Conform, Perform or Transform

I’m currently aspiring to expand my mind. It’s a new phase that has me doing a lot of reading lately. And actually, I’m happy about that. I missed reading. This change has caused me to make time for that again, because I want to feed my mind to change my mindset.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I am understanding this scripture more and more these days. Being caught up in the culture and the distractions is a state of conformity that I’m not interested in. So I’m trying to wean myself away from certain things, particularly certain media things that are not part of what I need to put my message out there.

Renewing your mind is a great process, and there’s so much to learn. There are so many areas to grow oneself. My only issue with all of this, is that I think I used to be tougher. What I mean is…I used to be able to contain myself, and hide my emotions to some degree. They were on lockdown. I had a lot of self-control, wherein very little phased me.

Considering my testimonies, my family and friends were always surprised by my lack of worry or failure to freak out during some of the situations that they thought were very difficult to handle; the ones they were certain they could never have handled.

Now, it irks me to no end that despite the character building that I’m experiencing, which I like; I’m becoming an emotional mess! Now, all sorts of things make me cry. I am not opposed to crying when needed, but I’m bugged and frustrated that now. I feel like one of those weepy, over-emotional people who cry on the drop of a dime. I never liked that, so the fact that I can’t seem to contain my emotions really annoys me to no end.

I know that it is the layers that the books I’m reading and the info I’m getting are peeling back. I’m not as closed off as I used to be. I’m becoming a little more vulnerable again, and compassionate, and although my spirit is growing, my flesh most certainly is not liking it.

happy-quotes-inspirational-quotesMy ability to be consistent has always been a battle, but now, it seems that I have become consistently weepy. I have been progressing slowly, and that has been a frustration as well, because I look at the progress of others around me, and stupidly, compare myself to them. My problem has been (past tense) my patterns. I’m one of those people, who can get focused for a period of time, and then…life just interferes, and I completely get off track. I guess many people are like that. When there is too much to focus on, it can be that way.

What I’m learning now, is that I don’t have to be perfect. I used to think as if my imperfections were reasons not to do something; that it wouldn’t be accepted and acceptable because I wasn’t. I just wasn’t perfect enough. I never realized that I had this perfectionism bug, but I now think there are levels to this.

It’s not that I needed to be perfect in everything. I’m not that sort of perfectionist. My fear had more to do with public things, like what I do online. Like my writing. Like the fact that I have wanted to go viral for 2 years now, but felt intimidated because I was conforming to the media’s projected standard of what’s cool or perfect. Like the fact that so many people seemed to understand the flow of how to do this blogging thing, and I still feel like I’m in the slow lane on it.

I confessed this fear of mine to my mentors, and they flipped the script on me by saying, “There are people out there that are waiting for you…for the unique information you have to share. They’ve been searching for it, and you need to get it out there, because there are people who need it.”

I remember reading a book a while back called, “I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy Tee-shirt.” It was an amusing book, and the pastor that wrote it has a sort of wacked sense of humor, but he does make his points.

As much as I can remember he was talking about walking with speed, versus walking with love. I guess it’s our goal-making mentality that causes us to place time restraints on everything. His example was when his sister’s baby had died, and he took the opportunity to minister to his mother and brother-in-law. He had an entire speech ready when he went into the hospital to be there for his sister, who had asked him to try to speak to them. None of it mattered. They were unmoved.

His wife went and was just there, and even after he left and flew back home, she stayed an extra week, just being there for them. His point was that his method was walking with speed, and hers was walking with love, because she demonstrated her faith by her actions, not by words. He figured that long term, she would have a greater effect than he did.

What was my point? I said this to point out the fact that those of us who aspire to something, like the fantastic organizational skills we see in others; are, in our backwardness, seeking to become goal-setting, everything-in-its-proper-place, perfect people, when in reality, God calls us to live life moment by moment, and not to sweat the small stuff. He calls us to walk in love, not speed.

I’ve seen a lot of nice pics showing a beautiful apartments and homes even from people I know. I, in my muddle of misery at my lack of organization, have looked at these pics and thought, “Why can’t I have a beautiful, spotless place like that?” Actually, some of those images are so spotless, they don’t look lived in, which is sort of the point. They are models for magazines. I’d rather have my home look lived in, than like a museum.

But I’ve seen the people, or moms that seem like they are just amazing with organizing. For instance, there are these moms out there that have 7 or more children, and they have their homes completely organized, clean…they have a system for those kids and the family. These are the women who have quintuplets all natural, no C-section, and no pain killers. Those are the ones that I look at and say, “Wow. Your more woman than me, cause I could never do this.”

stop-hating-start-loving-yourself-quote-motivational-quotes-pictures-picsNow admittedly, part of the problem, aside from too many things on the platter, is some degree of laziness, but that’s not the total issue. The real thing is, my focus is different, and because super moms are promoted in the media. Women that love being the housewife, or the super hostess always seem to be the ideal. I just don’t fit that ideal.

