All You Need To Do Is Love Part 2

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I don’t get attached to too many people. Down here I have learned that there are “friends”, friends that are good people and there are people God will bless you with who connect to your heart, if only for a short while. We have been blessed by God a few times. The Duttons were in our lives during my miscarriages. The Whites, especially Mitzi, was there when I just needed someone to bounce things off of and she became a “sister/friend”. They are rare and, like the migratory hummingbirds, only stayed 4 – 7 years with us then God had other plans…..so we prayed and waited, prayed, and prayed some more for someone to come along and help our church to grow spiritually and physically so that we could stay in our church feeling that we were doing God’s work.

God sent unexpected people. God does this. He sent a savior, in the form of a baby, who grew to be a teacher, who understood humans yet tried to teach them how wrong they had been…. and the people expected him to be a soldier and he was not…….Then one person made a decision to try to get rid of him, and said things about him that were not true. Others supported this as they were the only the ones who also feared change listened and enabled this drama to happen. Hate, fear, holding onto the past….these are things that stop growth and blind us to God’s truth. Only a few saw what Jesus was about and they were the ones who grew churches. It was the pharisees who held onto the old ways and did not see Jesus for who he was….so nothing grew for them…. Many churches and many people do this now a days. They are the Pharisees of 2017. How can people recognize Jesus when he comes if they only see the negative things in how a person lives, how a person looks, how other people talk about that person…etc…

This is why families with young children leave churches.  Families want a church full of love and growth. Not a church where you have to be like your great grandparents. Those churches are going nowhere, they are stagnant.  They are not spreading God’s love, they are not living, they are dying. This is why I miss a real church, with real people, who stand up for what’s right and not just “let it be”. We have thought time and time again we have found a church…but time and time again the church disappoints.

Isn’t it all just about love? Isn’t that what it says over and over again……you can do all these nice things for people, but if there is no love, it’s worthless. You can say nice things to people, welcome people into your church but if there is no love, words are like seeds in the wind…. Where is the love that Jesus showed when people say the color of your skin is wrong, how you live is wrong, what you do is wrong????

I do not remember Jesus ever telling women, children, lepers, tax collectors, soldiers, homosexuals, heterosexuals, adulterers, short people, tall people, or even Pontius Pilate that they should not be loved.

I do remember he showed respect to his enemies. Respect is a form of love of people. Therefore, he showed love to all. I remember him hanging out with alot of people that others called wrong.

Humans can be so selfish, so self centered, that their fear of not getting into heaven can overflow into the craziest of ideas.

You want to know what is a sin? Here it is the list :

Jesus told us what was a sin…

  1. Not loving God, and not loving others as he showed you how to love…..
    2. To not do #1.
    3. That’s it. Why are you looking for more.
    4.  Yes it’s that simple.

I’m not seeing homosexuallity, heterosexuality, tax collectors, lepers, poka-dotted skin, short people, not going to church, technology, etc…as a sin, do you??????

If you love God and love as Jesus loved you will not say mean things, do acts as if you have to, bear false witness to others, only be a part of a church that doesn’t have “certain people” in it, not want a church to grow, and not standby and let a church die or let people get hurt.

I was actually told, by a sunday school teacher, that the wonderful Muslim family whom I tutored 20 years ago, were wrong. I guess I was “wrong” too for seeing their faith, their family values, and their love….I was loved more by that family than by many christians who think they are right…

We need to make the change

So, are you going to stand by and watch people get hurt, or watch a church die, or lose out on seeing the people that God sends to help with growth in order to “keep the peace” or “this is just the way it is down here”……

“Don’t want to rock the boat”……???

Sometimes it takes losing it all for people to be able to see how wrong they have been.

It would be sad to see this happen. People say the church is dying because the older people are dying….well, look at what they did and how they lived. Were they spending their time bad mouthing others? Were they on the corners yelling at who was a sinner? Or Were they helping others? Were they loving others? Were they just giving?

To love means …..Jesus/God. To be a christian, muslim, or a jew means to love. It is as simple as that…. If you love, you have faith and hope. Love is the greatest….

If you Love God you will trust and obey God. If you love Jesus you will love others as he loved you. If you love, you will live for God, not for others. If you love, God will work in your life in ways you won’t see until it’s done.

In the end, will you be on your “deathbed” saying, “I wish I had told others how I was hurt.”

or “I wish I told more people how to love each other regardless of race, beliefs, or who they loved.”

