How are you guys doing? How was your weekend? Are you guys excited about Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite thing about the holidays? Let’s have a discussion; please feel free to start one in the comments section.
Anyway, I am so thankful for this past weekend. It was just what I needed. I’m not going to say that it was super restful which is also what I need but it fed my soul. Friday night at my Part Time job we had a boy’s basketball event which was exciting because we typically cater to girls and we had a great turn out. The director was able to get a couple of college basketball coaches to come out and speak and then we had a catered dinner. I’m sure with a couple of slight improvements it could be one of our signature events.
Then Saturday, I volunteered at SHARE Food Network. It was really cool. I would definitely do it again. The company that I support at my Full Time job, had a volunteer program and my mom signed us up (she works for the company that I do the contract work for). All and all it was a great day. We spent most of our time making the food items readily accessible to the distributors. The SHARE Food Network is sponsored by Catholic Charities. Thousands of families count on SHARE each month for affordable, nutritious groceries that are sold through volunteer-run locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area. They offer monthly value packages at a minimum of what they actually cost at the grocery store. Anyone and everyone may buy as many SHARE packages as they’d like by registering through a location convenient to their office or home neighborhood. If you’d like more information, please visit their website by clicking on the link above.
Sunday service was off the chain. During the Foundations class Elder Lisa spoke about the consequences of not repenting and used Proverbs 16:25 has her reference.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.- Proverbs 16:25 NIV
She spoke about a recent diagnosis that was given and how she had been warned about it for years and put if off and related that to how we put off things with God. Thank God she’s able to reverse the condition but she warned us that we need to heed those cautionary messages when first shared. So again the message is to obey the first time and she asked a question, “What do you have to go through to say yes?” I think most of us don’t really know what has to happen for us to really say ‘yes’ but that brings me to my next question. If we aren’t quick to obey God, do we really love Him like we say or think we do? Think about it. When you love someone you go out of your way to do special things, to be thoughtful even if it costs you comfort, money, time, effort and sometimes other relationships. So you know I have to do this…
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
We needed the “love” scripture to reference our idea of love. If I really loved Him it shouldn’t, it wouldn’t, take a lot for me to say yes because if He’s asking for a yes then, because I have faith in His love for me, I simply should trust and answer surely and promptly with a resounding YES! I shouldn’t have to go home to pray about it, ask a girl friend her thoughts and ideas about it, get advice from my momma or pastor. I should simply say yes because we have a relationship and I trust His motives. So are we patient, kind? Or are we jealous, boastful, proud, or rude? Do we always want our own way ? Are we irritable and quick to keep records of wrongs of others in comparison to ourselves? Are we quick to complain, give up, lose faith and/or be fearful? This is not to belittle you or to make you feel bad. I can only speak for myself and from this definition, which is really the only definition that matters, I don’t love.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NLT
Every week I come away with God by celebrating the Sabbath but I realized that I was going through the motions. Problems, pressure, irritants and issues arise to show us where we are, just as God asked Adam where he was. He wasn’t asking Adam where he was geographically, he knew he was in the garden, but where he was in relationship to God. I’m sure God felt/knew there was a disconnect. So during our Sabbath celebration, I would physically be dipping my hands in water to wash off the limitations on Friday or Saturday and by Monday, I’m putting those limitations back on without knowing it because of this “job situation.” Throughout the week, I’m giving folk my famous side eye, I’m smirking, I’m not engaged in what happens here anymore, I’m physically here but don’t mind letting them know that I’d rather be somewhere else. These are things I’ve done since the “rumors” of my job ending. The thing is…it’s not my job. I never wanted this. This is someone else’s dream, I’m working in someone else’s vineyard and I should be doing it unto the Lord, not man nor how I’m feeling.
Do I measure God’s love for me based on how I’ve been treated by man?
My next observation is that my love has become cold for God. I don’t love God like I should if I did, I’d love His people. (John 21:17) So then the question I asked myself was “Do I measure God’s love for me based on how I’ve been treated by man?” Sure I do. I shouldn’t but I do. When “they” didn’t care about me, I felt like God didn’t care and I stopped caring about them. My love became conditional. Then I started plotting on how to take care of myself, not relying on my Father but what steps I needed to take, not seeking Him first, but seeking my realtor to get this house up off my hands and then had a nerve to get mad at Him because He gave me the house and He knew I was going to be let go. That’s not love. That’s tolerance. I’ve been taught that you don’t invest time into people that tolerate you, but only in those who celebrate you. I was celebrating God in my mind but only tolerating Him in action. I thought I was sacrificing but it had become something I did on a Friday or Saturday night, not anything I entered into. I
was am disobedient and I don’t love God as much as I should. I learned that this weekend, literally yesterday. It sucks but what I also learned that it’s better to be honest with yourself (Chapter 1-I’d Rather Ignore Honesty) and know where you are and fix it on this side of glory than to avoid the truth and live a lie and find out on the other side.
So last night, I rededicated myself to Him, I’ve vowed to give Him a tithe of my day. If my day is 24 hours long then I vow to give Him at least 24 mins. He deserves that.I’ve decided it will be at the end of my day. I will go over my day with Him, pray, and plan for my next and I will study the Torah Portions for that week. I believe that’s what I’ve been missing. Last night, I came away with Him. I read the 3rd chapter of Uninvited and I didn’t allow myself to skim, I read and I researched, I pondered and I worked it out…by the time I finished it was like 3 hours later. I loved it. I want more of it. I believe if I do this daily then on the Sabbath I will have new insight about how to handle myself in chaos instead of being ruled by my own understanding. I am ashamed to admit but I wasn’t giving God much time throughout my day. Sure, I prayed but to solely focus on Him? I thought I had no time. I wake up at 4am, get to work at 6am, leave my 1st job at 2:30pm, get to my next job at 3pm, leave at 9 or 10pm and get home 45 mins later.
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.- Matthew 6:24
Therefore, without going into my Thursday’s book review, I’ve realized that God is doing this for me, not to me. He’s allowing this to happen for me, not to me. I can honestly be grateful now. So here I am. Monday, the morning after my encounter and I have no side eyes, no sucking of my teeth, no folded arms…just gratefulness that I had a chance to see the error of my ways and able to make the change before a diagnosis.
*Picture credit- https://reflectionsofamirror.wordpress.com/