This is why I’ve determined that I actually need to be wealthy; because I have always known that there were so many more interesting things to be doing than to be bothered with something like housework, and I’d rather pay for catering. I do like things neat and organized, but I see no need for me to have to be the one to do all of that all of the time. I’m not the queen of domesticity.

So I’ve decided to not only stop focusing on what is not my forte, but to stop beating myself up in my self-talk about it. I’d rather focus on my strengths, instead of my weaknesses.

It’s like I always tell my son. We are all plants. When I try to get him to understand about his food choices, I tell him this. But I’ve also used this analogy in another context. Yes, we are all plants. We are beings of energy; the same energy that exists on this earth in everything around us. The same energy that plants reach skyward to absorb from the light of the sun.

And like plants, there are millions of species, each having a specific function and purpose. And all of them are able to grow and live and thrive on this same earth. Some have to be planted in certain areas, in certain types of soil, and in certain atmospheres, because they grow best in those areas.

be-yourselfThis is like all of us. There are some plants that have a specific purpose for creating or demonstrating beauty. Then, there are some that function to control the bug population, by being natural predators for them. There are some that function to give covering, shade for us. Some function to give certain natural chemicals that can heal us. Some function to give food for us. There are many varieties, functions, and purposes, yet all are useful when they stay within their purpose, and function as designed.

So basically, I just need to renew my mind on this, and develop some self-talk that is uplifting me in my purpose and for my function, because I don’t have to be like anyone else. In fact, I like being unique and different. And it is time for me to move past this struggle, so forward I go…

Phl 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


An Expensive lesson

A couple of years ago, when I was taking my son for a play date at his friend’s house, my car’s front end started shaking and rattling real hard. I pulled over, thinking I had a flat, but the tires looked fine. So I slowly drove the rest of the way to my son’s friend’s, because once I hit 35mph, the shaking started again.

At the time, I was thinking, “Aw, c’mon Lord! I just spent $256.00 barely a week ago on this car, and it hit my budget hard. I was already pressed for that month, and definitely did not need another repair bill. I got to the mechanic a bit later, and ran into three (note the number-which I didn’t even realize until writing this) gentlemen sitting in the mechanic’s office.

They asked me if I’m a sister in the Lord, which I affirmed. The one said, “See, I told you she was. You can tell looking at her.” Well, I must admit that I liked the fact that it was finally that obvious. Now, of course, I was thinking that if it is that obvious, what do I look like when I’m mad or impatient? How’s the reflection then? Good question. I still don’t know the answer on that one.

Anyways, so I started talking with these guys and telling them about my books. In the course of the conversation, I let them know about the one that I was trying to publish, and the delays that kept occurring, “But,” I said, “I know that God has a reason and a purpose for all of these delays, so it’s cool.”

Then I told them about the current book that I’m halfway through writing, “In His Image.” I told them that in the last section I was working on, I was talking about Lucifer, and how he came to be. I described the difference in his origins versus mankind’s origins, and they asked me, what about the angels?

Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau, 1881.
Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau, 1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I told them that I hadn’t gotten to them yet, and they said that this information interested them because why did 1/3 of them fall away with Satan? After the mechanic returned, they got up to leave, and shook my hands saying they were glad to have met me. One fellow intended to contact a pastor that we both knew (I knew this pastor only as a homeschool evaluator), and let him know about my books; so that he could forward the name of a publisher to me that worked a good deal for him.

When they were gone, I was sitting in the mechanic’s office, and he had this big large print bible on the desk. Despite having brought my own reading material…some business info I needed to study, I kept thinking about what those guys asked me about the angels.

So I decided to peruse this bible, particularly the back to see if there was any concordance or subject information on angels. Sure enough, this bible had a whole section that listed quite a bit of information on angels. I immediately photocopied those pages to take home and review.

While sitting there, I say to God, “Lord, seriously, you need to address this bill for me, because things are too tight right now for me to be hit with another car repair bill like the last one.” Meanwhile, I say this, hoping that God will convince my mechanic to give me a freebie this time. The mechanic has done this sort of thing in the past, whenever God chose to grant me His unmerited favor.

The mechanic comes in and tells me that the problem was the ball bearings and the holder for them, which was damaged when the ball bearings locked. He handed me the bill. “Ouch!” I say, “Can I stop by tomorrow with a check?” So he ok’d that, and I left.