Which will you be?

I know I want people to look at me and say, “there is someone who just loves and who works for God”.

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All You Need To Do Is Love Part 1

 

just love

     If you have faith, whether it be Judiaism, Muslim, or Christianity, You can only serve one God. The God of Abraham. The God of love. You cannot serve the god of gossip, the god of lies, the god of jealousy, the god of hate, the god of money, or any other “god” that would pull you away from The God who sent his only son to die for our sins.

There are people in this world who think that because they don’t have something that someone else has, that’s it’s ok to say mean things about them to other people…..as long as you don’t say it to them, you’re not hurting anyone……but you are. You are bearing false witness against your neighbor. Did Jesus do that?

Let the children com to me

How can people go to church, praise God, then do hateful things like lie or say hateful things? I try to understand this the same way scientists try to understand the behavior of sharks or snakes…..but sharks and snakes don’t have the ability to think, reason and learn like humans.

Snakes bite out of defense and fear.  Sharks bite out of not knowing, or ignorance. So, fear and ignorance explains alot.

People hate out of fear that they are taught or that they have learned. Maybe that is why people project their own actions onto others they are jealous of? For instance, I remember a girl who used to put me down, verbally, because she wanted to go on the trips I was able to go on….then she would tell others that I was mean to her. Everyone in my class, who knew me, did not believe what she said, but I could not understand what I did to deserve that type of treatment. It was not fair.  The only reason I forgave her because I knew, even at 13 or 14, she did not see what she was doing. “As a child, we saw as a child, But now, as an adult, we see fully….” Do we?

I have seen friends hurt because of adults doing this same thing as children do. Kids can be mean but it should only be a phase. When adults do the same things that kids do, it’s not mature,  it’s not fair, and it’s definitely not right. It does not make for a good model for children, unless you want your children to grow up as manipulators, gossipers, and liars. Integrity is doing the right thing all the time.   My heart breaks and I can understand why Jesus wept alot. It hurts to see people you trusted at one point be the people who are, or support, the manipulators in this world. The people you trusted who turn on you because they believe lies and they don’t ask you for your side. The people you once ate with who turn others against you because they don’t see what you see. This is why Jesus wept, and why those of us who seem different cry ourselves to sleep at night…..we see the evil and demons in people who go to church and raise their hands in praise….How blind they are to the reality of themselves.

You can not call yourself a follower of Christ and God then turn around and insult people, bear false witness then expect them to apologize to you for something they have not done. I have seen this in my 42 years as a Christian, up north and down here…. Don’t tell people you are being abused by someone, or getting bullied by someone  when you are the one doing the bullying.

 

I had a friend who was dating a girl for 2+ years. By the time I even noticed the subtle signs they were broken up. If she raised her voice, his eyes changed to fear. It seemed he was always looking for her but not because he missed her but because he didn’t want to be around her….. She told everyone that he abused her. She was the “victim”. We saw the facts: she was twice his weight and strength, and we knew his integrity.  So, we did not believe her. She only went to church while she was dating him….bossed him around….and later, we found out, she would get mad enough to toss him across a dorm room….Yet she was all smiles when anyone saw her…had some of us fooled for a while then lost most of who she thought were her friends. Eventually, she started to live the truth. The truth was, she was not heterosexual. Truth was she was not happy with her life. Truth was she had to make changes. I think she has because the truth always gets light shed upon it so no use fighting it.

Stay tuned for part 2………..

I Can’t Stand Apathy

We need to make the change

I have observed much apathy in our corner of NC and much impulsiveness. It makes for a  regressive dance of one step forward and 5 steps back…… which gives me the image of stagnant pond water. People who don’t allow new growth  and diversity, only want stagnant pond water to live in……

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Apathy is when you don’t do anything, you are indifferent to your surroundings or things happening around you.  Impulsiveness is kind of the opposite.  It’s when you don’t think before you do or say something and you just do it or say whatever….  in my life I guess I struggle more with impulsiveness in me and apathy in others. However,  there needs to be a middle ground.

Sometimes when I get stressed or feel the stress from weeks or months of a type of stress, which sometimes comes later. sometimes it’s overwhelming and it will cause my brain to act impulsively, say things that I shouldn’t say to others before thinking, do things without thinking, which leads to things like dents in cars or for me saying things that might be misinterpreted or hurt others when I would never want to hurt others.

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My impulsiveness has led to many tears out of frustration of my learning disability.  I’m not the only one who gets frustrated, anybody with ADD/ ADHD gets frustrated due to that impulsiveness.  If we don’t stop to think and it’s not all the time once we have it under control but when it happens it hurts not only ourselves because we feel stupid but it can also hurt others’ feelings or even break up friends.

However, at least I know and I’m aware of it but even when I do  say something wrong or do something wrong nine times out of 10 it’s out of honesty.

Your decision sign

But the one frustration I have is apathy of others standing by and letting something happen and not saying anything. I had a friend who dated somebody, never told me that they were hurting them. If they had told me or anybody we could have done something about it but what’s really frustrating is when you do tell somebody and they don’t do anything about it.  They think it will blow over. That’s one thing I don’t know that I can get used to down here.  I’ve heard this in several different places and it usually is said like this:  well maybe they’ll just get through it or maybe this will blow over or just wait they’ll stop, give it time.

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I think that’s problem because if you give it time once and they do the action again and you give them time again to let it “blow over” but they still do the same action that’s ridiculous! It needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

In a classroom, if a teacher sees a student doing something and reprimands them right away they will know that the teacher is aware of their actions so they cannot do that,  whether it’s throwing something or talking or whatever it is. It’s making others aware of their actions and that they are being seen. Sometimes adults don’t think that others care what they do so they tell lies or they make up something or they spread rumors or they just do what they believe is right in their eyes without knowing what it would look like to others.  If we make them aware, right away, that “yes we do see what you’re doing and we don’t approve of it” , then they should stop wrong Behavior. I  ask my friends that if I do something wrong or say something wrong to gently tell me so that I can grow and be a better person.

My strength comes from….

Some people can handle feedback and some people get defensive and deny that they did anything.  My students do this alot.  You see them talking to somebody, you say stop talking and they say right away “I wasn’t talking”  but you and everyone saw you….. why do they do this?  I don’t know but children who don’t take responsibility for their own actions grow up to be adults that don’t think they do anything wrong.

Most of the time I feel I do everything wrong yet, sometimes I feel I don’t do anything wrong.  I do many things right because it’s from my heart or it’s an honest feeling or statement.

Being assertive and proactive would be that middle ground when you see someone treating others unfairly. Stand up for one another as you would stand up for Christ. Not with sword of tongue but with love and honesty, bringing light to the lies and deceit.  Then and only then will the demons go back from whence they came. (you like that? That’s the holy spirit talking)….

The point is that you can not be all impulsive or all apathetic.  You cannot be an adult who doesn’t think before doing or saying something nor can you just sit by and not do anything when injustices happen or when wrong behavior happens. You have to always think. Not easy when your brain is a little different than others but not an excuse either. You need to think, “does this need to be said?” or “if I say it privately to them and sternly maybe they will see I won’t put up with ‘wash women’.” or “ I am sorry, this is what I did, I didn’t mean for it to hurt you, I pray you can forgive me and we can still be friends”

So admit when you’re wrong, accept the consequences,  accept responsibility,  don’t be indifferent, and stand up when the time is needed, after you have thought and prayed about it. Don’t live in stagnant pond water but don’t put in chemicals so fast that others get hurt…..

Readers, Give Your Thoughts

Remember when I said to communicate?  Well, here is another way you can let me know what you think. Just click on your choices, yes, on more that one choice and vote. You can also comment and tell me how I can improve.

I also added to the menu bar on my site so please feel free to explore.

Remember, this will only be up here for a week. Thank you!!!!!

Readers, Please Communicate to Bloggers

 

One kind act or word will change a life

The one thing I can’t figure out is why, with all this technology, people don’t communicate more. What I mean is, in the comment sections.

Writers spend time writing in hopes that people will read and enjoy what they write. People are so scared that if they say the truth someone will be hurt. Writers have been rejected by publishing houses, you can’t hurt us too much. I for one would like some feedback so that I know what people like about my writing and what people don’t like about it. This way I know what I should strive for in my writing.

I have many blogs I have written over the past 4 years. Please read them and tell me what you think. Now, don’t be cruel, just honest so I can improve my writing.

Thank you!

People Need to Grow Too

your most powerful testimony....

 

Whether you are a child or an adult, you never stop learning and you should never stop growing and changing. The moment you stop growing, changing or learning, might be your last moment on Earth.

The same goes for Churches and denominations. They should also grow and change and learn. People need to step away from their “check list” of sins and look at the truth that Jesus tried to tell us…… He came to break down the wall that man had built up around the basic rules or laws.  He said to love each other, pray for those who wrong you, and serve the Lord your God. That’s it.

The world is changed by

Now look at what we have done. We did the same thing. We have taken the basic book, the bible, and we scare people with it. We make people feel bad about themselves. We become judges and juries. “but it says in the bible….” Don’t get me wrong, I love the bible but the reality is that we have taken a book that was written through the holy Spirit yet put together by men with some political agendas. We have used it to intimidate people.  People stop coming to church and stop believing. They don’t talk to their children about God or Jesus. Satan wins!!!

Is that what we want? No! We want to be accepted, loved, supported just as we are. It is not a sin to be black, white, Asian, gay, deaf, blind, or anything that isn’t “perfect”.   you know it’s against the law to walk your elephant down the main road of  town……you laugh but people have not changed some laws that are way out of date.

 

It’s not a sin to get a divorce and marry again, or get married after a spouse dies. It used to be considered a sin but we changed with the times……

It is time we change again. Actually, it’s long overdue. There is a school of thought that our church is starting to lean toward.  We want to help people come back to God’s house and feel loved and accepted.

We need to make the change

I have witnessed my churches generous heart with my husband and I. We stopped going to our church because we didn’t feel the support from the pastor who led the church at the time. then a couple years later, my husband was mowing the lawn and on an incline he leaned over to clean the deck of debris. he lost his balance, fell off and the mower went over his hand. All I heard was the mower stop, I came outside to see him walking and holding his right wrist yelling, “call 911, call 911”. by the time I got 911, he was by my car, “just drive me”. I threw the phone in the back seat and drove like Jimmy Johnson. Lights flashing, hazards on, honking my horn at 120mph. I got to the hospital that was 15 miles away in 8 min. As I’m getting out the cop finally pulls up behind me, I ignored him, punched the numbers into the keypad and took care of my husband. It was the loneliest,  day of my life. My husband was out of his mind in pain, screaming things he would never say. It was heart wrenching.  I wanted my family who were all 8 or more hours away. I tried calling the only friends we seemed to have down here but they were away too. I called my Aunt Judy (my mommy God gave me) she would pray and tell the family. I then thought, the pastor, no matter what we needed him. I went. A wonderful man named Tommy Mitchell was at the church. I told him what happened. He said the Pastor was away but gave me a number to reach him.  I ran home to take care of the dog and pack a bag for my husband. He was to be taken to Duke to be operated on.  I got back to the hospital and saw Tommy Mitchell there.  He didn’t have to but that’s just Tommy, big heart, does as Jesus would do. When my brother called and asked what he could do I jokingly told him send the family. 12 hours later I got a call from my Aunt Judy that she was coming down. God is Good!!!!!!

After the amputation of fingers and some time…… we got a check in the mail from that church…..they knew Bruce had lost his job in June and now we had bills to pay.  That floored us. We knew what to do and we slowly made our way back to the church. They accepted us back, lumps and all. Pastors had changed and we just all clicked.

God picks up nobodies and makes somebodies

This church could have shunned us, but they didn’t.  Love, acceptance is the core of these people.  Yet some still let things get in the way of that….they go back to their check list of comfort. I don’t understand why there are not more black people in our congregation until I remembered what someone said, “they probably don’t feel comfortable in a church like ours”.   Really? or is it we don’t make them feel comfortable? or is it that some people don’t feel comfortable or they are too afraid what others will think?

live by faith, not by fear

In January a gentleman was invited to come to our service. He felt so accepted and loved that he and his husband have become a part of our church.  When I met them officially in April, it was instant kinship. I could feel it. The holy spirit moving through the church. These are men of God and an answer to my prayers for this church.  Some people got to know them and accept them for who they are. Some, took to their fears and are missing out on two great christian men!

Now they are working on our second  contemporary service which has been shrinking because our youth is all growing up and going to college. They have taken it online so that if people can’t get back into town can see it now. It’s still growing trying to get more people to do the singing, fundraising, cooking, etc…..  They are working harder than anyone has on the mission of this service we call, “Spark the Fire”.  The mission is to create a place of love, acceptance, and reconciliation of all God’s people. All skin colors, all abilities, all ages. I’m even trying to do some sign language on there!!!! God is moving and grooving! Who knows, maybe I’ll even sing….. Here is the mission:

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We at Ahoskie United Methodist Church, embark on a journey of reconciliation as we celebrate the diversity of all God’s children and recognize the sacred worth of all persons regardless of race, age, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, physical or mental capacity, education or economic or marital status.

The outreach mission of Spark the Fire Ministries is to proclaim this statement of welcome to all who have known the pain of exclusion and discrimination within the universal church, and offer a safe place for all to worship at our sides without judgment, and invite all to participate in our services without fear of exclusion.

The point? Churches can’t do the same thing for for 10 generations anymore. Jesus was friends with tax collectors, women, the unclean, the Lepers, the people that others felt uncomfortable being around. Well, as for me, I want to be more like Jesus and Thomas.   I said to someone, “half my family is black, half my family is deaf, part of my family is sprinkled with some Latinos and the rest is topped with a couple of wonderful homosexuals and if anyone has a problem with that, it’s THEIR problem, and they can keep it to themselves.”

What can I say, I have gotten bold in my old age and I love my family no matter what color or country they come from, and it makes me sad and mad when people say they are accepting but then they complain about people coming to a church. How can you do that? People seem to find a way to be against other people. Can we change this??????

It all baffles the Child-like faith I have. Call me crazy but I don’t let my pride or ego get in my way. I’m glad that there some people who are consistent and dedicated to this church. We all go through “growing pains” and we all come back to the basic conclusion, God meant for this to happen to see who were the strong of faith and who were not……  Who is part of a church for God and not just out of obligation?

Come back to church and give God a chance. good-church-quote-by-dr-martin-luther-kingjr-faith-is-taking-the-first-step-even-ehen-you-dont-see-the-whole-staircase

If you want to support our church please go to http://www.Ahoskieumc.org  or go on facebook to find Ahoskieumc or https://www.facebook.com/Sparkthefireahoskie/  or Ahoskieumw….contact us one way shape or another. We can help you learn about us, God and I pray heal your hearts.

As Reba’s new song says, “We are still worth saving, we got to give this world back to God.” and get out of his way.

 

Success: What is it?

success-definition-10820480     I apologize for not as often as I should….my only excuse is that this past year has been more difficult to get time to myself and my writing. In December there were some deaths of people that got me thinking. What will I be remembered for when it’s my time? Have I been successful? What is success?

Then I realized that this is what everyone thinks about. So let’s start with the definition.

Webster’s definition is:  favorable or desired outcome; also :  the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

I believe there are 2 realms of success: success of the world and success of the spirit. you can have one or the other, you cannot have both. Though if you do have success in one it will lead to success in the other but only one way: Spiritual success must come first.

For me, success has come in many forms that most don’t think about. I was successful to not become an alcoholic like my mom, when all the statistics said otherwise.  I was successful in surviving for 10 years on my own, with very little pay, and bills that exceeded my income. I was successful to find a church that I wanted to be a part of which led me to my husband. God orchestrated all of these successes and he’s not finished yet.

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Now, many people believe that being a success is having a home, paying the bills, being able to save a little and give a little, as well as not having to worry about every little penny. They believe that if they don’t have a $50,000/yr or $500,000/yr job that they are not successful. Really??????

I tell my students that if they want to be able to live on their own they need to earn at least 25, 000/yr or $14/hr . The only way they can get to their dream is to figure out what God’s dream is for them to do……

 

meaning-of-success-john-gray

For me, no matter what job I was in, be it retail or hospitality, I was always teaching someone something. I finally got the hint from God that I was to stay in teaching, one way shape or another. I have tutored, been an assistant teacher, been a middle school teacher, been a GED teacher, and now a teacher for adjudicated youth. This is what God was preparing me for. My goals are to succeed at what God wants me to do. Teaching and writing are 2 of those things I know God wants me to do. I guess I need to work on some daily things, like patience and stress,  for that teaching before I will be a success at writing.

God has plans for U

So, what is success for you? Do you really need to have that 5 bedroom 2 story house to feel successful? To be successful do you need to just have someone recognize your gifts and say, “I have a job that pays only $10,000/yr or $3/hr more than what you are earning now but there will be room to grow.”?    Is success just being able to get all the chores done, dinner cooked, and animals fed?  Is success taking just the right photographs that someone would want to purchase? Is success bridging two organizations so that one takes care of the other?

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For me, if I can inspire people, to do God’s will and to do good things and love others, then I am a success!!!!

What is Success for you???? What will your obituary say about you and your successes here on earth?