Ramblings

Life, family, business


Leave a comment

Dogs and God, and Us

I share my home with three dogs, two cats, a conure parrot, and of course, my dear husband.  The dogs are so much fun, and can be a challenge as well.

Kelly is an 11 year old Setter that we brought home almost two years ago when her owner was in a terrible car accident and would be in the hospital for half a year.  Bo is our purebred yellow lab puppy, almost 7 months old, that we purchased, because we were denied adopting since Kelly was never spayed.  And Jersey is a 6 month old puppy we got about 3 weeks ago, from a friend who couldn’t keep her, and she is the new kid on the block.  All three are house dogs, although Kelly lived outdoors for the 9 years before she came home with us.

There is always plenty of food for our dogs.  No one ever goes hungry. We monitor them as they eat to make sure that they each get their own food.  One day I noticed Jersey was hesitant to come to her food bowl.  I moved it to the other side of the room, and she proceeded to eat.  Kelly gave her a growl and started toward her.  Jersey ran to the living room.  I told Kelly, “No.  Its Jersey’s food.  You are not allowed to take away what you didn’t give.”  I brought Kelly back to her dish, and coaxed Jersey back to hers.  I stood by Jersey while she ate, and for the next few days to make sure this didn’t happen again. (I always talk to my pets as though they are humans who understand everything I say.)

But as I stood by Jersey, I thought about what I said.  You are not allowed to take away what you didn’t give.”  For some reason, it really struck me.  I thought about humanity, and how so many people are trying to do this all the time.

Why are people trying to take away things from others that they did not give them?  If I look at the teachings of the Bible, I see that oppression is a recurring theme in the things that God tells us NOT to do.

God tells us over and over again that oppression is wrong.

Psalm 9:9   “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”

Proverbs 14:31  “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”

Zechariah 7:10  “Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”

Jeremiah 5:25-29  “ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait.  They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper,  and they do not defend the rights of the needy.  ‘Shall I not punish them for these things?’ declares the Lord, ‘and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?’”

Whoa!  That last one!  It makes me think of religion and politics, and how these evil men, these wicked souls, have turned so many away from the words of Jesus.  How many so called Christians do you know who have been lured into this deceit?  By reading the red letters in the Bible; you know, the words of Jesus; we can see that much of American “Christianity” is not Christian at all.  It is no longer following the words of Jesus.  This American Christianity does not follow Jesus at all.  Instead, it operates on fear.  It’s trying to make us afraid.  It wants you be afraid of anyone who is not like you.  It wants you to be afraid that someone is going to steal your money and your privilege, and all the other treasures you have hoarded here on earth.

But God tells us to not fear over 80 times in the Bible.  Fear is the tool of evil.  If your religion is all about fear, then it is not following God.  If your church tells you to fear everything, then it does not preach the words of God.  Inciting fear in God’s people is how many so called religious leaders try to control and exploit their followers.  By doing this, they have become rich.  Look around! How many mega-million preachers are there?  Everyone of them should be ashamed.

But they are not allowed to take away what they didn’t give.  When God gives us rules and guidelines, who are these people to try to convince us that they know better than God?  They try to take away our faith, our hope, and our promise from God that He will take care of us, that He will prosper us and give us hope, and a future.  He also has a stern warning for those people in Matthew 25:41-46:  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,  I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’  Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’  Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

So, who are you going to fear?  Man?  Our rich politicians who are following their own made-up religion centered around money?  Or God?  You see, God made you.  God is one who gave you everything.  And He who gives, can also take away.  For naked you came from your mother’s womb, and naked you shall return.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

 

Thank you to Bible Gateway for the Bible verses I cut and pasted, all in ESV.

 


Leave a comment

The Tall, Tall Trees

The forest.

Subdued, quiet, peaceful.

The birds sing their songs from the highest branches of the tall, tall trees.

The rain runs down the bark,

deep veins covered in moss and lichen.

