Tuesday, October 1, 2013

this is for You

I had somewhat of a rough week last week. I wasn't able to go to church all week, I experienced a rough patch in my faith because of something stupid I did and my horrible expectations. I perservered, though. I tried to stay close to God as much as possible but I also felt like God was teaching me a lesson...that nothing I do is going to make me worthy of anything. I always battle with this. God had to remind me again, humble me again...and show me that He loves me...no matter what. I was able to be fearless in a lot of areas in my life but I was still struggling holding on to God because I felt like a failure. I went to God, though...I tried. I stopped praying as much, I stopped reading as much bible...I just felt like an idiot. I felt groggy...but God still was there, ya know...even though I felt far away in my own mind. I also experienced something bad with my part-time job; which had me feeling pretty low. I felt like I wasn't going to get paid...I actually realized I wasn't getting paid. That's what I expected. I accepted it. I even read a devotional about money that seemed to come at the RIGHT time. Like seriously. OF COURSE. God is real. He moves. He speaks and He spoke. He said to me, "Don't put your hope in money...there is nothing almighty about the dollar." He also said something other things about money. The money topic in this devotional came RIGHT before I am getting paid by my two jobs. All orchestrated by God to help remind me about my responsibilities for Him about money. Anyway, I read the devotional, with the acceptance that I would let the money in my heart go. My friend told me some good news about her day and I felt so happy for her. On the way home, I listened to a sermon about the incredible, incredible sacrifice Jesus made and how we can't even fathom it. How bad sin is and how we can't even fathom sometimes how awful it is. I listened to that just being so thankful for Jessus and the promise of Heaven. Thankful to Jesus answering my prayers about my friend. I was deeply accepting of not receiving my money and then as soon as I got home, I checked my email and boom! The lady at my job said she was going to pay me. It's half the amount originally but I proposed that amount because I wanted to be fair. We had a little debate about when I should be paid and how much, but I had given up altogether. She emailed me first. It was a miracle. I was also able to find another part-time gig that is home-based and seems legitimate; I will continue to pray about it, though.

It's just incredible and a huge reminder that humility is so important. Not a false sense of it. Surrender in your heart is so important. Holding onto God by a thread is so important. Even if you're not perfect He still loves you....but He still expects you to perform your best, as best you can, even if your best is raising your pinky in praise to Him. He still loves you in your mess...It's because He loves you, not because of who you are or what you did but just because. He just loves you and He can love you so much more so because of His Son.

Writing this, I don't wanna build an altar to myself. Things like this can easily become that. I really want this to be an altar to God and reminder to myself of what He has done in my life. He has provided and come through. He has broken my heart with just how He moves. It causes me to cry because I am just so thankful He loves me despite myself.  I am so thankful that He still loves me...even though I really feel it this time I don't deserve it.

I also and thankful that He visited me this morning, early in the morning, in the night, I was dead dog sleepy but I decided to get up and spend some efforted time with Him and it just seemed to really bless my day despite how ugly I felt all over. He reminded me that He loves me and that He expects this life from me PSALM 34. And that He will work out everything for my good Romans 8:28. My friend sent me a scripture also, the one I mentioned earlier. He just spoke to me in different ways today and these verses, especially Roman 8:28 (which I heard of repeatedly from different sources) really confirmed that He was speaking to me about this.

He is my Greatest Gift and I don't deserve Him...

Thank You, Father.

This is for You.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jamie Grace - A Powerful Testimony

I just want to share this video because her life story is first of all: absolutely amazing and secondly I really enjoyed how she talked about her huge struggles in life. She acknowledged that her struggle made her feel different, like an outcast, ugly and unloved by God, but that her relationship/developing friendship with God and the people who were placed in her life by God has truly gotten her through her pain. I appreciate this because she was able to see that God really did love her even though He did make her differently and she does have a huge struggle. Ultimately, she's outrageously blessed because she gets to inspire other people and she gets to glorify God through her amazing story and life testimony.

I like how she said the people in her life were always pointing her to Christ and getting her mind off of her problem. I want to be a source of joy and hope for people as well. I know I have my own struggles, but I want to help my dear friends that are in deep pains to look at the bright side and to see and know that God loves them so much, they are beautiful and made with a special intent and purpose, and that everything is going to be okay, let's enjoy life in God's hands! Now that is what faith is all about!

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life at a stand still...

