Fear

Today’s message at church today was about fear.  The point, as I took it, was that if you were fearing God you had no need to fear anything else.  It also talked about how fear can run your life if you let it.  

As I was sitting there listening I thought about the fear in my life but for me, fear always comes along with hope.  Fear is the negative and hope is the positive.  I try to focus on the positive.

This last couple of weeks my daughter’s father was in town.  He’s in the army and right now he’s on a flight from Seattle to Korea where he’s going to be stationed for the next 9 months.  While he was home he chose to spend one day with my daughter and myself and then he also came over one evening and spent time with me.  

It was a big deal that he chose to spend a day with my daughter because he has always been emphatic that he doesn’t want anything to do with her and God blessed and even though we had to spend 2-3 hours together  to go to the base and do some paperwork he continued our time and took us to lunch, and watched a movie, and then even came along to the park.  I was so happy that that happened but I wasn’t able to ask him about it because I didn’t want to scare him away.  

Six days later I messaged him about an article he had mentioned during the day he spent with us.  He was responsive and we sent texts back and forth for most the day until 5 or 6 in the evening.  I didn’t mention my daughter but at least we were still ok.  At 9 he messaged me and asked to come over.  My daughter was already in bed at that time.  I said yes and he came over and put on his uniform so I could see him in it like I had wanted to.  Then he sat down on the other couch and we chatted about our lives and loves and the future.

I have this feeling like we would both like to try again but we’re both too proud to say so also it’s a huge decision.  We ended up getting physical that night which could make things more complicated but I think it was a positive thing but then he didn’t talk to me much afterward.  We both basically said we’re okay and that was that.

My fear right now is that my daughter’s father is going to start shutting me out again and I really don’t want that.  I know that I want a relationship with him and I’d drop everything and move for him.  He’s going to be gone.  I’m not going to try to force him to talk about us but I am going to reach out and try to be his friend because no matter what happens I will always be his friend.  But with that fear is that hope that perhaps maybe something could happen with us.  I never thought we’d ever be physical again but we were and maybe that’s not a bad thing, maybe that will help reignite our intimacy and make him want to be with me again.  

I am trying to give it to God.  I pray that God keeps him safe while he’s away and that he helps guide our relationship and me in not being, well me.  God comforts my fear by giving me hope that maybe it will work out and if not, something else is out there.

Experiencing God – God’s Will and Your Life – Jesus Is Your Way

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Verse to memorize John 15:5I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Romans 3:23For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.
Romans 5:8But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The Holy Spirit will be your personal teacher.
The scriptures are your source of authority.

The book strongly encourages me to find a group to study this with. I don’t know who I could turn to at this time for that. I will go it alone and see where it takes me.

Follow Jesus one day at a time.” I guess this means I should stop trying to plan ahead and figure everything out. I should put in the effort and let God show me where to go. I need to pray more and seek his guidance. God really never let anyone in the bible have the details. He is all about faith.

It is funny, I have done the first few days of this workbook in the past and it says that my “most meaningful statement or scripture” was Matthew 6:33Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven…” and that is not the same for me today. Today I find the most meaningful verse to be Romans 3:23For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  The book asks that I now reword that scripture. “No one is perfect; no one is  worthy of God’s glory.” Basically we are all flawed human beings and Jesus’ sacrifice is what wiped our slates clean. We need to accept that offering. He didn’t have to, he chose to, and it is selfish not to accept that gift.

In response to today’s study I feel that God wants me to trust him and stop saying I will fully commit to him someday, when I’m married and it’s more convenient for me. Cards on the table, my biggest obstacle is sex. I am not in a relationship but I worry that I won’t ever find a relationship with someone that can be serious without sex being involved. I really want a relationship and it’s holding me back from fully committing to God. Today I am deciding that I am going to stop having sex and I will wait for a guy who respects how I feel about sex before committing to him. If a guy won’t put off sex until a relationship is serious then he is not worth being with. I will start respecting myself and my body.

The Purpose Driven Life – Day 40

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I am finally done with this book!  I have had it for 8 years and I always felt guilty that I never made it through it but this time I did.  I am so proud of myself.  🙂

Point to Ponder:  “Living with purpose is the only way to really live.”