The leaves allow some raindrops through,

here and there,

it splashes my upturned face.

They stand;

timeless.

Soldiers standing guard to some magical place,

a place we cannot see.

The patterned beats of the rain hitting the leaves

create a rhythm, my footsteps add to the song.

The bark is now soaked, the moss slippery.

Rainwater runs on the ground creating mud,

as it slips down into the roots,

a deserved drink to quench the thirst

of these soldiers.

These guards.

These giants who seem to make time stand still.

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Pushy People

There are certain things that people do that I just don’t understand. One of those things is trying to control what other people do. Yes, we have rules and they are there for good reason. You should always stop at a stop sign, don’t take other people’s things, and don’t hurt other people on purpose.
But when other people try to tell you what to think, how to feel, or what to do with your life, I don’t get it. Why do other people think they know how you should live your life better than you? Why do others think they have any authority over another person?

I feel that so many people feel entitled.  That’s right, entitled to think that their opinion should matter to everyone; that somehow they are smarter than you and everyone else.  The biggest problem I have with this, is when that person is a close-minded person.  You’ve probably heard the saying, “Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one”. It should be no surprise then, when others do not share the same opinion as you.

If you don’t like something, then don’t do it.  Don’t think that anyone else cares that you don’t like it.

If someone’s lifestyle makes you uncomfortable, then just leave them be.  Most people have enough to deal with, leave them alone.

If someone else has a different faith than you do, leave them alone and go about your own business.  They probably think the same about you.

If you don’t like the way someone dresses, then don’t dress that way yourself.  You’re not a fashionista, get over it.

I have a problem with the “holier than thou” attitude I see so much of in today’s society.  You’re no better than anyone else. Get off your high horse long enough to see that you’re just on the merry go round of life.  We all are.

I can’t stand oppression.  I just can’t.  I  don’t understand it. Most of the people screaming on their soapboxes can’t even keep their own lives straight, yet they feel that everyone should listen and do what they think is right.  They try to keep other people down, they don’t want to see anyone else happy or successful.

Every one of us has a truly unique life and each of us gets to live that life the way we see fit.  Some of us have more difficult lives than others it seems, but each of us is fighting our own battle.  We each have our own demons to face down and kill for us to grow.  Some people seem to be handed everything, yet are unhappy.  And sometimes those who struggle for everything are the happiest people.  Its all up to each of us how we live our lives.  And if you don’t like how others are doing it, then just live your own life and stop worrying about everyone else’s.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  Just think of how much nicer this world would be if we still believed in this.  But in our current world of internet trolling and bullying, its hard to imagine.  Its so easy for everyone to hide behind their computer and type out crazy things they would never actually say to someone’s face.  So perhaps for our day and age, we need to change it.  Perhaps now we need to say “If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t type it in the comments section.”  What do you think?

 


Leave a comment

Procrastination

Hello, my name is Jeanne, and I am a procrastinator, sometimes.

I tend to procrastinate doing things that I don’t know how to do. Or if I have to make a decision about something that I don’t feel confident about, if that makes any sense.  I feel like I need to be properly educated about things before I decide what to do.  And it sounds like it makes sense, right?  But I use it as an excuse sometimes, and you’d be amazed at how much I can learn about something before I make that decision.

I also procrastinate doing things I think will be too much work.  I have to really get myself motivated to start any big project.  Sometimes, even little projects need a long time to get started.

But then there are other days, where I’m just ready.  I’m ready to start, to jump in with both feet.  I don’t even have to think about it, it just feels right.  I don’t want to make it sound like an impulse thing, but maybe it is.  Maybe sometimes its better for me to just jump on that first impulse and get it going.

I’ve learned that I procrastinate things that I don’t like to do, as well.  The way that I combat this, is by making myself do the least liked task first, get the crappy things done, and then move onto the next most crappiest thing.  (This is seriously how I get things done.)  By the time I’m halfway down the list, the rest of the jobs are things I don’t mind doing, and they get done much more quickly.

