the story of volleyball my senior year, where she completely crushed me by this. I only played the back row and while I was out of the game we managed to get down by all but one point to loose the game I came back in pumped and ready to play, but sadly me and the front row player had a miscommunication and the ball dropped and we lost the first game but its best 3 out of 5 so I didn’t care I was ready to win the next three. Next thing I knew I was on the bench and that entire loss was blamed on me even tho I only played one point of that game. My family had flown across the country to see me play and here I was on the bench at the end of the second game where I still sat I was sad and she turns to me and asks what are you crying down there. And I handle frustration one of two ways lash out at the person or cry. So now I am crying…Upset my family doesn’t get to see my upset that I don’t get another chance. At the end we did loose all 3 games and in the locker room apparently I am completely to blame for this, I am called selfish for my actions that day. She then proceeded to not start me anymore until the girl in my place started to mess up even worse. But by this point my confidence is completely gone. I would miss one ball and immediately look at the bench and expect to be sat down. And sadly this was what it was like for all of us we were all constantly looking over expecting to get punished for that one mistake even if we had made 20 good plays in the game that one was enough to get us taken out.  

I didn’t play basketball that year despite my love for the game I wasn’t willing to live through another nightmare. And I thought that was the end of it I thought that was behind me. I didn’t realize until today the full extent that that kind of verbal abuse my coach had would have on me in my future. I work for a live TV show, and have been getting some experience in a new position for me in the audio booth and have begun to feel relatively confident in my abilities. And yet today I made one simple mistake that the director had to correct me on and my mind immediately jumped back to a state of a fear a state of oh no are they not going to let me do this anymore. Are they going to “bench” me. And from there it escalated later in the day everyone in the control room was chatting I was laughing along but not really saying much not really having any input typically cause its either shows I don’t watch or basketball (im personally a football nut when it comes to PROs.) The director asks What do you think of all of our convos, you just taking notes up there? and I laugh not really knowing what to say cause I never really fully listen cause Im not in the convo and don’t like to eavesdrop per say so I answer honestly and  and say I typically tune it out out to be honest.  And he laughs genuinely and not meanly and says good for you. IN reality Im pretty sure he meant it. But once again my insecurities are jumping to conclusions going does he really mean it or do I need to talk more, should i join these convos. Crap im going to get “benched” the new kid who is joining in is going to beat me out now because of my “failture”.  

All of these fears because of the words that I suffered in my early teen years. And Im tired of it Im tired of feeling this way and that this one person created this in me. Because I know my coworkers aren’t like her they are some of the most supportive people I have ever worked with. One of the ones whom I don’t talk all that much to but work along side alot. Turned to me just before all this and asked if offered would I take full time. I said of course…and he said good to know. They may be adding more full time with this new position and I will definitely push for you. I then asked if he would help me learn the position that is my goal and he said of course Ill show you anything you wanna know. And yet despite all of this there is still a part of me that lets those old past insecurities get in the way and I hate it. And I hope that it’s something that my insecurities can be worked out cause sadly even knowing the truth I stated above the past haunted me and buried itself inside and pushed all of those positive things and side and made me feel like a high schooler again. And nothing my coworkers did could have stopped that, they did nothing wrong. It’s just the past that haunts me, and I hope to eventually get rid of this ghost. And I do believe that with God’s help I can grow through these things and that he will use it to make me stronger.

What I would like to say to all those who are coaches or teachers please be careful what you say and how treat students and athletes its crazy to think how things can impact their future. Little things can just get under the skin and plant a bur there that can cause them problems later in life. Verbal abuse is a bad thing, and can cause people to have very low opinions of themselves and their self worth. I ask that you think of that before you speak. 

 

The book of Numbers

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At the beginning of this year I started a reading plan that would get me through the bible in 1 year. Already to me this sounded like a daunting task. I have read the word from top to bottom one other time, but it took a long time to successfully do. But, I felt that this would be a good study for me anyway a good motivation to reach into the word everything single day. Well for the past month or so I have been reading numbers. 

And while I’ll admit I did skim quite a bit of some chapters that just listed generation after generation and the number of people in the census and the repetitive information such as that. There was one part in numbers that really connected with me and touched me. At first I was frustrated with the Israelites but realize that they were just like us.