Verse to Remember: Acts 13:36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;”

Question to Consider: “When will I take the time to write down my answers to life’s five great questions?  When will I put my purpose on paper?”  I’ll probably never put this on paper but here goes:

Life’s Five Greatest Questions

“What will be the center of my life?”  Doing what God wants me to do, even when it makes me uncomfortable.  That’s the goal anyway.

“What will be the character of my life?”  I want to be a kind and friendly person.  I’m nice and I’m helpful but I’m not good at being friendly.  I’d really like to make an effort to be friendlier to everyone.

“What will be the contribution of my life?” I am still trying to figure this out.  I would like to contribute to the well being of others by being a helper, a person who is not an obstacle but a contributor to other people’s goals.

“What will be the communication of my life?”  Currently my communication is blogging and sharing my life’s journey with others.  I try to be open and communicative with everyone.

“What will be the community of my life?” I’m working on deciding on a church.  I’ve narrowed it down to two and I am going to be attending both for the next six weeks.  We will see at the end which community I decide to be a part of.

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The Purpose Driven Life – Day 39

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Just one more day left.  Tomorrow I am going to finish The Purpose Driven Life and begin on Experiencing God.  Experiencing God is different because it has 5 days of lessons per week so I won’t be posting every day, just on the week days.  Each week I will also have a memory verse that I will be attempting to learn which I think is a great thing.

I’ve decided to stop trying out churches although I’m still really curious about the Nazarene church, perhaps once my brother finds an engineering job and has Sundays free I will be able to convince him to come check it out with me.  I liked the message better at River Valley but the overall service and congregation better at Cornerstone so I’ve decided to stick with both, for six weeks, and see how I feel at the end.  I will attend River Valley at 9am and Cornerstone at 11am.  Maybe if I go a few times I will have the opportunity to get to know people and get a better feel for how things work at both churches and which one is right for me.

I also want to start including my personal prayer requests on this page.  I’ll update it every week or two because I know that if I give my worries to God then I won’t be alone with them.  My current requests are that I can find a position as an AGPA and sort out some financial issues I have been dealing with, that I can figure out which church I want to be an active part of, that I can lose thirty pounds, and that I can find a significant other.  God can do anything, and I know these are selfish requests but these are the things I worry about day to day and I need that gone.

Point to Ponder: “Blessed are the balanced.”

Verse to Remember:  Ephesians 5:15 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,”

Question to consider: “Which of the four activities will I begin in order to stay on track and balance God’s five purposes for my life?”  The five purposes are: 1) “Love God with all your heart,” 2) “Love your neighbor as yourself,” 3) “Go and make disciples,” 4) “baptize,” and 5) “teach them to do all things.”  The four activities he suggests to help keep this purposes in balance are: 1) “Talk it through with a spiritual partner or group,” 2) “Give yourself a regular spiritual check-up,” 3) “Write down your progress in a journal,” and 4) “Pass on what you know to others.”

Through this blog I feel like I am fulfilling both “Write down your progress in a journal” and “Pass on what you know to others.”  I need to find a group to discuss with but that is what I’m hoping to achieve with the churches I am trying to build relationships with.  I know that while I attend both churches I won’t be able to fully commit to either and so I will be missing out on the full experience but I think that needs to be done to ensure happiness in the long run.  I know there may come a day that I feel I need to find a new church yet again but I don’t want to do this again anytime soon.  I hope that if that should ever happen, I will be married and have someone to do the searching with me.  It’s draining trying to do this all on my own.

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Disclaimer: I found this image at: http://semanier.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/rainy-day.jpg It is not mine.  

River Valley Christian Fellowship

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I attended church this morning at River Valley Christian Fellowship.  A friend of mine goes there and I wanted to check it out.

I got to the church about twenty minutes before the service was scheduled to start.  I sat in my car fifteen minutes before the start, watching the other people who were arriving and seeing where they were going so I wouldn’t be going in blind.  I was over dressed but I would a million times over prefer to be over dressed than under dressed.  I wore a dress that I wear to work pretty often and some heels.  Nobody was wearing heels.