How do you combat procrastination?  Or are you one of those people who jump in every time?  My husband is like that.  It seems like he is always looking for something to do, because he does everything right away.  He’s a go-getter, that’s for sure.  How can I learn that habit?  I’m not sure, but I plan to at least try.

 


Leave a comment

How to Trust God in a Crazy World

My sermon from 5-28-2017:

Chaos.  Crazy.  Fast.  Uncertain.

How would you describe your life?

 

Reading through Psalms, we hear about the people crying out for God’s help.   They prayed, they cried, but yet they kept on sinning and kept on making God angry.  And if they attributed their plight to God being angry, then they knew that they were the ones doing it.

The Israelites really had a history.  They lived a life of uncertainty.  From Abraham came so many Israelites, that the Egyptians became afraid of their sheer numbers and enslaved them. Then Moses led them out of slavery, they wandered for 40 years, and finally arrived at their new homeland.  They worshiped God in victory, but continued going back to their ways of worshiping idols as well.  They demanded a human king, and Saul showed them how a human king can be.  David was his successor.

Life was very different then.  There were no grocery stores, no conveniences of life.  If drought came and the crops didn’t produce a harvest, people starved to death.  It was the cold hard truth.  The people prayed for rain, and rain was something they saw as a gift from God.  When the rains didn’t come, they saw this as God’s anger.

People now have more confidence in, and reliance on themselves.  We have crop insurance, life insurance, and if the rains don’t come, we assume other parts of the country will still produce a harvest, and no one starves.  We go to the grocery store and buy food when we need it.   We have a home, which is our shelter, and we have house insurance in case something goes wrong.

We don’t live day to day like the people did then. When it rains, we generally don’t sing “hallelujah” and dance in the streets.  Well, some people probably do, but they’re the minority.  Back then, rains meant life.  But too much rain would wash the crop right out of the fields, so they needed just the right amount, at the right time.  Farmers now also need rain, but the average farmer grows a lot more food than just what feeds their family, they grow thousands of acres of crops, something that would have been unheard of back then for lack of machinery and technology.  The plants were different too.  They were not hybridized to produce a better crop.

They really knew what it meant to trust in God.  They gave sacrifices to try to make God happy.  They lived in fear and anxiety every day.  But even with all our modern marvels, we still live in fear and anxiety.

How can you make your life better just by trusting in God?  Its easy, but yet its hard.  Happiness is not just a feeling, its a way of life.  Its something you choose to be.  If I have a bad day, or a bad week, I can choose to wallow in the depths of my despair, or I can choose to acknowledge it, and then let it go.  I can choose to let it rule my life with fear and anxiety, or I can choose to say, “what will be, will be.”   It takes practice.  Trusting in God with your whole heart is not easy.  We tend to trust in ourselves the most, and that’s  not really what God wants.  God wants us to trust in Him, to listen for His voice, to follow His path.  He wants us to live a full life, not one of fear, but one of love.  God’s way is love.

I think many of us tend to put God on a shelf until something really bad happens, something we can’t control.  That’s when we usually look to God for help. But what if you asked God for help in your everyday life too?  What if you truly thanked God for everything you have, even though you worked hard for it?   What if we trusted in God like the people did way back when.  How do we even do that? How can I thank God for my food when I went to the grocery to buy it, with money that I earned from working at my job, that I got because I studied hard at school and got top grades?  If we trust in ourselves more than God, we may see it just like that.  But if we trust in God, we can thank him for the food we were fortunate enough to be able to buy.  There are so many people who don’t have the money or the opportunity to buy their food.  We have it so easy here in the United States that I think we have a hard time even imagining life otherwise.  Even here though, there are people who are hungry.

We can be thankful for our health, for our lives, and for those loved ones around us.  We can be thankful for the weather, the flowers blooming, and the stars that light up the night sky.  We can always be thankful, we can always rejoice.

There are so many stories in the Bible that show us that God is love.  He sent us Jesus to show us how much He loves us, and how much he cares about us.  Some of the Psalms are song lyrics. The word “Selah” is believed to be a musical direction to pause the singing.  I like to think that God probably enjoys the Psalms greatly.  The songs of gratitude and hope, love and praise to God.  There are the sad parts too, the desperate crying out for help, the people begging for mercy.  But these were the songs of many people, including King David, who is believed to have written 75 of the 150 Psalms.  Number 68 is believed to be his writing as well.

Think about your life, are there ways you can improve it by trusting in God with your whole heart?  Are there things that you’ve never thought about that you could be thankful for?   Can you see the beauty of God’s creation in a stream, in a rainstorm, or in a full head of wheat?  Can you see the beauty of God in a child’s smile, a crisp slice of watermelon, or the bird’s song early in the morning? I urge you to take some time this holiday weekend to pause.  Selah!! Listen for God’s voice, look for God’s beauty, and ask God to help you trust in Him completely.  Let us be thankful to those who have given their all so that we have the freedoms we have today, and let us thank God for all that He has given us.

 


1 Comment

To the Arrogant

I want these words to convey my feelings,
My emotions.
I want these words to bring you the pleasure
Or the pain that they bring me.
I want these words to be the key
That lets you peak into my mind.
I want these words to energize you,
To wake you up,
Like the static shock from lightning,
Making the hair on the back of your neck
Stand up straight, along with your goosebumps.
I want you to hear the TRUTH,
To see the LOVE,
And understand the SACRIFICE.
But how can I do this
When you will not listen?
How can I make you hear?
How can I make you learn?
How can I make you see the world all around you?
Instead, you dwell inside your own mind,
Oblivious to the fact that it is a prison.
You live in your own world of make believe and lies,
Where you are the king, or the queen, and get to make the rules.
But in the real world,
You are fading from existence.
Your kind is dying out as the rest of the world awakens around you.
Your time is short,
Like an old relic,
A prehistoric dinosaur watching the meteor about to hit earth.
And you,

You are just enjoying the fireworks.

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Goals for 2017

What are goals?  What’s the difference between a goal and a resolution?

A goal is something you’re working toward, something you want.  But a resolution can be any kind of change you plan on implementing in your life.  I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I’m not very good at resolutions.  I did make one last year, and I think I did pretty well.  My resolution was to stop procrastinating my book work, and have it caught up all the time.  I slipped a bit at the end of the year, but for the most part, I feel I did well.  I have made it a habit to get it done, and that makes all the difference.  Changing your habits is how you change your life.

But this year, I felt I needed goals.  I want something to work towards, something to give me the motivation to work hard, to be all I can be.  I sat with my journal, and really couldn’t come up with much.  In fact, it made me more frustrated the longer I pondered.  Here’s what I ended up writing:

What are goals anyway?  Is it just a wishlist of things to get done? A master plan for life? What if I don’t know what my goals are yet? What if I enjoy living life by the seat of my pants?

I don’t know what this life will bring-what this year will bring. How do I set goals in a place with no certainty? How does one set goals in a game with no rules?

If my goals are simply the ways I hope to change myself for the better, then aren’t they actually aspirations?

Can I choose the goal of having such a great life that I don’t need any goals? Can I trust the God of the Universe enough to stay motivated without having any said goals other than to just be myself?

I think that’s my true goal, to just be myself.  No more worrying about the opinions of other people, because truly, they don’t matter.  No more worrying about if what I said was taken the wrong way, or not understood correctly.  No more worrying about hurting other people’s feelings, especially when they aren’t worried about hurting mine.  Perhaps worrying is the thing I need to get rid of.  All right, so I’ll be my true self, and stop worrying.  There.  Its set.  Happy 2017!