Hope For Today Day 1

What would it be like to have the peace of Christ in my life? For me, I would not even know what that would consist of. I do everything with a chip on my shoulder. I get immediately upset when things do not go my way. If someone does not agree with me, I get defensive and set out to prove them wrong. I refuse to extend grace to others. I put my feelings about things above the feelings of others. I refuse to be humble and I am only caring to those that that I feel deserve my time and attention.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” Matthew 5:9

My heart truly wants change but my mind and ego are in a constant battle with my heart. If I really want to be the change in the lives of others, I must first be willing to change. If the only change that I want in my life is to change people to think or be like me, then I am NOT the one changing. Change is only change when I learn to love life for what it has to offer and NOT what I hope to gain. Change is loving others for who they are and NOT who I want them to be and change is following God regardless of what He asks me to do.

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Disrupted Devotions

I am a morning person. On most mornings I am out of bed by four. I love this stillness of early morning. There is no traffic or stray dogs. There is only the sound of an occasional coyote or owl off in the distance and the sound of coffee brewing! This morning however, was not one of those mornings. The dog started to breath in my face about one because he felt he needed to go outside. When I pushed him away apparently he had an allergic reaction to my attitude because he sneezed in my face. I decided that I hated him at that point and put him outside, hit the start button on the coffee pot and buried my head under the couch pillows until my coffee was done, so I thought. After giving the stupid appliance plenty of time to perform its one and only duty, I went back to the kitchen to pour a cup and try and restart this crazy morning only to find an empty pot. Apparently someone forgot to fill the water the night before. Yes, I blamed the stupid dog. After what felt like an hour I poured a cup and sat down with my Bible and devotional and tried to focus. It was obvious that this was just going to be one of those days. The outside cat was meowing at one door and the dog was whining at the other because of the cat. The inside cats decided that they wanted to ad to my headache so the younger cat keep sneaking up on the older cat just to hear her hiss. I wanted to switch from coffee to scotch and find a baseball bat. Instead, I just turned off the lights and decided that devotions could wait for a better day. I just had no desire to focus on my devotions or even God for that matter. As I sat there in the dark I had no choice but to think about them crazy cats.

I have three of them. The first one lives outside. She wants nothing to do with anybody. She comes to my door every two or three days looking for food. She does not want to be petted or even talked to. She would prefer to sleep in the garage on the cold concrete and eat ice and dried cat food instead of walking into the house when I offer her to come inside. I know that she has older kittens. I have seen them on occasion but they are old enough to be on their own so she just stays in the garage all by herself. Never leaving except to let me know she is out of food. I call her mama.

I also have granny. She has got to be at least one hundred years old. I thought that she would have been dead twenty times already. Every time I think she is going to be dead by the time I get home from work, I take a picture so that I have one to remember her by. I now think that she is evil and is doing it on purpose. She likes to have attention on her terms. She will come out of hiding twice a day for me to pet her. In the morning while I am drinking my coffee, and at night when I am able to sit down for a minute before I head to bed. Granny, unlike Mama, likes to have attention. However, it has to be on her terms. She spends so much time complaining that she is not getting petted right or that there may be another cat too close that she misses out on whatever time I have to give her.

Then there is Shirley. Shirley was born outside and abandoned. She was near death when someone found her and asked me if I would take her in. As usual my mind screamed NO, but my very large mouth answered with “ok”. One day before I die I will master how too make my mind and mouth say no at the same time. Until then, back to the cats. Shirley could easily lay in my hand when I brought her home. She was afraid of everything and would only come out in the night sometime to eat and then go back into hiding. Now she is the largest, most lively and annoying thing I have ever seen. Shirley, unlike the other two is content. If I go outside and leave the door open, she has no desire to go out there again. She was born into the world and the world almost killed her. She is content with everything that she is provided. She has fresh water everyday. Her food bowl is never empty and she has her crazy human trained to clean up her poop. Shirley knows That I will take care of all of her needs and she is content just being in my presence and letting me take care of her.

As I sat in the dark this morning, it dawned on me that at some point in my life I have treated God just like my cats treat me. Either I am at a point in my life where I continually tell God that I do not need Him until I have been away for awhile and need a little pick me up. I scratch on His door and beg for scraps then just disappear again until I need my next fix. Then there are the times when I am constantly running around in circles trying to fix what I see as problems, but I can never recall a time that I have just let Him have control. I have never let Him know that He is enough.

After getting home tonight and finally sitting down I decided to do this evening what was impossible to do this morning. One of the verses was Psalm 16:11 “ You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Life itself will never be enough. It is always going to be crazy and exhausting. I know the real source of joy and how easy it is to obtain yet my pride wants to constantly tell me that I need to do more when all I want to do is to crawl up in the arms of Jesus and rest.