Later that night, I was at home looking at my banking in my computer program and trying to figure out how I might rob Peter to pay Paul. I finagled the numbers between several accounts and figured how I was going to move money into the main account to cover this…by hitting 4 other accounts for the funds. Heartbreaking.

Then I moved on to look at those sheets I copied on angels. I began to look up certain aspects of the information, and started finding some interesting facts that are extremely relevant to my book. This started the flow in me, and I ended up writing 3 more chapters to add in this new information.

When I was finally done with this exercise, it was late and I was exhausted, but I was still clear headed enough to realize something and I said to God, “That information cost me $213.00!” I’ve noticed that there are times when something that appears to be a problem, may inadvertently assist you to getting either a blessing or a victory in another area. We sometimes stress ourselves out over it, because we are looking at it through the eyes of the wrong perspective.

This was a pretty expensive lesson, but well worth it because it provided information I needed for the book. Apparently, I had a predestined appointment at the mechanic’s just to meet those 3 men, receive their questions, and get the information that pointed me to the answers for that section of the book. All part of the process. Peace and blessings.


Perspective: It’s All in How You See It, Part 2

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain. Author Unknown

Naomi has lost both her husband and her sons. Her husband’s spiritual state could have been the catalyst for his passing, but no specific reason is given. However for her sons, it seems that this truth may be closer to hitting the mark, due to the names given both boys.

Can you imagine calling your children…” Hey Sick! Hey Pining! Go help your father.” It’s like their parents sentenced them to a life of ill health that finally overcame them. People don’t realize that we all speak things into existence.

English: Naomi and Her Daughters-in-Law (Ruth ...
English: Naomi and Her Daughters-in-Law (Ruth 1:3-22) Русский: Ноеминь и её невестки (Руфь 1:3-22) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.

14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

At this juncture, Naomi is looking at her loss and is bitter. Bitterness is the offspring of resentment. It is an indignant, begrudging attitude, mixed with acrimony. In other words, it leaves an acidic, bitter taste in one’s mouth. Holding on to such an attitude for an extended amount of time can cause disease to set in, in the body. I believe that certain cancers result from this.

Did Naomi have reason to be resentful? Yes, she did, if you only view her losses through the eyes of unmet expectations. Such expectations are the result of an attitude of entitlement in which a person believes that no matter what they do or fail to do; regardless of their level of irresponsibility, everything will work out the way they think it is supposed to. I mean who made all those choices anyways?

This sort of attitude is the offspring of very limited utilization of the brain. It results from a spiritual deficit, which was the problem that caused her and her husband to leave in the first place. But she’s still missing the point.

The point is that no matter where you are in your journey; even if you’ve hit some bumps in the road; regardless of how low you think your situation is; and even if your heart is far from God, He can still bless you and turn the situation around.

Success is not measured by what a person accomplishes, but by the opposition they have encountered, and the courage with which they have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. Orison Swett Marden

Naomi did not even call out to God. The passage does not indicate that a lot of prayer was happening. Yet, there was enough of the Spirit in her, that caused her daughter-in-law Ruth to want to become part of her people and her God. And still she did not see that she had been blessed.

Instead, she continued to focus on her loss and her bitterness, as opposed to the new “friendship,” God blessed her with, which is the meaning of Ruth’s name.

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

What gets me is who she blames for her bitterness. Why is it that people always want to lob grenades at God for the things that don’t go their way in life? She does this twice; in verse 13, she says that God’s hand has gone out against her, and then here again in v 20-21.

As I said previously, when we all are in possession of a billion dollar asset, our brains, but we fail to add value to it through education; and furthermore, just fail to use it at all, we have no one to blame, but ourselves. God calls us to renew our minds, but many ignore that call, and take no steps to draw closer to Him.

Life does not just happen to anyone. It is the culmination of either unthought out or well thought out decisions.

Life is challenging. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.

Be careful how you:

•Speak to yourself
•Think of yourself
•Conduct yourself
•Develop yourself

Tony Dungy

So while Naomi was busy having her pity party, she completely missed the jewel God had given her. Then, she bad mouths God, and blames him for her misfortune; instead of examining herself and recognizing the part that her decisions played in the whole situation.

Nevertheless, God is a loving God, and she’s a lost child that has come home, so He restores her through Ruth, the blessing she overlooked. But, that story is in the later 3 chapters for another day.

The point is, no matter how destitute you think you are, God can restore you. In this case, this bitter, resentful, woman lost the dead weight in her life and gained a new perspective and life through the faith of a woman who’s origins were even worse than her own.

This other woman, Ruth, who by the standards of the society of that time, would be considered unworthy; became, through faith, the great grandmother to one of the most revered kings of history: King David. Why? Because her attitude and perspective had been changed through new information and the renewing of her mind.

This “pleasant” woman in a parched spiritual place still managed, despite her bitterness, to demonstrate enough of God’s Spirit to influence a change in the heart of an outsider, and just look at the blessings that resulted. Attitude is everything.


Perspective: It’s All in How You See It, Part 1

There’s something about reading books. I have read quite a few books on my iPad, and it’s nice for convenience sake, but it’s just not the same as holding a book, and turning the pages yourself. Personally, I love soft cover books so much better than hardcover, because they’re bendy and flexible, and easy to position for my own comfort.

One of my favorite, bendy books happens to be my old, NIV Bible. Now, if you aren’t into that, it’s ok. I’m not here to push my beliefs on you. However, if you are a frequent visitor to my site, you know that there are 3 elements that I focus on: Mind, Body, and Spirit, although not necessarily in that order. So as you peruse this site, you will see studies I’ve done on the spiritual tip that perhaps weren’t what anyone expected, but that may have provided a different perspective that I hope was helpful.

Today, I was thinking about perspectives when I decided to do some reading, and I chose to use my actual Bible as opposed to my iPad’s app, to read some scriptures. As I picked it up, it fell open to the book of Ruth; a book I have read before, but I felt perhaps I should look at again. I really thought I was just going to quickly read through all 4 chapters to satisfy my need for spiritual food for the day, but apparently, God had something else in mind.

Now, in order to explain why I was stopped after only the first chapter, I need to show you the verse near the end of that chapter that sort of stopped me in my tracks.

The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith
The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (KJ)

The reason that this caught my attention was her attitude. Back in those times, people were very conscious about names and their meanings. They knew that a person’s path in life is often dictated by their name. It’s like when you name a child, you are setting their life’s course. For instance, my name – Sandra, means Helper and Defender. I was a defender of my co-workers years ago, when I was taking up the cause for employee rights as an EEO rep in the absence of bought union reps who picked and chose who they would represent.

Currently, evidence of the Helper in me is written into all of my websites and social media; as well as my current profession as an LMT. My desire and goals to educate people, especially on how to get freedom, and enjoy a healthier life free from pain is also evidence of my nature lining up with my name. This is why Naomi’s statement caught my attention. It is clear that she knows the meaning of her name.

So now, we have to go back to the beginning of the chapter to see what happened that caused her to make this statement.

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

English: Hendrick Goltzius. Orpah leaving Ruth...
English: Hendrick Goltzius. Orpah leaving Ruth and Naomi. 1576. Engraving. 19.8 × 27.3 cm. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inv.nr. BdH 8063). Nederlands: Hendrick Goltzius. Orpa verlaat Ruth en Naomi. 1576. Gravure. 19,8 × 27,3 cm. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (inventarisnummer BdH 8063). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.

7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

What gets me is that when she returns home, she’s telling her friends to rename her. Her name Naomi means “pleasant.” But now, she’s doing what most people do. She’s only viewing her world through the eyes of loss.

Our words reveal our thoughts; Manners mirror our self-esteem; Our actions reflect our character; Our habits predict the future. William Arthur Ward

Losing her husband and her son’s has made her bitter, because apparently her world revolved around them, and she linked her identity with having a husband and having two sons. She did not see that she individually had worth, and that God could still bless her in spite of her loss.

As far as she’s concerned, their loss meant she is nothing and no one, and that the hand of God has turned against her. Her bitterness is because her connection with God was not correct. Her identity should have been linked to God, not her husband or sons.

We are all here for a specific reason and purpose, and we all encounter different seasons in life, as well as seasonal people. You just need some perspective glasses so you can see that your loss/mistake/failure is temporary; it’s just a seasonal thing.

Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power…Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it. Rabbi Harold Kushner

Naomi is saying that she doesn’t deserve her current name based upon her current condition. She’s completely missing the point…in fact, several. Number one is that God doesn’t judge us in that manner. God doesn’t say,

“I gave you this name because I expected you to behave/act/be like this, but you messed up/failed/made a mistake. So now, based the consequences of your actions, and the state that it’s left you in, I’m gonna have to rename you.”

Our name may be an indicator of our path or our nature, but it is not an indicator of our worth. Naomi is looking at the entire picture incorrectly. First of all, all she’s apparently thinking about is appearances, because her friends probably saw them off when her family originally left.

But, and this is what really gets me on this sort of inane thought process; look at what her children were named. First, her husband’s name, Elimelech means “My God is King.” So this brings us to a “Why” question.