Hello... :)

I feel like my life is at a stand still at the moment. I feel blessed, though. I feel like everything is okay but I also feel like I'm still waiting. I know that patience is key in waiting...as well as intentionality. I just hope that I can keep growing, learning about myself, and that I keep doing the things I want/need/ought to do without having these things I'm waiting to happen to me looming in the darkest corners of my thoughts. It's really frustrating. I'm still waiting on the last three things I wrote about. It's definitely difficult.

Meanwhile, I have learned about this psychological term coined by a Phd psychologist called, "Highly Sensitive Person." I come to the conclusion that I am a highly sensitive person. It doesn't equate to being nice; believe me, I have my moments of selfishness and I am a Christian, so I believe every human has a basic evilness to them...besides that point, I'm extremely sensitive in that my nervous system picks up information more readily than other people and I tend to be deeply emotional. I find that so weird because I've just come to the realization, after interacting with people over the past four years, that other people don't feel the things that I feel *DUH* and that the reason why I feel so disconnected from most people IS because most people are not HSPs. I always thought there was something wrong with me. I even had a weird night last Wednesday that made me cry after the fact because I felt, "Man...I'm never, ever going to be able to fit in anywhere? Am I?" Then all of a sudden, the Highly Sensitive Person was something that God showed me. I don't remember exactly how I came across it recently, but God showed me how He made me and it's a relief to know that it's because of my nervous system I am this way and that there's books I can read about it...so I can feel less alone.

I also finished reading the book of Joshua and I must say...God spoke to me. Joshua is kind of a gruesome book. There's a lot of war and death that I don't necessarily like...but I trust what God allowed and encouraged.

God's old testament was without Christ and therefore man was not connected with God as we are now with Christ. Before, God only saw man as His creation. With Christ, God sees us as sons and daughters. Now, imagine, God as you and people as pesky ants or spiders. God saw us in that manner before Christ; therefore, He did with man as He pleased. I can't fault Him for that because we are His creation. At the same time, despite all the ugliness man was proliferating, He chose some special people...like your pet dogs, to love, care for, and tend to...to train and to reward. This was our connection without Christ. Now that Christ has done what He has done, we are loved by God like a human would love their own child. God's love, because of Christ, is deep...full and bonding. Now that is something Joshua reminded me of. I learned this through a friend of mine at church. When he told me that, in less detailed way I might add, my view of God changed drastically. It helped me to reconcile the Old testament God with the New and to see that He is the same person...He just didn't have the blood He needed to be as merciful as He is now. He always had great depths of mercy but only through Jesus can we fully receive it.

Aside from that, a lot of Joshua is about divisions of land that God promised and the wars and driving other nations out, sometimes letting some stay, and etc. So, I will point out things that stood out to me:

1) God chose Joshua and told him to be strong & courageous; something I need desperately.

2) I loved whenever it was mentioned that the land had rest from war. It means, God wants rest & peace for His chosen ones.

3) Caleb received his inheritance because he, "followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly," and it was mentioned three times in the same passage; emphasizing why Caleb received what was promised to him. And following that, the land had rest from war again.

4) God demonstrated how faithful He was to the promises He gave Israel Joshua 21: 43-45

5) God often emphasizes keeping the commandments: love the Lord, walk in all His ways, obey His commands, hold fast to Him and serve Him, with all our hearts and souls Joshua 22:5

6) "But do not rebel against the Lord or against us by building an altar for yourselves, other than the altar of the Lord our God." Joshua 22:19b. This reminds me not to build an altar to myself, as in, be mindful of how I use the internet and the attitude I have about proving myself to the world or being prideful in who I am.

7) "You did not do it with your own sword and bow. So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant. Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." & "Throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel." This was so strong. Reminding me that whatever it is I have or get or yield in life was not because of me but because God and what He gives me or us the power to do.

There's no reason to build an altar to ourselves nor serve other Gods. We have to hold unswervingly to God and remember that He is the One who does what is good in our lives....All good and perfect gifts come from above.

Today was a lousy day in my walk with God. I didn't spend enough time with Him today and I was yearning for things of old...things that don't serve God...I am sorry for that but I hope to do better...tomorrow or even now. God is to be remembered and cherished...not the past & nothing that I am.

God bless

Monday, August 26, 2013

Heavenly thinking...

I find that I rarely think about heaven or what my position in heaven will be. I tend to think about this life only...and I hardly think about the great gift heaven is to those who are promised to get it. When I do think about heaven, though, I think about the people who may not get to go there; often wondering if my loved ones will make it and it scares me. I think that negative association kind of makes me subconsciously not think about it as much as I would love to; also the fact that this world constantly points towards thinking about our own selves and our own wants. I talked to God today about how amazing heaven must really be; that if He is creative enough to create a world as beautiful as this and through man He built mansions, to think of the mansions He built Himself for us to live in (John 14:1-2). I mean, actual mansions, built by the hands of God. If mansions that man have built, the man made in His image, are gorgeous, then I can't fathom the work God has done.