God Showed them over and over how powerful and in person showed them this. I was thinking Moses is still alive so a good portion of these people doubting where probably there when the waters parted and all the following miracles. Numbers 11:1-9 is an example of this where they are reliving the “glory” days or so it is in their minds about Egypt and how they had all the fish they could dream of and now NO meat. So God provides quail. They had moments like this over and over again. And because of their disobedience where kept of the promised land for 40 years.

As I was reading I couldn’t help but think how stupid could the Israelites be God had in person shown his grace to them. How quickly could they forget such awesome acts then I had the fleeting thought that if I was an Israelite I wouldn’t have behaved that way and that of course if God did something equally great now, that would solidify things and I would NEVER behave in such a way.

It took all of about 30 seconds before I felt a tug from God on my heart going Oh really now is that so. And I had a brief memory of some of the miraculous things that God has obviously done in my life that I couldn’t attribute to anyone else if I tried and yet I still have my moments that I doubt. So I realized that while it is easy to blame the Israelites and look down on them that the words about their disbelief in numbers is written specifically for us because in all these years we haven’t changed. Our human hearts and minds occasionally get in the way and cause us to forget what we have seen, or at least cast it aside and Satan works with that and tries to use it against us. Once I realized this I realized that (while i still skimmed the actual numbers part) that numbers is a perfect example as to God’s love for us. Yes, he cast out his wrath on those that disobeyed but Moses spoke up for them and God listened and gave them forgiveness the same thing we desire and need today. And thankfully for us we have the Son of God standing between us and the Lord and pleading to the Lord on our behalf. How great and how merciful is God. I love seeing things in the old testament that directly relate. 

Balancing Being a Night Owl

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For the past two years now all of my jobs have been swing shifts. So my life has switched to a night schedule instead of going to bed before midnight and getting up early in the morning I find myself going to bed at 3 in the morning and getting up afternoon. The problem in this is the wall and obstacle it has put up for me in attending church. I know how important church is and how important it is to be spiritually fed on a regular basis. Yet, my desire to get up early or even relatively early on a Sunday morning has become a huge roadblock in my life.

A few Sundays ago we had a sermon on idols and I realized for me one of the idols in a sense in my life is sleeping . Generally speaking I like my sleep I know God made us so that we could and would sleep. But, I especially like my sleep, I like to get at least 9 hours sometimes more if my body lets me. Yet, I often find myself sleeping instead of spending time worshiping God. For the past two months I have been better I have read the word straight from the start of my morning, with a simple devotion and have dived into reading the bible all the way through in a year at night. All via the beautiful youversion bible. And while God has moved in this way.

I still constantly struggle with Sunday mornings. And sadly so does my roommate who is my church going partner. Early on I was good, it was a commitment I had to her to go and wouldn’t say no but when she was tired and didn’t want to go I would just as easily say okay and roll back over and sleep. As a child going to church on Sunday mornings wasn’t a priority to my parents, and was only done over small periods of my life, so I never developed the habit for it. And now that I’m an adult and working nights its doubly hard. It’s hard on a day off to feel so tired because of adjusting my sleeping schedule. 

The most success Ive had is Saturday night services and making a habit out of those they don’t impact my sleeping. Yet, my roommate can’t attend these due to work so if I do I end up leaving her out in the cold, with no one to attend church with and motivate her on Sunday mornings. This has been a constant area of work in my life, and I’m hoping to find a solution soon. And that God will continue to shape me and show me how to Balance my current life with my walk with him. I truly believe that he will I just feel it is an interesting place in my life right now and one struggle I wanted to share. In hopes of encouragement and prayer. 

Re-Learning to Life

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So this theme is probably gonna ever be a continuing theme of my blog since it’s going to be a learning experience as I go. So I have kind of hinted/partially touched on this in recent posts but haven’t fully explained whats going on. So the reason I am now re-learning to life, is because about a month ago now my dad passed away. It was very sudden and has kind of sent my mom and me on a tail spin. I live in a separate state from my mom, so being there for her has been tough and vice versa.

This past weekend I went back for his celebration of life in my home town which turned out to be beautiful. Tho bitter sweet we think it was exactly the way he would have wanted yet, not something we ourselves wanted to be present at. Since his passing a month ago I have been doing exactly as the title says re-learning to life.