If Elimelech’s faith truly lined up with his name, why did the family leave Bethlehem (house of bread and praise) to go to Moab (of father) a place who’s progenitor was birthed from incest? I know there was a famine in the land where they lived, but what better place to be in the time of famine, than the house of bread and praise?

A famine in the land is a physical manifestation of a condition of the spirit. It’s a matter of mindset. Your heart is out of alignment with God. So that is problem number 1. This was a nationwide problem.

But, Naomi and her husband took it a step further. They left the land of their forefathers, and went even further outside of God’s will into a land not only birthed from incest, but furthermore, where other gods were worshiped, and child sacrifice to these gods was done.

Furthermore, Naomi and her husband were so far gone spiritually, that before her sons died, the parents let them marry Moabite women, something God’s laws prohibited. This was not because of the race of these people, but because of their culture.

Coming back to the names of their sons, Mahlon and Chilion (Kilion), why would they name their children like this? Mahlon means ” sick,” and Chilion (Kilion), means “pining.” It is clear to me that Naomi and Elimelech both knew about name meanings, and the power of them.

The problem here, as I see it, is yet another situation where people fail to utilize the billion dollar asset God gave each and every one of us, and think.

 


Making Changes

 What is the point of telling someone, “I know I’m a mess,” if you have absolutely no intention to change? Is it simply an excuse to justify the pain or problems in your life currently, or is it to rationalize the fact that you refuse to change? 
 
I meet very few people that are totally beyond all help. I meet plenty who think they are, but it’s just another of many excuses for laziness and a spirit of defeat. They’ve chosen to give up; chosen to do nothing about their situation or pain. Most often what I find to be prevalent is that they have chosen to remain uneducated and stupid. Why do I say this? I see it every day.
 
At this point in time, I utilize public transportation; not because it was a choice originally, but I choose to continue using it as an economic choice currently. Every day while riding, I see a combination of the semi useful people, and the totally useless people. Note that I didn’t say productive. That’s because most of them aren’t. Now, this may sound judgmental…and that would be because it is.
 
For example, there’s a particular fat woman I used to see every day when I was going to work. She is immense. I want you to know that I myself am not a skinny girl, but I am not immense like this woman either.
 
She wears tent dresses (I don’t even think she can find pants to fit her); and the mindless, bland, indifferent look of someone who has completely given up, and has managed to find comfort in the idea of eating herself into oblivion.
 
She looks like she’s about 5’5 or 5’6 at the most, and I’m not even sure if she’s 30 years old. She gets on the bus, and sits literally taking up 2 seats; then snacks on chips and candy bars, and falls asleep for the remainder of the bus ride.
 
Every time I look at her, I can’t believe this woman is so young and so seemingly oblivious and indifferent to the condition she is putting herself into. If you were to see her face, it is clear that this is not a person interested in personal growth or education. 
 
She just looks like she’s vegetating, idly planted in her indifference and spreading out (in her personal bulk), as if waiting for someone to come along and prune her, like a weed from the garden of life.
 
I was seeing a woman at my office, that is in a similar condition. I was asked to work on her to release pain from her neck that she said was very bothersome. This woman was also immense, but a taller version of it. She could not get on the table, nor could she sit on the massage chair. I had to sit her in a regular chair and try to work the problem out of her neck that way. When she sat down, her stomach was so immense, I was reminded of Jabba the Hut in Star Wars
 
As I was working on her and asking her about her injuries and lifestyle habits, she said, “I know I’m a mess.” You know why I don’t have as much of a problem with her making this statement? She’s at least 70 years old. A grandmother.

Granted, she has not maintained a healthy lifestyle or habits, but unlike the younger woman, her condition is due, in large part, to a lifetime of neglect. Is she without hope, or helpless? No, not if she chooses not to be, and makes the decision to change. Most people in her age range don’t choose to, but they aren’t beyond all hope. Anything worth fighting for takes effort.

 
I am recognizing the irony as I tell you about the fortune cookie from my order of Chinese food today, which said, “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” In other words, pain is a message telling you to stop being stupid; to wake up and think!
 
I know what some of you think. You think your pain is unexplainable, just because no one has explained it. This doesn’t mean there isn’t an explainable cause…just that no one up to this point in time, has told you anything that really makes sense. Or, you think it was caused by your accident, which wasn’t your fault. Or, you think it just suddenly occurred for no apparent reason.
 
First of all, there is never just one variable, so even in the case of an accident, there is always more than the one variable or situation that causes it. In the case of a vehicular accident, the level of impact is definitely a factor, but it is not the only factor.
 
