Oatmeal????

quaker

Well, no, not Quaker oatmeal, but Quaker as in the denomination.Today I was visiting with my unit chaplain at drill. He is fairly new to the unit and we had exchanged pleasantries previously but never really talked much. He has a Cross on his uniform so I knew he was a Christian Chaplain, but didn’t know what denomination, etc. So, I asked him, “So, what flavor Chaplain are you?” He looked at me kinda funny and I said, “What denomination?” I explained that I was curious about the different denominations and if he was a pastor with a church I wasn’t familiar with I would like to visit some time to learn more about it. AND……he said ae attended the Friends Seminary. I wasn’t familiar with that term and he said Quakers. Well, counting him, I know one Quaker. The only other one I knew of was the guy on Quaker Oats. We joked about him not wearing the right hat and such and then I asked if he had a few minutes because I was not familiar with that denomination and I am always interested in learning a little more. He was agreeable and we talked for several minutes about the tenets of his faith. He asked about where I went to church, we talked about my believes, the aspects of both, the differences and I commented about being raised to think that no one denomination that reach Heaven and instead there will be people from all denominations present and as long as they all believed that Jesus was the son of God who was crucified for our sins and resurrected to defeat death.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

 

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:9-10

 

 

He agreed and we talked a little more about the various churches that are more strict on ceremony (liturgy) that some believe must be followed and others that are more informal on how we can interact with God. After a few minutes I had to get back to work, but it was an interesting talk. Learning about a different denomination, not the same as the church I attend, but not a lot different. And, how, even though some in his church tend to be more rigid in their thinking (as we see in all churches) but most believed that salvation does not require one way of thinking, one way of doing things. Oh, there are some that believe the only right way to reach Heaven is the way they believe and that everyone else is wrong.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.  1 Corinthians 12:12

One aspect he mentioned that was a believe of Quakers that I strongly agreed with is that each of us is able to have a relationship with God individually. We don’t need ministers, priests, lay ministers or others to have God in our lives. We don’t have to be in church to have a significant experience with God. BUT, they also believe that gathering together is important as well. There are a lot of other denominations that believe this as well. I think a lot of people worry more about church and God on Sunday’s and then not talk to God during the week. Church is not a replacement for an individual relationship with Jesus, it is to help us have a more meaningful personal relationship with Him and to give us the chance to get together with others to help us all build up one another and be encouraged in each of our relationships with Christ.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  Colossians 3:16

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  Hebrews 10:25

 

Lord, I thank You for the opportunities to visit with other Christians, those from my church as well as other churches. For the opportunity to learn more about You by understanding the believes of other denominations. I pray in Jesus name that You help me know the real truth of how to know You and have the relationship with You that best serves You and helps me be a better vessel for You. I pray that You work in my heart that I never forget that You gave Your Son that I may have life. I know there are those out there who believe wrong about some things and I pray You work on their hearts and show them (and me) the real truth. Bring us all to a closer walk and understanding of what Your will for us is on Earth.

Amen

Thank you for your time. I hope all have a blessed day and, as always, please try to be a blessing to someone else today as well.

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Sorrow

Emotion-5

 

Have you ever looked at someone and known by the look in their eyes that they were unhappy? I don’t mean not happy at the moment but unhappy with their life and by appearance they are extremely sorrowful and emotionally in, well, pain. Something in their life is not good. Maybe they realize it and know what that is but maybe they don’t. They are just unhappy. Oh, there may be moments of happiness but those are few compared to the hours, days, weeks and months of sadness. It seems to me it would almost be like drowning and managing to get a quick breath of air only to sink underwater again. Sometimes when I have seen people like that they seem to have given up hope for true joy. Many times people in such circumstances start out looking for happiness and joy only to realize once they get what they thought would bring happiness instead brings sorrow. This happens many ways: use of alcohol, drugs, pornography, pursuit of wealth, nicer clothes or nicer home are a few examples. But by trying to find happiness in those things one finds the opposite: health and financial problems from using drugs and alcohol, mental issues and relationship problems from watching pornography, relationship problems from being so motivated by wealth one loses their family, the financial difficulties many face when spending too much on clothes, housing or other things all bring more long lasting pain and suffering than any joy obtained. The shattered self esteem that goes with trying to have one thing but realizing the cost and impact on one’s life is not worth any benefit that can be realized.

Too many people are sad for a variety of reasons and find ways to try to decrease the sadness but the worldly pursuits will never give true joy. Those things cannot fill a void that these people have in themselves. They cannot find joy from outside themselves and if a person is not happy with themselves, they can’t be happy with things. There are many ways to find joy and peace for oneself, but the only way to find true joy and peace is through Christ. I found myself in similar circumstances to many, for a variety of reasons I had a lot of sorrow and pain in my life, some things helped but even the things that helped did not give the true joy I found when I quit fighting against God and came to Him to confess I was a sinner and asked for His forgiveness. And, just like that, He gave it to me. Oh, there are times I am not fully joyful, there are times when I have pain and sorrow for one thing or another. It is part of human existence to have pain and sorrow at times. But now, those are minimal and the joy is the vast, vast majority of the time. When I am facing difficult times I have Christ to help me through the hard times and the joy and peace of knowing what waits for me in eternity with Him.

 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21:4

 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Romans 8:18

 

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.  Proverbs 10:22

 

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  1 Peter 4:13

 

He tells us there will be sorrows, but He also tells us that when we have sorrows, we will have Him there to take our pain, as Christ did on the cross and that all sorrow and pain will be replace with joy, not just joy but exceeding joy. What a magnificent Lord we serve.

 

Lord, I praise You for all You are and thank You for the joy You give me and for giving me hope and comfort in times of sorrow. More than anything I thank You and praise You for the salvation and forgiveness that Christ gave Himself for that I would be able to have that joy and life eternal. I pray that You show all those in pain and sorrow, for whatever reason,  that they do not need to suffer and hurt, no reason for them to be miserable but that instead there is a reason to rejoice and that You offer salvation from whatever situation in their lives that cause the suffering and that You will help them find a way out of those circumstances and that You will give them joy in times of pain and sorrow. I pray in the name of Jesus that anyone going through hard times learn to look to You for their joy and salvation from the sorrows they are enduring. I pray that You draw us all to You and that we learn how to glorify Christ in all we do and show us all the forgiveness and mercy You have for us.

Amen

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and taking time to read my post. I hope all have a blessed and joyful day and that you find a way to spread your joy and to bless someone else today.

 

The Ex is back.

 

I posted a few months ago about a soldier in my Guard unit that was having issues with her ex-boyfriend harassing her. I asked her at the last drill a couple weeks ago how things were going for her and if things had settled down so she wasn’t being bothered by him anymore. Well between blocking him in email, social media and her phone as well as sending notice through a lawyer  that if it didn’t stop she would pursue a restraining order and possibly other legal actions he had stopped bothering her. The only thing she had heard was an email, apparently he used a different email address and told her he had gotten married about a month before and did not want her to bother him any longer. Except, she had not bothered him, ever, other than to ask him to stop contacting her when he had tried to email, text and call. She assumed that after the last email it would had stopped. But, sometimes unexpected things happen, or things we hoped would not happen, do. Yesterday I got an email from her, apologizing for bothering me, and asking for advise. She said that a few days before he received an email from him and he talked about missing her and told her he still cared. She said she did not understand why he would do that if he was married. But, she did not reply and then, 2 days later she gets another email from the same address which was a bit, well from what she described, not hateful, but not pleasant with comments about how she should have the decency to reply. She told me she replied that time and said that her feelings had not changed and that she had reasons for breaking up with him and she was glad she did so. He answered saying he was changed, he could control his temper and he was sorry for some of the things he said when he was upset. She answered and said that it was good and that since he was married he should focus on his wife and not someone else. Back and forth with the emails a few times, she said he was fine in them once she answered and that it was kind of like an exchange between friends. He started sharing issues he has with his wife, criticisms of her, and also made comments about missing her again. She decided then that she was not wanting to continue any discussion because of how the conversation was going and told him that, wished him luck and said good bye.

Apparently, that set him off and he got more hateful in his emails and she received a couple more but did not reply and then, blocked that address as well. When she did that, he started posting excerpts from her emails on social media, but she said they weren’t exactly what she had written and that it seemed that someone had edited them somehow. Making it seem as if she was bitter that they broke up and was trying to somehow get back together with him and that he made comments that were very unkind and hateful. Well, they have mutual friends and she said that what he posted wasn’t what she actually wrote and that the things he was saying were not true. His wife and some of her friends had commented about her contacting him knowing he was “happily married.” And that it frustrated her that he is apparently telling people that she emailed him and not that she replied to one of several emails he sent her.  She asked me what should she do and said what he really feels like doing is just slamming him the way he is trying to do to her and then making comments about why does this “happily married man” keep emailing her when she had asked him not to do so?

Okay, that is very obviously not a comfortable or pleasant situation for her. I asked, knowing the answer, if any of what he wrote was true. No, she said it was lies, some of it half truths, but most of it blatant lies. I asked if she thought her friends that may see it believed it and thought poorly of her from it. “No, they have all said they know he is trying to make me look like the bad guy and that I didn’t do that stuff.” I suggested that if her friends did not believe it, perhaps ignoring it was the best thing as obviously this guy was trying to somehow get her drawn into a public argument if you will, so he could try to shame her and put himself in a position that he looked like a victim and so he could try to ridicule her. Basically telling her that if she doesn’t contribute to that discussion, it will fizzle out and stop. Besides that, I mentioned that if she allowed herself to be drawn into some sort of debate or argument; she would end up getting angry and frustrated from all that and that adding to any drama or hostility would cause it to escalate further. I also suggested that she pray about it, and pray for him. Obviously this man has some issues in life and his marriage, or he would not feel the need to bother my friend and distract himself from his marriage. And, he obviously needs God in his life and to get treatment for his issues. I did tell her it was not easy to pray for someone that was doing her wrong, for an enemy basically, but that it was what was needed. He needed God and she needed to pray for him to help herself let go of the anger and frustration he was causing her to feel and instead, realize she should feel sorry for him, pity him and his unhappiness in life and pray that God work in his heart. I also said that she really should pray for his wife because obviously that young lady is not in a good situation, he is being emotionally unfaithful if he keeps contacting her. Between the guy’s issues that caused my friend to break up with him and the fact that he keeps trying to contact my friend he is obviously not truly invested in his marriage such that his wife will likely be facing some difficult times and possibly hard decisions in the near future.

Through the emails discussing all these things she told me a few other things and that she understood about praying for him and his issues as well as praying he would stop bothering her and said she would try that. Of course, I did mention that if it starts again she may need to visit with her lawyer again to discuss other options. She said she understood.  I told her I would pray for her, and the others involved, as they all need God to work on things for them and give them the peace of God.

I really feel badly for all those involved, obviously more so for my friend because, well human nature is such that we tend to worry more for family and friends. But, I do feel bad about how he is treating her, and whether his wife knows it or not, he is apparently being emotionally unfaithful and expending a lot of emotional energy worrying more about my friend than his spouse. I also feel bad for him as he apparently has issues and is creating hardships and difficult situations for both my friend and his wife. Through what she told me I don’t really understand what the motivation is for his actions. Whether he is trying to make my friend look bad and himself good, if he is trying to get my friend to reconsider the relationship with him or if he has some other agenda. But, he is obviously troubled somehow.

 

Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

Obviously, this situation is creating some turmoil for my friend and she has a choice, contribute to the turmoil or try to be the peacemaker through prayer and allowing God to work. Praying for such can be difficult when the other person is trying to create tension. But, in times such as these, one needs to put aside the human emotion and pray for peace.

 

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:43-45

 

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Roman 12:19

 

It isn’t easy to pray for one’s enemies, for ones that do a person wrong, but when people behave that way it is obvious that the one attacking someone as is being done has issues and needs the Lord. It will also help her if she allows God to work in her situation and not allow herself to be dragged down to the her ex-boyfriend’s level. She needs to take the “moral high ground” the path that Christ would take and pray for this person, more for her own benefit than anyone else’s.

 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  Romans 12:2

 

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  1 John 1:7

 

This young lady, and all of us, have all had situations where another person has treated us poorly, attacked us, directly or indirectly, and done us wrong. We need to not think with the human mind or feel with the human heart, but instead think and feel towards those mistreating us as Christ would feel towards others; feel concern, worry, pity and love. Pray for them and through that, come closer to that which Jesus wants us to become.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the opportunity to help this friend of mine. I thank You for helping me find the right things to say and I pray that You give me wisdom when asked for advise, not just now, but in other situations as well. I ask in the name of Jesus that You help this girl, help her avoid getting into some type of exchange or argument with this guy and others because of his behavior. I pray that You give her peace and that she is no longer harassed by this man. I pray for this man as he obviously needs You in His life that You work in His heart that He stop this behavior and allow this girl to live her life in peace. I pray for this man’s wife as she obviously is in a situation and marriage where he is not fully dedicated to her, because if he was, he would not be trying to re-establish his relationship with my friend.

God, I know that there are many people in situations that are not what they expected or were promised. There others that are dealing with difficult relationships, jobs, lack of jobs, financial difficulties, family problems, disease, loss of loved ones and more problems and worries than I can possibly imagine. I pray for them all and ask that You help them, show them mercy, love and kindness. Help them know that if they are in situations that can be changed, and need to be changed, that You help them know that You will be with them as they make the needed changes and that You will be their strength. Show them all the love of Christ so they not feel abandoned or alone, that they know they are not without hope and that You will take care of them and their needs. Draw us all closer to You, teach us Your way for our lives. Put burdens in the hearts of those who need to confess their sins, ask forgiveness and seek You. I praise You that when they do, that You will forgive them, show mercy and grace.

Amen

 

Revolving Door

revolving door.jpg

I saw a movie where a bunch of kids were playing at a hotel and went into the revolving door, well, it seems none really knew how one worked and they just kept going round and round. When they tried to get out of it, they ended up back in the lobby where they started. As I watched, I thought about the foster children my parents used to deal with at times. They started being foster parents when I was 14 and many of the children would be there for anywhere from a few hours to months or more. Parents or others in the home were physically, sexually or emotionally abusing the children and most of the children eventually were returned to the homes from which they were removed initially, parent or parents had been through counseling and supposedly had corrected whatever problems resulted in the children being removed. But, after a while things would revert to the same situation as it was to begin with, the children once again placed in foster care and eventually, returned home. The social workers would always be certain that the children were going to a better home than from which they were removed, but eventually one would see that they went back to the same thing they had been living with previously.