At the entrance I was greeted by a woman who asked if it was my first time there and gave me a packet.  The packet had an NIV booklet of the gospel of John so I asked her if that’s the version of the bible the church used.  Her reply wasn’t a simple “yes” as I was expecting or a “no, we use the NASB but they don’t have the pamphlets in that version.”  Her response is that they use multiple versions of the bible, and sometimes they even use the Greek. – Yeah, that’s not helpful lady, I just want to be able to read along with the scripture being read today and I doubt your congregation has twenty different types of bible. I’m a bit cranky today.  I found out Cory Monteith from Glee died yesterday, probably from drugs, and it’s brought back some of the feelings from when my cousin died of an overdose a couple years back.  I didn’t go to sleep until really late because I started watching a Glee marathon and I’m not the greatest on no sleep.

Anyway, I took my pamphlets and wandered into the sanctuary.  It’s a bunch of chairs organized like pews would be.  I sat in the back section on the right and started going through them.  Unlike the other churches I have visited, no one approached me as we waited for the service to start.  Maybe I was giving off “leave me alone vibes” I don’t know.

The service itself went really quickly.  They did a couple contemporary style songs (I am not a big fan of this contemporary stuff – so much of it is droning, I thought it was supposed to be better than hymns.  There was one lively song I enjoyed at the end of the service.)  After the songs a woman got up and read 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 before the pastor/preacher person got up and gave his message.

The message itself was about money and giving.  It was a really good message and one I needed to hear.  The preacher is fairly young which I really like.  I feel like a church with a younger preacher is going to be more relevant to me because we will have more in common and I would assume it would attract a younger following.

Key points I needed to hear from today’s message were:

  • A fool vents his feelings, a wise man holds them back. (Proverbs 29:11)
  • The attitude of the giver is much more important than the amount given.
  • Don’t pretend to have what you don’t.  You can look at your credit card bills and get a good idea of whether you pretend too much. (I do.)
  • All money is God’s money.  We are managers of the money God lets us have.

I filled out the contact me card.  So far I haven’t been contacted by any church I’ve done this for but I still like doing it.  I really enjoyed the message but not so much the service but that might be all me.  I’m not sure if I’ll be back or not.  I do like the amount of programs and community involvement the church has and that is something I am looking for.

The Purpose Driven Life – Day 38

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Point to Ponder: “The Great Commission is my commission.”

Verse to Remember:  Psalm 67:2 “That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.”

Question to Consider: “What steps can I take to prepare to go on a short-term missions experience in the next year?”  The church I used to attend has a really awesome missionary based in Toronto, Canada.  I talk to him every few months.  He’s are really nice guy and his family is really great.  He has said I am welcome to come visit and I think I should take him up on the offer.  I think it would be great to see what the mission field is really like and go on a faith motivated vacation.

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The Purpose Driven Life – Day 37

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Point to Ponder: “God wants to say something to the world through me.”

Verse to Remember: 1Peter 3:15-16 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

Question to Consider: “As I reflect on my personal story, who does God want me to share it with?” Everyone.  But that’s much easier said than done.

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The Purpose Driven Life – Day 36

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I’m less than a week from the end of this and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it.  It helps me feel like I can make it through the other goals I have in my life.  It’s not huge but every little bit counts.  I’m quite happy.

Point to Ponder: “I was made for a mission.”

Verse to Remember: Matthew 28:19-20 “”Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

Question to Consider: “What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish?  What keeps me from telling others the Good News?” The thing about witnessing is a person has to be open to be witnessed to for it to do any good.  My friends, family, and coworkers are all very aware that I am a Christian and that I went to church.  Many probably still believe I go to church because I didn’t announce it when I stopped.  I am a very open person, and I am open to discuss my life and decisions but I am not going to start the conversation.  I strongly dislike people who shove their belief system down everyone else’s throats.  I feel it is disrespectful.  If the opportunity comes up I will, of course, invite someone to church but they have to be open to it, I am not just going to approach people and say “have you heard about Jesus…” they have.  By not being the stereotypical Christian bible-thumper I think I can win more people than by bringing it up at everything.  That’s my opinion and perhaps I am just justifying but I don’t feel like I am.