Regardless, just because there seems to be no rhyme or reason for whatever has happened to you, that, in and of itself does not negate the fact that change is needed. Everything in life has a cause and effect factor. Just because your doctor either doesn’t know, or thinks it is unresolvable, does not mean that you are at a dead end without options.
 
Sarah-Jessica-Parker-Feet-2079700Recently, a picture of Sara Jessica Parker was shown on The Wendy Show as the Hot shot of the day. In it, Sara Jessica Parker was wearing a light blue dress that was very pretty. But, you know what made that picture look horrible? Did anyone look at her feet? I found a different image to help you see it better. The top of her feet looked worse than the worst case of old age turkey neck that I’ve ever seen. Her legs look fabulous, but her feet looked 20 years older than her. Why is that?
 

Well when you consider that she was one of the women of the 80’s and 90’s that wore and promoted the constant style of wearing high heels, then it makes sense. Remember, she was the Sex and the City star, and portrayed a wanna-be glamour girl, desperately seeking social acceptance and love.

This is the same basic attitude I have found in some of the sillier women I’ve worked on, who refuse to give up those horrible heels and the pain they cause to the back and other body parts. The problem is that the position that high heels puts the foot in, is one of over-extension of the extensor muscles on the front of the foot and leg, and over-contraction of the flexor muscles on the bottom of the foot and calf. 
 
So if someone were to try to Dorsiflex Sara Jessica Parker’s feet (bend the toes up towards the sky), it probably would be very painful for her, because the length of her calf muscles are too short as well as the plantar muscles on the underside or sole of her feet.
 
I was going to say, unless she stretches, and from the picture, it looks like she does, because her legs look great; but clearly, if she does stretch regularly, she overlooked her feet.
 
The point is, many people cause their own pain from stupidity, such as following popular fashion trends; and demonstrating more loyalty and care to a fashion fad than to their own bodies. 
 
Then people wonder why they have pain. Look at all the celebrities that have fallen by the wayside based on addiction. Many of them became addicted from too much partying, but many also became addicted due to prescription pain medications.
 
Even as I write this, people are still trying to determine if Prince actually died from an addiction, or if it was something else. If it was indeed an addiction, Prince does seem to me to be the type of person that would not want people to know. The latest word on the matter was a possible accidental overdose of pain medication.
 
So there are people making choices that are causing them pain. They aren’t examining their lives, habits and thought patterns to see what might be the source. To make matters worse, because of this lack of thoughtful inquiry and self examination, they run to seek medical care, which is only symptom management at best; and never usually hones in on the actual causes.
 
They completely place their faith in a man with a label, and never bother to do any personal research for answers, or methods of possible treatment. Then, based on a pain condition that is first and foremost, a condition of the mind or spirit; they make decisions or rather, accept what the man with the label tells them.
 
They begin to attack the problem in their body via a synthesized chemical they take in either pill form or as a shot, or even worse, they do surgery. Meanwhile, the actual problem, which, outside of a direct impact injury, is usually within themselves; is never addressed.
 
Change is needed, and the first place to start is to spend some time utilizing more than the 10 or 20% minimum of brain power that is said to be used by mankind. Striving to be ordinary is a state of mind that will definitely result in pain. It’s time not to just think outside the box; although more outer box thinking is definitely a necessity. Its time to rise up, and step out of the box that the culture has led you into; because it is a culture of pain that not only is detrimental to your mindset; it’s detrimental to your health. 


Everybody’s A Christian – NOT!

What is a Christian? Really. I’m asking this question, not because I don’t know; but because the word Christian is so casually claimed. It’s the same backwards, flippant manner in which people claim to be in love after just meeting someone. Let’s get our word definitions straight. That’s lust, not love.
Furthermore, Christianity does not have the Burger King as it’s head. This is NOT a have-it-your-way faith. 
You can’t say or do any and everything you want with complete disregard for others, because this is NOT a self-centered belief. Part of our purpose is to serve others, by eliminating selfish thinking and self-centered motivation in ourselves. We have true liberty and freedom in Christ, but that does not endow us with a license to sin.
And for the record, Christians are supposed to be quick to recognize if they err and offend; not due to speaking God’s truth per the scriptures, mind you; but if they inadvertently caused harm to another, whether or not they had the intention to do so. Not only should recognize it through conviction of the Spirit, but they should be quick to apologize and ask for forgiveness, because we are called to be peaceable with everyone.
Furthermore, saying “I’m sorry, but…” Is NOT a real apology. It is a justification, which STILL means that someone is trying excuse their behavior, by crediting something or someone outside of themselves with the fault that led to their actions. It is a means of denying your responsibility for your own actions and choices. Therefore, such statements are insincere rebuffs, not sincere apologies.
I’m just sick and tired of false and illicit associations being made to my faith in an attempt to deceive the masses per someone’s agenda. Some who might be in the faith, might think that I am wrong to call this out the way I am. 
So many people who claim to be Christian, are too soft; and seem to think that passiveness is a demonstration of love. It is not. There’s a difference between being gentle and being passive. These same alleged Christians are so busy agreeing with the culture of political correctness pushed by atheists, that they’ve forgotten that we have been given power from on high, and that we are called to speak the truth with boldness
This, in my opinion, is why Ben Carson lost his spot in the presidential race, and has fallen by the wayside. However, he really lost me when he said that healthcare is not everyone’s right. Unfortunately, his voice was not a voice of authority, nor is it bold; therefore, he couldn’t really go head to head with someone like “The Donald“. I had a conversation with a friend about this, and I said, ” If only Carson had the boldness of John Hagee! He’d give Trump a real run for his money!” Unfortunately, despite having great ideas, Carson has, by his lack of boldness, shown the position of the church at large; that of being asleep. We are called to boldly speak the truth, not in judgment, but with love; and to stand against the culture. 
Regardless, I think some clarity is in order, with regards to defining what is a real Christian, as well as who or what it represents; and furthermore, defining what it is not, or what is not in any way associated with the Christian faith.