 

Disrupted Devotions

I am a morning person. On most mornings I am out of bed by four. I love this stillness of early morning. There is no traffic or stray dogs. There is only the sound of an occasional coyote or owl off in the distance and the sound of coffee brewing! This morning however, was not one of those mornings. The dog started to breath in my face about one because he felt he needed to go outside. When I pushed him away apparently he had an allergic reaction to my attitude because he sneezed in my face. I decided that I hated him at that point and put him outside, hit the start button on the coffee pot and buried my head under the couch pillows until my coffee was done, so I thought. After giving the stupid appliance plenty of time to perform its one and only duty, I went back to the kitchen to pour a cup and try and restart this crazy morning only to find an empty pot. Apparently someone forgot to fill the water the night before. Yes, I blamed the stupid dog. After what felt like an hour I poured a cup and sat down with my Bible and devotional and tried to focus. It was obvious that this was just going to be one of those days. The outside cat was meowing at one door and the dog was whining at the other because of the cat. The inside cats decided that they wanted to ad to my headache so the younger cat keep sneaking up on the older cat just to hear her hiss. I wanted to switch from coffee to scotch and find a baseball bat. Instead, I just turned off the lights and decided that devotions could wait for a better day. I just had no desire to focus on my devotions or even God for that matter. As I sat there in the dark I had no choice but to think about them crazy cats.

I have three of them. The first one lives outside. She wants nothing to do with anybody. She comes to my door every two or three days looking for food. She does not want to be petted or even talked to. She would prefer to sleep in the garage on the cold concrete and eat ice and dried cat food instead of walking into the house when I offer her to come inside. I know that she has older kittens. I have seen them on occasion but they are old enough to be on their own so she just stays in the garage all by herself. Never leaving except to let me know she is out of food. I call her mama.

I also have granny. She has got to be at least one hundred years old. I thought that she would have been dead twenty times already. Every time I think she is going to be dead by the time I get home from work, I take a picture so that I have one to remember her by. I now think that she is evil and is doing it on purpose. She likes to have attention on her terms. She will come out of hiding twice a day for me to pet her. In the morning while I am drinking my coffee, and at night when I am able to sit down for a minute before I head to bed. Granny, unlike Mama, likes to have attention. However, it has to be on her terms. She spends so much time complaining that she is not getting petted right or that there may be another cat too close that she misses out on whatever time I have to give her.

Then there is Shirley. Shirley was born outside and abandoned. She was near death when someone found her and asked me if I would take her in. As usual my mind screamed NO, but my very large mouth answered with “ok”. One day before I die I will master how too make my mind and mouth say no at the same time. Until then, back to the cats. Shirley could easily lay in my hand when I brought her home. She was afraid of everything and would only come out in the night sometime to eat and then go back into hiding. Now she is the largest, most lively and annoying thing I have ever seen. Shirley, unlike the other two is content. If I go outside and leave the door open, she has no desire to go out there again. She was born into the world and the world almost killed her. She is content with everything that she is provided. She has fresh water everyday. Her food bowl is never empty and she has her crazy human trained to clean up her poop. Shirley knows That I will take care of all of her needs and she is content just being in my presence and letting me take care of her.

As I sat in the dark this morning, it dawned on me that at some point in my life I have treated God just like my cats treat me. Either I am at a point in my life where I continually tell God that I do not need Him until I have been away for awhile and need a little pick me up. I scratch on His door and beg for scraps then just disappear again until I need my next fix. Then there are the times when I am constantly running around in circles trying to fix what I see as problems, but I can never recall a time that I have just let Him have control. I have never let Him know that He is enough.

After getting home tonight and finally sitting down I decided to do this evening what was impossible to do this morning. One of the verses was Psalm 16:11 “ You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Life itself will never be enough. It is always going to be crazy and exhausting. I know the real source of joy and how easy it is to obtain yet my pride wants to constantly tell me that I need to do more when all I want to do is to crawl up in the arms of Jesus and rest.

 

New direction

Communication has never been easy for me. I am not the type that can carry on a conversation in public or get into a debate without getting tongue-tied and frustrated. No matter how well I know the facts about whatever I am talking about, expressing them verbally is nearly impossible for me. Emotions are also very difficult for me in person. I use my attitude to keep people away so that I do not have to deal with questions. I always leaving others thinking that I have nothing but a bad attitude when in reality my life revolved around fear.

Fear has done nothing for me except leaving me lonely which is where writing comes in. I am very good at putting my thought into writing. I am able to sit down and look at an entire situation from both sides and put my thought about it into words without getting frustrated. Writing also allows me to have a conversation about difficult topics without saying something hurtful. If I do, I meant it, but it was still thought about objectively before being sent.

I have been asked by several people why I have not started writing, Again it is fear that I allow to control what I do. I have learned to use fear to protect my emotions, It has in return become the only emotion that I have. I may never have what I am hoping to have in life. I will however not allow fear to take control of others that I care about.

The one blessing that I have received out of all of this is that it has given me a heart for others who are hurting. I am not able to sit down face to face and tell somebody that I can see their hurt. I can however, with ease let them know what I can see them going through in a way that lets them know that I really do care about them.

So this is my new direction. I would like to say that I am excited to start this new adventure. I am not. As I am getting to the end of what I have to say, fear is raising its ugly head and telling me to just delete it and forget about being a different me. I even considered not making my posts visible to anyone, but what would that accomplish? I may end up some day dying a lonely old man with no one except my dog, but I refuse to die without doing whatever I can to let people know just how special they are and they mean something to someone.

 

 

Bringing hope to the hopeless