Posts Tagged ‘God’

A New School Year: God College

It’s the eve of another school year. I was ready to “sack out” until I realized, I couldn’t. Now, sleep evades me. I’ve been “haunted” all week by the internet not working while we were on vacation; I didn’t bother to “report” it. I know how to get online and the connection simply wasn’t working. I gave up, because I didn’t want to feel frustrated. I found out on day 4 of 5 that the service had been having problems….which they had finally come by to “fix” 🙂

This Sunday afternoon, I found myself working in my hobby room. I got back to work on my embroidery projects. At some point, those have to get done because I’m growing tired of seeing all the stuff I’ve bought just sit around and not get used. I don’t believe in “waste” – and wasting time is what I appear to be doing…ugh.

I haven’t re-started another 1 year bible plan yet because ThIS time I want to approach it with a calculated effort. I was advised to have pen and paper at the ready to make notes, ask questions and a supply of highlighters handy. When I read it through this time, I am going for depth. The first time I was reading for the “awe” factor and OH MY…there were (what seemed like) hundreds! I don’t understand how I could have waited this long to READ GOD – to KNOW Him. In hindsight, I have missed out these 30-some odd years on His direction, His Guidance…I am now anxious and chomping at the bit to get every morsel of wisdom and clarity that is mine for the taking!

I’ve been suspicious about WHY I am taking such a lofty approach? Why I feel driven to read The Word in such a calculated manner? Because I have been praying that The Lord would bless me with my life-long pursuit of authorship. Because even though I could craft a fictional book (which may or may not be read by the masses) I sense that still small voice calmly telling me my “time has not yet come.” There are some really important messages He wants me to incorporate in this yet-to-be manuscript. Will it ever come to fruition? I have no choice but to believe that it will. Because I think this blog is a stepping stone of sorts. I think He is testing me to see if I have the “chops” to follow His lead and Just DO It. Whether or not that “Book” is in my future only He knows. But I trust Him to know best.

However, I also know that part of my responsibility as is understanding both sides of the equation. While I spent that year reading the bible I had an insatiable appetite to better understand what’s commonly referred to as “Spiritual Warfare.” 2-3 years ago I was completely engulfed in reading the Book of Revelations and I couldn’t get enough of learning about the End Times. Switching gears two years later…..my biblical priorities have shifted.

This summer alone I’ve read 3 books on spiritual warfare. They were really good. I am fairly certain they will help me to eventually write THE Book I’ve sensed God has laid on my heart to publish. I figure that at some point, God will tell me it’s time and those beautiful words will flow. I will be READY. It is clear to me that I HAD to read about spiritual warfare because we all have to deal with it in one way or another, at some point.

Most of us believe in God, Heaven, the angels, etc. But it becomes much harder to WANT to think about the exact opposite. Our nemesis: our enemy. But the truth is the enemy exists, just as his army of evil co-horts. Consider though that EVERY good book (NO! every GREAT book) has not just a wonderful protagonist…but a super antagonist. You’ve got to create some bad stuff to challenge your protagonist or you DON’T have a story. None of us like to see the protagonist face hardship or serious threat, but would a book keep your attention or your interest if life just “hummed” along? Talk about boring!

You and I are only as effective and efficient as the equipment we “arm” ourselves with. I am most certainly not done with reading scripture. I need to let it take root in my soul so it is a permanent fixture within. Remember I mentioned having read (actually, I dEvOured *pardon the pun*) 3 books this summer? They were Shadow Boxing, The Rules of Engagement and When The Enemy Strikes. All of them were excellent..but my favorites were the first two. And why does that matter?

I can’t easily write FOR God without understanding Him and knowing His heart. I need him to pour out his clarity, his wisdom so I can clearly translate His intent. I need His direction to help me make sense of the good, bad and the ugly. I need to make the reality of God’s love and mercy – real and realistic; FANTASTIC and close at hand. I need to paint a picture and show up Satan for who he is…a fallen angel with no-where to go. I need real characters, with flaws. I need interaction that will make the lost cry out to Jesus and seek “The Way, The Truth, The Light.” But I need prayer…that this will happen according to His Will, according to His plans….

Whether or not the internet is working, whether or not I am able to sit down and write, I will read. I will share what I learn. Whether or not I am blessed by simply writing this blog or someday I have the privilege of writing “The End” I am grateful.

I am in the depths of “God College,” Let the internship begin and the fruit of the spirit bloom!

Levels of Faith – Candy Crush Saga

Tulips

Candy Crush Saga: A Godly lesson in stripes, wrappers and jelly

I have been swamped. It feels like a month since I sat down and committed thoughts to the keyboard. It’s mid-April now and Spring Break was a month ago. It should have only taken me a couple days to get back “into the swing” but NOOOO. En-route from our trip back to OK, I got sick. I was going help with half the drive, both days.