During the first few days I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of all the experiences a girl my age usually gets to have with her dad. Such as her dad walking her down the isle, father daughter dance at my wedding, my children getting to meet there granddad and so on. I was mad that these moments were taken away from me that while most people take these for granted they were things I would never experience. I will have to tell my future spouse about my dad’s death and most likely just explain my dad to him, instead of him actually getting to meet him and ask for me hand and such. My dad who was so proud of me was never going to get to see my become successful within my career, or where I finally end up career wise. And it hurt, and I was a little mad. I didn’t understand why, I still don’t understand and never will understand why. 

But, I know God is good. One way he has shown me this happened this past weekend. I was home and my mom told me there was a letter she found that he had written that I needed to read. The contents of the letter blew me away. For most of my life I had assumed based on conversations/lack of conversations on Christianity and the turning of subjects and his disinterest in church that my dad was an agnostic quite possibly even an atheist. He was always on my prayer list, I just needed to figure out how to take the steps to talk to him. But, was always to scared to do so. After his death I was so mad at myself, for never having had the chance to talk to him and I would have gone my whole life assuming he didn’t believe and that there was little to no chance I would see my dad in heaven. And this broke my heart, so many what ifs, and could have, would have, should haves…going through my mind. Thankfully, my dad and God had a little trick up their sleeves that would blow me away.

This letter was a detailed letter to a high school friend of my fathers explaining my dad’s beliefs. And while I don’t agree with everything he wrote there were several key pieces. That he believed in God, that he believed that Jesus was the son of God and that he was a sinner who needed forgiveness. This was a revelation to my mom and me, and lifted a burden off of my back. And I can only thank God for that God provided me with a sense of closure that I thought I would never have the pleasure of knowing. 

Now I know I am still in shock and not quite sure how to comprehend everything that I’m feeling and that the path of Re-Learning to Life. Is going to be a long one and I expect some bumps in the road, some moments of anger, frustrations, joy, happiness. Such is life, life continues and while it’s rough and I find myself wanting to cry out at random moments I know life moves on. And while my heart will never fully move on its a new day and what feels like a brand new life. Things are different now, someone dear to my heart is no longer a part of my life, and life will never be the same but I now it can still be a good life, a happy life. It’s just going to take some time to get there, and to help put at least a bandaid on my heartache. 

This was kind of a rough and tumble post, random and whatever was on my mind at the moment. Thank you for listening to it. 

 

Vegas life in a nutshell…

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For the past six years or so I have been able to call myself a Vegas local. It’s amazing how going from being a tourist in this beautiful city to a local has changed my perception. Vegas also known as sin city in an perfect city for a christian. Growing up in a small town I remember saying what post high school plans were for my college career and seeing a look of pure shock on the local church members face. I could hear them kind of whisper and share concerned statements about my well being in Vegas. I myself was a little unaware of what life in Vegas was like, and as a christian what that meant. 

BUt living in Vegas is the perfect place, God calls us to the weak and to help those in need. And Vegas, has a lot of people in “Need”. One of my two current jobs is a customer service position on the Las Vegas strip. This job has taught me a lot of patience over the past few years there. People can be miserable but its also amazing to see how much a friendly smile can brighten somebody’s day. Tho its also amazing to see how much their negativity can have an impact on me. 

Travelers in Vegas have it rough at times, and are given the run around over and over again. And by the time they get where they need to go they are frustrated and confused and sometimes feel the need to lash out on someone. I’ve learned while they are the hardest people to be kind to they are the people most in need of love and care. And I think all christian customer service reps no matter what city you live in should be that extra friendly. Because, it shows people whats inside and they will notice something different in you that they haven’t seen from the 100s of other customer service people they may have dealt with.

I think as christians we need to go out of our way to help those around us. With that I have a little bit of a statement for those of you coming to visit my faboulous city. Ask questions lots of questions, if there is something you aren’t sure about ask someone. Most shows DO NOT allow outside drinks even if its from the same casino as the show (they are sometimes independent theaters separate from said locations). Things are MUCH farther than they appear, so give yourself time to get places and buses and taxis are your best friend, look up on your phone distance before leaving the hotel room. These things will make your experience in this town much better. ANd finally just enjoy yourself, if its Vacation live like its vacation.