Sunday, July 26, 2009

If you feed your emptiness with addictions, you will starve to death...Luke: Chapter 9

My addiction for the longest time was alcohol. And if you read past posts of mine you will know that God took that addiction away. To me, its my own miracle. I had suffered with my drinking, but when I laid it down desperately in front of God and begged him to remove it, he did, free and clear, on September 11, almost two years ago. Luke Chapter 9 talks of God feeding thousands with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. He fills every hungry soul. Isn't that the most beautiful guarantee? How do we accept that into our lives? Remind ourselves that we are his. We don't need to be fed by material wants and needs. He fills every hungry soul.

I don't struggle with alcohol any longer but there are other addictions I deal with: Spending, Shopping, Over eating, procrastination, relationships.

Today while praying and in conversation with God and wondering why I always find myself in this predicament it occurred to me that I have substituted one addiction for another. Why? I asked? Its not like I just happened upon overspending. I have done it for years. But my overspending has now become a focal point now that the alcohol has been removed. The layers of addiction are peeling away like an onion and each layer removed helps me see further into my soul and my relationship with God.

We can't fill the emptiness with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, (Fill in the blank). We know the list of things that keep us from growing, from being the best we can be. Only God can fill the empty space, only God can take away the fear, the doubts, the uncertainty. Its a struggle some days. Me, I just want to believe that I can handle it, that I don't need anyone. But the more I rely on God, the more I realize I need him all. I need all of him in me. The Holy Spirit can be a powerful defense against the challenges and struggles of this world. If we would just let him. Are you struggling with something today? If so, know that you are loved. God loves you and he has a plan. He can and he will fill the emptiness with more love than you can possibly imagine. It's Him we need, it's his Son Jesus Christ. I believe this with all that I am.

I am rich in Christ.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gossip Girls and Boys Ephesians 4:29

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." I told you yesterday God is leading me in this area so it came as no surprise when I came across this verse.

I have over the years participated in GOSSIP. Good and bad, hurtful, behind the back gossip of any kind is detrimental not only to the people involved but to building a stronger relationship with God. Its hard to remember that when we are hurt or upset with someone, jealous or angry, those thoughts and feelings are against one of God's children. Christian or not...Buddhist, athiesist, Muslim, we are all God's children. Chinese, African American, get the idea...we are all God's Children. Tall, short, fat, alcoholic, addict. We are all God's children.

So, when we have negative thoughts we are not only hurting relationships but hurting God as well. He aches when he hears us and when we particpate. Over the years I have removed myself from those opportunities, but every once in awhile, I walk into a situation where someone is talking about someone else. My reaction is to listen without saying words, or in some cases to offer another point of view. In any event I am still participating. It takes courage to say..."This is gossip and not healthy for the organization, community, church". Sometimes its uncomfortable and I feel as though by commenting in that fashion I won't be liked any more. It's a difficult task for me but one that I feel I need to work on.

Watch your self over the next month, how many times do you find yourself drawn into a situation where you know the conversation is being heard by God and he is aching over it? Think about how you can change the world one conversation at a time by ending the conversation or making others aware of the damage it is causing.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Psalm 37:7 Rest In the Lord...

"Rest in the Lord and be willing to wait for Him. Do not trouble yourself when all goes well with the one who carries out his sinful plans."

Yesterday, work had my full attention. People were protecting themselves by blaming others for what was done wrong, while the boss simply wanted a new process to avoid mistakes. One worker plays dumb as if bored with the meeting, another states that "when she did it, there was never any problem" and here I sit taking on new responsiblities because of an unfilled position and its adiministrative. Here I am a hard worker, willing to work, willing to learn, and with all my years of experience frustrated that I am stuck doing the adiministrative work and on top of it, no one wantes to take on additional responsilibity so they play dumb.

Coming home from work last night God spoke to me and told me to "Just Be Still", they are not in control. Not one of them. God is.

I then realized that I was weathering a storm. I had been moved to part-time, and now I am back full time. Patience paid off. God is in control. And he may only want me here temporarily.

Its not about who is doing what, who did what, what didn't get done. It's about doing the work. As my Dad always says "If you aren't happy, leave! But NEVER NEVER leave a job without another one." So for now I am here.

I have to stop worrying about what the other person is doing, thinking, acting. If they are acting in a sinful way, in God's time, things will change. We all have lessons to learn. We are all his children. This to me seems to be the hardest lesson for me to learn and perhaps its why it keeps coming up as a topic of conversation between me and God.

He wants me to leave him in the driver seat, not try to take control of the wheel, not try to do things my way, but rest in the Lord.

Are you like me? Do you sometimes wonder why people get away with things? Do you wonder when it will be their turn? When will they learn their lesson?

It's not our debate. Thank God that he doesn't apply all the lessons I need to learn all at one time on the same day! Could you imagine?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Different Perspectives

God is quite involved in my life, and the more I let him, the more I learn and grow. If you have been following my journey you will know that its been quite the roller coaster ride for me. I was just offered full time status back at my office for the next three months. I was asked back because another employee was let go for not representing the company well. It was a tremendous shock to me because I had felt that this person was a hard worker. I had seen the work this person was doing. I felt bad, but also I was relieved for my situation. I questioned God asking why I was getting this gift at someone else's expense. I was confused, frustrated, saddened. I wanted to solve this problem, make it better for the person. In so doing, I would then be jeopardizing my own current circumstance.

When I became part time God told me to be still, be patient. And I tried my best to do that. I did not get involved with the turmoil. I paid attention to the task at hand and even though that was very hard for me it did get easier.

Two weeks back to full time I stumbled upon some emails this former employee had written and was shocked to find that she had been talking about me behind my back. Her perspective was that my part time status was a good thing for me, and bad for her. She was getting all of my work. Here I was struggling to accept this drastic change and cut in pay, and this person felt put upon.

The sad part about it all was that I believed we were becoming friends. I had been there for her quite often and I felt she was becoming that kind of friend to me. I was wrong.

But the lesson here for me has been that at times when I am feeling put upon, treated unfairly and depressed, that there are others with different perspectives on the same situation. Perhaps neither perspective is wrong, perhaps both are childish and insensitive to the other. Regardless, God continues to work with us right where we are. He has one perspective, and when we dwell too much on our selves, we get away from his plan, his mission, his perspective.