Lately I have been thinking about the importance of God in my life and how, in a way, my love for Him can be quite selfish and how I wish it weren't this way. I wish that I loved Him purely for who He is and not for what He could give me. I sometimes think I am motivated by the wrong things. Although, I'm sure He is aware of this. I do hope He knows that I try...I try to love Him for who He is. Because of this, and small other things, it's been a struggle to delight in Him...but I do try.

Staying away from the internet, intentionally, has been helpful to me. I think God, all along, has been trying to break me from the bad habit of being on the internet all day.

I spent the night at my friend's place; it was hard for me to function the next day because her sister was sick, she still wanted to go to work, I have a car, she doesn't, so I felt obligated to offer her a ride to work. Well, off we went and I literally spent zero time with God. It was a rush, rush to her job in Los Angeles traffic which I inherently hate. Los Angeles traffic would make a saint curse! Lol. (Thank you Haddie! Love Thy Neighbor) Thankfully, I didn't curse, but I was angry a few times and I felt drained. I felt so drained. I knew i needed time reading the Word, praying, or something.

Anyway, there haven't been any great & overwhelming revelations lately. I somewhat forced this blog. Aside from God solidifying His intent on getting me away from the internet while I was at Sunday service, there is nothing else I've been urged to write about. This post is a little focus-less...hah, for lack of a better word.

What I'm currently reading on the daily*:

(Random smaller books in the new testament)

*trying to completely read...some days I don't read everything

God bless

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The interwebs

Internet usage. It's been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember. It's gotten me through some tough times, though. The information I am available to and the hours of keeping myself occupied can be some of its benefits; all the while, I still have this deep seeded feeling that I could be more productive, or that I could be spending less time on mindless goop and more time with God.

At the end of every day, I pray to God, or think about Him on my bed and say, "I'm sorry...for not...spending as much time with You...as I should." It is slightly heart-wrenching for lack of a better word. I do it consistently and never make any moves to change my behavior.

I read an article in Set Apart Girl, a magazine for Christian women, and it convicted me so much. It talked about social media usage and how idle and empty it can be. How vain it can be. How idolatrous. Oooh...the thing everyone's doing? The thing that seems so harmless? The thing that fills up my time? The thing that I use to compare myself to other women? The thing I use to whine and complain about my life? The thing I use to spend hours laughing at things that don't matter? Or worrying about clothes, or boys, or fashion, or any other thing that makes me care more about the world than I do my spiritual health, or the health of my mother, or the needs of my household? I mean, sometimes I spend hours on internet and get angry with my mother for interrupting me to help her clean or something. It's really not good. 

I didn't want to see myself. I didn't want to see that it's something that I genuinely need to THINK about, PONDER and EVALUATE. I need to make some changes. It took that article for me to see that man, maybe all these years, God has been trying to pull me away from the internet?? Hhhmm...

I don't want to eradicate myself from it completely. I mean, I'm writing in a blog right now, for crying out loud...but I do want to limit my usage of the net and spend my time doing other things that could be more beneficial...like doing my chores consistently, reading books, reading the Bible, spending more time with God, figuring out times to hang out with other people from my church, helping my mother without getting angry whenever she calls, just sitting down and not doing anything at all. 

There's so much more I could say about this subject; about how the internet is both a curse and a blessing. I guess, with anything as massive as the internet, and as important as it is...it's great to practice limits so that it doesn't become more of a curse than it is a blessing. I can't lie! The internet has opened my eyes to many a good things but it's time to shut down my laptop for more days than just a few...and it's time to stop wasting time on things that are kind of meaningless and that are more meaningful. 

I will continue to use different social media outlets, but I will use them a lot less and be more intentional with my usage. 

Hopefully you can think about doing the same.



Monday, August 12, 2013

Patience is key...

Hello again,

I'm excited to write in this thing. I think it helps me to collect my thoughts and understandings and revelations without them wildly escaping into the recesses of my mind. It helps me to lasso things together to help remind me to put these thoughts into barns where I feed them, nurture them, and protect them. I don't know how that analogy came to mind but it did. God is a Teacher among so many things and I love the lessons He teaches me and reminds me of; like that one lesson He taught me ages ago about being patient. Yeah, I still need to be reminded of that.