I recently ran into one girl (now woman) who was one of those foster children that got into that revolving door pattern. She would be home, removed, placed with my parents, after a few months back home for a few months, over and over. She did pretty well with my folks, usually kinda rocky start but after a couple weeks she straightened out, did well there, in school, my mom would take her to church and the girl did great. Then, back home, and repeat, over and over. Now that she is an adult, that pattern continues, she has married and divorced the same guy 3 times, he was mentally/verbally abusive and apparently did slap her once or twice. After the last time she divorced him she met a guy, married him pretty quickly, and, almost as quickly divorced him because he was like the first man she had married repeatedly. After that, she has been married a couple more times and had several boy friends that based on what she told me, are all similar to her father, a couple of her mom’s boyfriends and all of her ex husbands and ex boyfriends. A couple of those guys just left, no explanation, but she said they had become extremely critical and were much more verbally abusive for a couple weeks, then both times she came home from work and they were gone, taking all of their things and some of hers. She admits that she seems to go right back to the same type of guy. She said they all seem really nice at first, very attentive, give lots of gifts and do a lot to make her feel important, then after a while they start saying things that are sort of compliments, but sort of criticism. One often told her she looked okay in a certain outfit, but really thought she looked better wearing a different outfit a few days earlier. No longer did they compliment, but always gave slight complement followed by the comment that negated it. After a while, the complements stopped but criticism continued. Eventually, they would all get mad about something and become very hateful and mean. Sometimes something she did, sometimes something someone else did, at times all it required was someone else looking at her in some way they did not like, but she always had to deal with their anger. Then, she would realize that they were like the others and get out of the situation. She did say while she understands they are alike and she could see that when she looked back, but for some reason she couldn’t see it at the time. I mentioned that perhaps moving so quickly from one relationship to another, the short dating periods before moving in together or getting married had not given her enough time to get to know the guys and that perhaps she would do well not to jump into a relationship so quickly in the future. I also suggested that she may want to consider actually taking 6 months or a year, longer if needed, to actually get herself taken care of as far as getting right with God, getting any needed counseling and actually learning about herself so she could make better decisions in the future. I told her I would pray for her and for the Lord to work in her life.

The same thing repeated itself often, the kids being in a situation, taken out, returned then after they grew up, they would over and over do the same thing. Out of one bad relationship straight into another. Just like they learned growing up. So sad and my mother saw it happen and it would break her heart. She would always put a lot of effort into helping the children when they were in her house, then see them go back and forth eventually as adults, repeating the cycle. It frustrated her to try so hard to help them, but hours and hours of time, often spending much more than the state paid for the children to be there, costing her and my father effort, time, money and then see it all just be for naught when the children grew up and continued that behavior. Although, there were times, very few, of the children that it did benefit and they have had pretty good lives. Yeah, they carry baggage from their childhood, but ended up doing pretty well as adults. Those were rewarding to see for them.

I once asked her why invest so much time, effort and money into the kids when she knows that a good portion would be right back in the same situation or continue with similar situations when they grew up? She said, “sometimes, you don’t see the impact, but I know I have a good impact on them and even if they do wrong for themselves, they will know the right choices and eventually, make that choice instead of the wrong one. They will remember they have the chance to make their lives better, no matter what, and then, one day, they will do just that and do what God wants them to do and stop living like they are, making the same bad choices over and over.”

That is how Christ is with us. He never gives up on us, no matter how much He has invested in us and how little return, He knows that it does make a difference, makes us better people for having known Him and that He planted a seed that will take root and grow when the conditions are right. He will not forget the seed and when they look for Him, they will find Him and He will be with them and not forsake them.

 

29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. Deuteronomy 4:29-31

 

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.  2 Peter 2:20-22

 

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16

 

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12

 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. Proverbs 23:18

 

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:15-17

 

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Proverbs 3:5-8

 

Heavenly Father, I ask You to help those people who are in situations where they repeatedly make the same mistakes, going from bad situation to bad situation. Give them understanding and the ability to discern so they avoid such problems in the future. I especially pray for those in physically or emotionally abusive relationships that you give them comfort, hope and protection. Deliver them from those problems.

I praise You Lord for all the work You have done in my life and I pray in Jesus Name that You continue the work to make me a worthy servant. I am so thankful for Your Mercy and the gift of Your Son who died for my sins and my salvation. Please draw those not saved to You so the may have life eternal and draw us all closer to be the Christians we should be.

Amen

 

I hope everyone has a fantastic day and that you can be a blessing to at least one person today. Thank you for your visit here today.