Yeah, not quite.

Day one, I was fine. But at 5am on day two…whatever “it” was felt like Montezuma’s revenge. And it clung onto me for at least 5 days. My stomach, my gut, my colon were my worst enemies. Oy!

So, now I’m scampering. Playing double time to make up for lost time. We are going through a major and yet blessed transition in our house. My father-in-law is coming to live with us for a while and the house is going through its own “Makeover.” This one doesn’t involve paint, carpet or physical construction. It involves re-purposing rooms, figuring out functionality and thinking outside the box.

My sewing/hobby/creative space needs an overhaul but until I get my hands on an unwanted dresser drawer or some other cabinet to hold my supplies; organization in this area will continue as a “need.” In my front room, most of the stuff is headed for the community yard sale next week, at least it’s boxed.

While my spouse would disagree, I do NOT consider myself a pack-rat. I think many men might have this pre-conceived idea that we (women) are. But I vehemently disagree. I have to orchestrate the world of the lives in this house: meals, laundry, cleaning, appointments, homework, etc. You get the idea. Granted, my smart phone has helped a great deal with facilitating all this since I started using it last fall. That smart phone doesn’t actually do the work though, it’s up to me – and the work never ends. The smart phone is also a great tool for distraction. I’ve used it to play words with friends and scramble with friends. Then, when we were en-route to my mother in laws funeral in December…my daughter asked me to install the Candy Crush Saga app. I’d never heard of the game and because of our drive “cross country” it took forever to install. Once it was available…she tried to play it, but didn’t really understand how it worked…so my phone got “passed” back to me and I had the “privilege” of figuring it out. That’s all it took.

I breezed through the initial levels of the game, showing her how to play it. Until I got stuck, for 6 weeks at level 36(?) I nearly gave up the game in frustration. I know I should have. It was driving me crazy…I figured it was a lost cause and shouldn’t be bothered. I walked away for a few days and came back for one last “crack” at it. I’m not sure if it WAS the second try but I literally blew the level to bits. I sat there in complete disbelief wondering what had just happened. And then it hit me….well His words hit me.

                “..with me ALL things are possible. Why do you not trust? Why do you doubt? Why won’t you   focus on MyWord and our blog? Your purpose is waiting for you and yet you don’t believe in           YOURSELF? I know what you are made of…I made you. Don’t be afraid.”

So as I continue to sporadically play ccs, I see God accomplishing the impossible. God has been using Candy Crush Saga to highlight his capabilities. He uses it as a teaching tool…a modern form of strategizing on a virtual chess table. How did I reach level 125 so far? Many would argue it was sheer luck and the odds of “pure numbers.” I disagree. You have to understand the elements of the game. And once you do, you have to either “trial ‘n error” your way to the finish line OR Google for insight! Understanding how the stripes, wrapped candies, “color bombs” operate is important – after that it’s you playing against yourself.

For instance, just when I begin to believe that my days of successfully winning a level are over; He throws me a carrot as a blessing and I conquer another level occasionally achieving the high score. I think He does that to prove to me that with Him “All things are possible…”

I read last year that JK Rowling (author of Harry Potter) often played a video game to relax as a “stress” reliever. It may not be the ideal way to relieve stress, but ccs serves the same purpose. CCS is a game of strategy and tactical maneuvers. I find that fascinating…but I become all the more intrigued when I know God has shown up and given me the edge to win. I understand there are at least 300 levels to play in this game; which seems insane. But, it makes you wonder how many levels of faith you and I have to go through before God’s handiwork in using us takes on those same exponential proportions in real life. How many levels of Faith and perseverance must we endure before our faith is fully “vested” from a heavenly or holy perspective?

The only thing I know for sure is I am a watcher. I am constantly watching the world around me; events & people. I am awake, I have a heightened awareness I didn’t recognize before. I read the word¸listen in quiet discernment and wait (often waiting longer than I’d like). Make no mistake, God is waiting for the moment He can speak and you will listen, but His best work is done in the silences: whether He utilizes the whisper of the Holy Spirit within your soul or His whispers His words softly in your ear with His own voice. God will reach you if you’re willing. The real question is “Are You?” because He is waiting….and ready for you.

May blessings and favor follow you as this week begins…

Here is “Move” by Mercy Me. Perfect match to this week’s message. Even in our weakest moments we can’t stop, delay or despair. God is with us and we need to let our Faith in Him carry us through all our challenges; not just some….

“Strong Enough” by Matthew West. So, when you do have doubts…you don’t need to wonder how you’re going to make it through. God will take your weakness and “turn it into” a strength!