All scriptures listed here by number, are from 1Tim 6:1-16, unless otherwise stated.

1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

“Under the yoke” in this verse, essentially means you are employed; it is a reference to servants or enslaved people. The word “blasphemed” means to speak irreverently or disrespectfully about God or His doctrine, i.e.the set of beliefs He espouses or advocates; i.e. Christianity.

2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

You can’t call yourself a Christian, and slouch off on the job, especially for a believing employer.

3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Wholesome words mean words that edify, or lift others up. Words that are malicious, lewd, dirty, slanderous, or meant to put down, criticize, judge or destroy another, such as gossip and slander; are not part of the doctrine of Christ, or Christianity, which is according to godliness. I’m 
Verses 4 & 5 surmises what I see happening in the current political arena. Almost all of the current forerunners in the race for the party seat on either side, fit and demonstrate perfectly what these scriptures described.

Trump and Cruz are described perfectly by verses 4 & 5. Both of them know nothing. Trump makes things up, and in his egotistical arrogance, attacks, judges, and criticizes people and groups as if we are all still watching The Apprentice, and not an election. He separates and divides people, instead of bringing them together; and furthermore, supports racial hatred and division. 

Acts 10:34 (KJV)
Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
James 2:9 (KJV)
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Colossians 3:25 (KJV
But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Romans 2:11 (KJV)
For there is no respect of persons with God.

Rom 16:17-18
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Trump then had the unmitigated gall…and the absolutely unbelievable nerve…to call himself a Christian! That got me fired up, because I considered him in the very beginning, because I liked the idea of us having borders and walls, but I was never under any illusions as to whether or not he is a Christian. 
However, it’s a cause of concern for those who aren’t aware of what a Christian really represents. He has attempted to associate himself, obviously, just to win votes. He seems to think that because he has money, he can say and do whatever he wants, and then, after bashing and ripping people apart, causing division and strife; that he can then align himself with the God of love?!? I think not! Remember verse 5 said about:

5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

If anything, Donald Trump more than anyone, represents the position of mankind that has turned against their Creator! He has that fist-shaking-at-God, I-can-do-whatever-I-want, spirit of Cain;  that, like the Eygptian Pharoah, says, ” Who is God that I should obey Him?” 
He even stated in an interview that he never asks for forgiveness. That is a key principle of Christianity. In order to accept Christ, you must ask for forgiveness of sin. Just because he occasionally attends a Presbyterian church does not mean he’s a Christian. Scripture says there are many wolves among the sheep. There are plenty of self-righteous people sitting in church week after week, who have never accepted Christ. 
Their presence in a building does not automatically graft them into the body of true believers, who strive to follow all of God’s word; and not just the parts that justify their own will. Scripture says that by their fruit you will know them. The fruit indicates that the only “god” Donald Trump serves is the god of money, not the God of true Christianity.
For years, Christians have believed that the Republican Party was the Christian based party, but clearly, it is not about the party, which apparently is not Christian based; but the position and actions of the person running for office. Any pastors who pander to a particular political party from the pulpit, trying to influence the vote are wrong. That is not their position, and certainly, not what they are called to do.
If Trump really wanted to ” Make our nation great again,” he’d be like John Hagee, leading the call to return to what our forefathers originally set up; a Christian nation. That is not what we are now; and certainly, it is not what we have been for a long time; even prior to the fault maliciously laid by some on Obama. 
We have long been pulled in this direction by the historically dominant party of long-standing, political “representation” in the Oval Office, which has been self-serving; working only for the high income level minority, as opposed to what was best for everyone. We have left our first love in favor of Solomon’s folly; marriage or con-joining with pagan nations, and the adoption of their cultures, doctrines and gods. 
But, scripture says, you are either hot or cold. You cannot be lukewarm with regard to God. You are either for Him, or against Him. You cannot serve any other gods. That’s the number 1 rule of the Ten Commandments.
Speaking of lukewarm, Ted Cruz has been a whiner that from the jump, complained instead of  stating his position boldly and standing on what he would do for the country. Now, he’s all inflated and talking big, like he’s so tough, but he is still doing nothing more than blowing hot air. Absolutely no specifics at all. He has no concrete answers nor direction. In essence, he’s like the short, insecure guy that buys a big vehicle to try to run with the big boys and act more manly.
On the other side, there’s the she-devil, Hillary; whose lies and dirty secrets have been hitting the fan for a while now. This woman is in collusion (board member) with the biggest bane to mankind; the enemy of the health and well-being, Monsanto. 
For those who don’t know, Monsanto is the chemical giant that has been poisoning our food supply; trying initiate legislation that would deny us the right to food labels that identify everything being processed into our food. She’s a part of destroying our greatest wealth – our health; so any health care reform she claims she’ll initiate will be purely in favor of Monsanto and the medical industry; not the people. 
Why should women vote for her to represent women as president, if she’s deceptive and manipulative? As such, she would not be a good representative, first for females, and especially as president.
She also jumped on the ” I’m a Christian” bandwagon, as it currently suits her agenda to now claim association to gain a few points. There’s no true association, because again,scripture says that people will know us by our fruits; i.e., by the love we demonstrate for others. Claiming to care, and then supporting an industrial giant that has been the cause of sickness and disease (like cancer), and death for the sake of population control; is not bearing fruits of the Spirit of Christ.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Not only is the love of money the “root” of all evil, and coveting it causes one to err and fall away from the faith. You can’t love money and God. 

Matthew 6:24 (KJV) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

This is what Christians are called to do. We are not called to follow after money or the culture, because love of those things will lead you astray.

13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15 Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords
16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Note that verse 15 states that Christ is the ” only Potentate,” not the pope. So if your faith Is in that figurehead, it is mis-placed. Furthermore, idol worship is condemned in the scriptures; in fact, not only is it right there in the first of the Ten Commandments, but throughout the bible.

image

No saints are to be worshipped or ” revered, nor any physical objects like rosary beads and statues. Doing such is idolatry, and is not part of Christianity, but one who belongs to that organization is not like to know that, because their bible is different.
That is another point. Changing the bible; adding to it or subtracting from it, and then claiming that your revised book is still THE Bible is a falsehood. The Bible has 66 books, not 73, like the Catholic Bible has. They are NOT one and the same.

Deuteronomy 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

Deuteronomy 12:‌32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

Revelation 22 
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

For those who may choose to take offense about this; I am sorry you have chosen to take offense, rather than to personally do some serious research to find out if the doctrine you’ve trusted in is true or not. I can only state what I know.
Paul Crouch erred when he attempted to assimilate and join us to the Catholic Church. Why would you join with an organization that tortured and killed Christians, especially when the doctrine and traditions of that organization remain unchanged? Scripture mentions those that would kill in the name of Christ as not belonging to Him.
To my knowledge, Crouch was also willing accept Jehovah’s Witness, and their changed doctrine and bible; and if he were still around today, he might be saying that we need to accept Muslims who try to claim they are part of Christianity. There’s a difference between Muslims who have accepted Christ, and Muslims who have not. Those that have accepted are no longer Muslims, but Christians. There is no such thing as a Muslim-Christian. You are either one or the other, but you cannot be both.
 
Matthew 24:24 (KJV)
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 13:22 (KJV)
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.

Crouch just flung open the doors, saying we should forgive and forget, as if Christ was willing to allow other gods and doctrines in conjunction with His own. He’s not, and none of those other religions have any part of true Christianity. But this is why there’s so much confusion. This is the reason everyone is just claiming it without living and walking it.
So don’t be so quick to believe someone who claims to be Christian, until you check their fruit. Watch their actions and spirit. No one is perfect and we are all ever growing in journey of Christiandom, but you should see more fruits of the spirit than fruits of the flesh in someone claiming to belong to Christ. Here’s how you know:

2 Peter 2:10 (KJV)
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
1 John 2:16 (KJV)
For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Rom 8
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Galatians 5 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Ephesians 5:9 (KJV)
(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)