So many good things have fallen into my lap these past few weeks. I will list them:

1) Encouragement from a brother I haven't gotten before! What a wonderful friend. To get those words of encouragement from a brother really helped me.

2) God answered the prayer I lifted up to Him and the prayers of others and He blessed me with a part-time job in a really cool place!

3) He has answered the prayer of my heart to help me with a skin problem I have been having; which is really embarrassing for me to talk about in full detail.

Those are the three most prominent things that have happened to me that I have enjoyed. And this is how these three things have awakened impatience:

1) The way he treated me triggered the desire for romance, love, and dating. All of which are not happening right now and I'm not sure is happening any time soon. I'm not saying I'm going to date him or even want to date him, but I enjoyed how nice he was to me and I want that in my life consistently. I'm upset that it isn't here yet and I know only God can make this happen in the right time with the right person...so I pray for patience and I hope that I can give my romantic life over into God's hands.

2) I have the job...but I have to wait until the end of the month to start! I want to start working now but God is saying..."Geraldine...have patience, like Christ." Even an older sister from my church told me, "Don't rush it! You have all your life to work! Enjoy this time off..." *sigh* So I must pray and wait until I know what God wants me to do until I DO start working.

3) My back is healing because I decided not to eat any more dairy products or anything with milk in it. It's going to be hard but I am able to do it because I don't want my back to break into flames. Now that my back is getting better, I have to wait now for the scars to go away and I just want them gone NOW. I have waited so long for this that I want it to be better now, doggone it!!

Yeah, I love God and I thank Him for what He has done for me. I have been reminded that I need to have the character of Christ. That Jesus will never stop putting me into situations that will change me into becoming more like Him. I even listened to a sermon the other day on the radio that talked about impatience! And how patience is a fruit of the Spirit and part of Christ's character that we must have. It really humbled me and I was blown away how that is exactly what I needed to hear. I heard that message on the Saturday that just passed. Even a scripture I posted on some of my social media outlets wrung the same message:

Psalm 27:13-14
"I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord."

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. I can't lie. I hate waiting. I want now. However, I must submit myself to God and be patient as He is patient. I need to call upon the Holy Spirit in times of discontentment and impatience and ask Him to help me get through it. It's the only way that I can possibly function with peace and hope and without being irritable.

There are so many scriptures about waiting on the Lord and demonstrations of Christ's patience.

I hope that if you find yourself getting anxiously impatient that you would spend some time praying for the Holy Spirit to help you be patient, to show you what to do next. Also, read some scriptures in hopes it will help you...and go ahead and tell someone else to pray for you, too. It will help.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It has truly been a while...

I miss writing in this blog. I almost forgot I had it. I have been really busy lately and new people have stepped into my life. It's been a good few months since I have posted here. I graduated with my B.A. in Studio Arts. I have been touting that around for a while now trying to find a decent job so that I can go back to school. I plan on taking a few classes to prepare myself for a master's degree or possibly medical school. Who knows? Only God knows :) He will guide me to the right path, I'm sure...as I seek for His answers.

I helped baptized a new person at my church with God's approval, of course, and I have finally gotten over the guy I had a huge crush on. He is dating now and I am going to say, long story short, God has closed that door physically and in my heart. I was sad but I am not sad anymore. I feel a lot better now. All I can say is, God helped me through it. HE DID. No lies. When you, in your heart, do right by God and do your best to do right by others (even when they constantly hurt you), God will provide ways to settle your heart and bring you peace.  I have peace. Thank God. I hope that the guy I liked has peace, too.

What has God been teaching me lately? Well, an age old lesson that I think I will have to be taught over and over again. BE HUMBLE. Ha. I have to be humble. I have to live with intention. I have to live to bring glory to my Father's name. I must remember where I come from and what I really am. I was born a sinner and I am now a redeemed sinner. Saved by grace but still capable of many wrongs. I am not the one who is in control of what I get but God is. It's not about how I look, it's not about how I act, it's not even about what I try to make happen. God...is...in...complete...control. There you have it. I have been humbled in my heart and in my spirit. I have been humbled in ways that one might find painful...but although it may be somewhat painful, I see the purpose and need of it so I don't mind so much.

I have things I need to do, people I need to encourage, dairy products I need to avoid (weird...just ask if you wanna know), and a many more things in this life I must live. I can't quit now; although, I want to. I can't deny it. Just today I told my mom I feel like the whole world is against me. It is...and sometimes it makes me want to disappear...but God isn't...that's my only comfort.

Psalm 18:27 "You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty."