Monday, October 7, 2013

Listen to Me, you idiot

idiot |ˈidēət
noun informal
   a stupid person.
    Yes, we are all idiots. We are daft, ignorant and quite self-centered and not much knowledge comes out of self-centeredness. The word idiot comes from the Old French via Latin idiota 'ignorant person'. We are particularly idiotic when we refuse to listen to sound advice from others. There are two types of idiots in Isaiah 51, those who realize they are idiots (Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD 1) and those who refuse to recognize their idioticiness (Listen to Me, My people and give ear to Me, O My nation 4). The word idiot is not a pleasant label and definitely negative, but that's what I feel at times about myself, and at times about people when it comes to knowing Jesus/God. Yet, Jesus doesn't call us idiots, instead He calls us a much nicer word - children, and treats us thus - quietly, tenderly, lovingly, and sometimes sternly. 
    But I will admit I am an idiot at times, because it wakes me up to dysfunctional self and makes me realize I need a saviour. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Taking comfort for granted

I think my biggest challenge is taking comfort for granted. I become complacent in my comfort, and I wonder if that is the same as the comfort Jesus promises in Isaiah 51:12, I, even I, am He who comforts you. But I understand there are times I am definitely not comfortable, and this particular verse is definitely for those days because it continues with

Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die and of the son of man who will be made like grass? (13) And you forget the LORD your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor? 

What we choose to believe will be what holds us captive. If I daily reflect on my woeful state, my "oppressors", yes, of course, the awesome all consuming powerfulness of Jesus begins to dim, diminish and fade away. The key is positive reflection aka known as praise. So, today I praise Him who divided the sea whose waves roared - the LORD of hosts is His name. He has put His words in my mouth; He has covered me with the Shadow of His hand, that He may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth and say to me, You are my person (15-16). Amen

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The quote for this week (see side bar) is of particular importance. After tonight's long discussion with close friends on the state of the world, state of our society, and state of our morals, I was hit over the head with the hard realization of the utter despair of our general state. The funny thing about despair is that, as a Christ-follower, it doesn't hold a lot of weight. Many people make the motion of looking at the world and despair, look at themselves and get depressed and simply leave it at that. However, for those who know Jesus and have an inkling of what He's capable of, there's rest in that (again, see sidebar). 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's all about muscles. Or in another illustration, it's all about habits. Whatever the case, it's pathways. No,'s about consistency. Yes, it's about consistency. It's all about going from theorizing, talking about, writing about to just plain doing. I finally got fed up about my physicality and hired a trainer. Yes, I am now eating cleaner and pushing this body through the hurdles. Since beginning the self campaign of being healthier, it's been an off and on journey (courtesy of two weeks of travelling). My trainer stressed consistency. Um, yes, I definitely need to do that, so I purposed in my heart that I couldn't just do 3 days a week in the gym, I would to do 6 (I am on day 4) since if I am going to make it a habit of exercising, I need to make a serious habit. I am starting to see my endurance increase, and to see those muscles defining...

...and it was the muscles part that got me this morning as I was reading Isaiah 40. God saying For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you". Ah, okay, well Jesus, I definitely need help with my spiritual muscles. Right, I need to spend more time expanding those muscles. And of course, this made more sense to me in this current frame of physicality.

So, I need to schedule more time in lifting my mental muscles in reading and studying the WORD. Makes sense, even more so in light of what I am doing in the physical realm. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's been a while. I haven't done much of anything artsy or remotely written inspired. I am living in a rat race of trying to work, breath and let go at the end of the day. I don't have a lot of alone time anymore and I am not complaining. This is merely an observation. Life has taken an entirely new direction since I've started dating. My mind was entirely caught up with my darling, but slowly, as the months continued their march, I began to disentangle myself from the all encompassing "us". I am learning to separate identity when appropriate and go with the flow when "us" arises.

The biggest hurdle at the moment is the inevitable I Do's and actually getting to that place in time. There is a gargantuan hill of paperwork to climb, but all must go according to the time line, truly, there is no other way. Friends, family are always suggesting short cuts, but really people, there is no other way. So he and I are enjoying the ride, getting to know each other better, and of course, only confirming what we've already known all along - we are fitted for each other. But I think the greatest blessing, for me at least, is the transition of self. I am taking each measured moment in this discovery of us, and finding out what I am made up of, and who he is, and what God is really about in the mix of us.

One day at a time, right?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Today we did this personality analysis testing - essentially it was a workshop sponsored by work. It left me mentally drained, and if anything, as I reflect  this evening, a little depressed. Most of the information was a pretty accurate snapshot of my current personality, but the reason I am depressed is because I've been pegged. The message that was getting across was, it's okay to be fine with one's weaknesses but a person should focus on their strengths instead. As a person who was designed to grow and expand for eternity, I found this depressing. I realize some are introverted and others are extroverted. What I could surmise is that certain actions are associated with certain personality types. I don't disagree with that. I am an introvert, but in all honesty, I want to be challenged on taking extroverted actions at times. Anyways, I am just thankful that at the end of the day, I can come to the Master Designer and be assured that man's ways are definitely not the only way. Phew!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My 20s were stellar. I travelled. I made friends. I had good healthy fun. I look back at pictures and think, wow, I did so much. My 30s will have a markable difference. Marriage is on the horizon. I am no longer doing everything on my own. So, I look at m 30s and think, I will travel, I will make new friends and keep the old, and I will have fun, but not alone! I loved my 20s, and I know I will love my 30s as well.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It'll be almost three full months before I see my other half in person. Of course, we speak everyday, skype everyday, and text throughout the day, but it's nothing compared to spending time in-person. But, just considering how our schedules work, I have to ask my heavenly Father, what is the purpose of this particular time apart? It's a thought to ponder upon. Amen. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The oldie but goldie verses I am claiming at the moment. Intriguing enough, they parallel wonderfully well!

For you have need of endurance so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:36)

It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13)

Honestly, I struggle a lot with having consistent devotional time with Jesus. I really do. Come end of the day, I just fall apart. But I had an awakening moment last night after watching this Dove commercial. Women everyday struggle with "self-esteem" aka self-worth. They struggle with their identity, struggle with the concept of beauty, being desirable. It really got me thinking. I know who I am, and I know I am loved. Someone calls me Beautiful, and He also calls me Beloved. So, I started asking myself, how can I show what, how, and who I am to those around me? Zephaniah 3:17 is my love/beauty touchstone with my Creator. How can I live like He lives? Amen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"In that day..."

I've been getting back into my devotion space with Jesus this week. I've settled on Isaiah, because truly the man is a poet. He was able to take what he saw in visions and translate them so eloquently into words. Anyways, I've gone about reading Isaiah like I read the book of John - thorough analysis through repeated readings, underlining phrases or the use of particular words. Last night I made a particular discovery of another analysis method I completely forgot - patterns. Isaiah 2 - 4 has a repeated phrase, "in that day". The first mention of this day is first in reference to "latter days" (Isaiah 2:2). The particular phrase "in that day" is mentioned several times in each chapter, one in reference to humanity and one in reference to the Creator.

Chapter 2
:11 - the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day
:17 - the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day
:20 - in that day a man shall cast away his idols of silver

Chapter 3
:7 - in that day he will protest, saying, I cannot cure your ills
:18 - in that day the LORD will take away the finery

Chapter 4
:1 - in that day seven women shall take hold of one man saying
:2 - in that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious

Originally, I thought there was only 3 references to the phrase, but it looks like I am wrong. Now I have to go and see what these other phrases signify. Amen!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This is my last semester of classes, grading, and counselling students. Teaching has been an experience that I've enjoyed for the last three years. I've learnt so much from my students, and have also come away with a few friendships that continue to be a blessing. But I had to tell the department dean that I would not be coming back in the fall. I need to start focusing on my full time job and the myriad of professional development I have to do this year. He will bless, no doubt, but I will miss aspects of teaching (aka student interaction). Amen.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today, I want to celebrate an amazing Relationship.For so long, I haven't looked back at the path I've travelled and I haven't taken a good look at my travelling Companion. For the last 3 years I have grown emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually exponentially. I've done a lot of forgiving, and apparently forgetting, too. I've also learned that my parents baggage doesn't have to be my baggage, and that my baggage doesn't have to be my childrens'. This relationship with my other half has gone from passionate to deep profoundness as we learn what it means to communicate, love and respect one another.  Through the Grace of Jesus, I am being led down of path of mental and physical self awareness and making gradual life style changes.

Today, I celebrate my amazing Relationship with Jesus. We've come a long way. Amen!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I will always be moving, and I will never arrive. I am always evolving and I will never plateau. Yes, I was created this way, yet I live in a culture that strives for the final destination. They are sold on the once-I-arrive-I-will-be-happy song and dance, but we were created to be sojourners. We are voyagers of time and space, hence it makes sense to be called strangers in this world, called to be pilgrims. We were created to learn and expand and cycle through yet again. I am learning to say to myself each day, I will never arrive, I am travelling through. There is something poignant in that very thought. It makes me realize I don't have to rush through life. I don't have to panic about achieving the impossibles, because really I will never arrive. I will attain each level, but one must continue forward. 

And here is the interesting clash. Our humanity is attracted to motion, yet we want to bog down, yet when we bog down, restlessness causes us into motion again. War wages within. I believe we were created to constant evolution, we were created to ever learn. How else can one explain eternity? The idea of living forever causes some to panic, and it would if in the mind frame of the one who thinks they know everything or are comfortable in their ignorance. 

So, I was created to learn about the way I tick tock - even in my sinful nature. I am called to question my habits, but also how they are formed. But most of the time I need direction, guidance as to what questions I need to ask, where I need to look, what I need to focus on, and for this I need to go to the Master Designer. Jesus, thank You for being my travelling Companion through this time in Your Space. Amen. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Spirit of Worship

There's a lot going on in this cranium of mine, at the moment. My life style is perhaps the biggest thought in motion at the moment. I am thinking life style in context to my health - my eating and exercising habits. I am also thinking of my social and spiritual health - my lack of worship and fellowshipping. I have very much been drinking from broken cisterns (Jer. 2:13), for quite a long time now, however, the biggest purposeful change this year is my brain. Yes, I am changing my thought patterns.

I guess I am reorganizing my brain after a nature. I am trying to be purposeful in finding what works and what doesn't. I am trying to find what fits with me, rather than trial and error and just giving up. In the spiritual health spectre, I made a vital discovery this morning. Singing is so crucial to my worship experience; it is the one spectrum of worship that I love and find great pleasure in. Singing to Him calms my soul, brings peace to my being and ushers me into His presence. In other words, singing literary changes my attitude. My I-don't-care attitude has propelled me past my devotionals countless of times.

How is this all revelational? I haven't been singing in my personal time for quite sometime. I had lost my mini-hymn a year ago and never thought to buy a new hymn because I didn't think singing was relevant. But it is, and especially to me. You see, I grew up singing and playing hymns on the piano. Singing, especially hymns, is nostalgic. Singing those hymns is core to my worship experience because it's been there since the beginning of my self-realized relationship with God.

So this morning as I sang, tears began running down my face. Singing brought me back Home, and now singing is the key to my worship experience. Amen. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jesus, thank You that You are most definitely larger than me and the challenges that I face daily. I want to thank You that You have worked me through my anger, and are accepting the challenge I place before you, a challenge that I am completely helpless to influence or instruct. I give it into Your hands, and trust that You will explicitly mold it to an outcome that will praise Your Name. Amen!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills ~ Habakkuk 3:17 -19

Often, I am focused on the good things before me, and when those good things are taken from me, it is difficult to praise God in that circumstance, yet the good is taken away that the better may appear; the better being Christ. Right now, I am learning to rejoice in my weakness and in His strength; it is a never ending continuum. Amen. 
It's interesting as I become older how my perspective of God and that commitment to the relationship changes. I am discovering that it is a matter of switching from an emotional perspective to a principal perspective. It's a matter of keeping a daily appointment. More thoughts on this later. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. ~ Pr. 17:3

Had a soul talk with a long time friend that went till 1:50 AM this morning; a talk that leaves me deeply pondering her life and definitely reflective of my own choices and future choices. First of all, she will be actively in my prayers from now on. Secondly, reflection of current situation and choices leading up to her situation have caused me to reflect on a few questions, like, am I going to be of a generation who'll keep quitting jobs and trying to find the job I like, or will I be part of the generation that will "do what I have do to so I can do what I want to do"? It's making me look at my current/future situation different. What mind set do I need to cultivate to push myself beyond my sabotaging self? Is this what is called, the call of Excellence? Going beyond the immediate gratification to a long term satisfaction? I am directed to the verse above...commit my works to my Jesus, and my thoughts will be established.

This has become evident to me in my footpath to better body health, but now I realize in mind - especially my work mind. What quotes do I need to start putting up around the office to drive me to excellence, His Excellence? Is all this feel-good-push-my-body Facebook stuff just for my body? No! It can also be fashioned for my work, for my home life, for my spirituality, for my relationships. Reminding words are power words, used to propel limbs forward to complete actions.

So today, I am committing my works to You, Jesus, and You promise that my thoughts will be established! Amen!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In the fear of the LORD, there is a strong confidence and His children will have a place of refuge ~ Proverbs 14:26

One thing I realized yesterday was my limited time in the day. I get up at 5:00 AM, talk to the BF, get ready for bootcamp, get home, head off to work, go to second job, come home, take my hour walk, talk with the BF for an hour, have family worship and am in bed by 9:00 day is packed. I was lamenting about my schedule last night to my heavenly Father and about the little time I have to spend with Him, and He blatantly told me - "your hour walk is My time". This makes sense. I don't listen to music on my walk, and my thoughts are meandering. So, tonight, I begin my first prayer walk!

On another note, I am contemplating Proverbs 14:26 at the moment. What does In the fear of the LORD mean? Not only what does it mean, but what does one do? I guess by spending time in His presence, it begins to dawn on the individual the immenseness of His Glory, His Power, and His Love. So, I am definitely in need of spending time in His Presence. Amen

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jesus, I thank You for the blessings of this day - I am alive, I am getting healthy, I am in love with an amazingly beautiful man, and You are here with me in everything I do and say. Thank You! Amen. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Break through!

Yesterday was a colliding of ideas that pummelled at the foundation of my wayward travelling. A friend mentioned the cycle of life and how as we get older we have less time to ourselves as we marry, have children, and begin to focus our creative energies towards our spouse and our children. This is good unto itself. Additionally, during class discussion, a student profusely stated his desire to return to his first Love, but was having difficulty returning to that state of being. All of these thoughts of the day came colliding into my present state of being, my fallen state of self, and I looked up and for the first time in months clasped the Hand that reached down, and willingly stood up on the legs He gave me.

These last six months have been a struggle, but now I see it as a transition, albeit a difficult transition. I have never been one who adjusts to long term change gracefully. I often do not recognize a transition until months after the fact, but I do appreciate the lesson learnt when it is revealed. I cannot regret the difficulty in which I transformed my ideas, because out of great struggle comes great beauty. There is now balance. In a sense, this has been a two year journey, and I haven't recognized it as such until the very end.

So, I am going to thank my friend for her words of wisdom, for those droplets of knowledge have awaken me to realize I am leaving my creative single self behind, and moving to the mystery ahead. I will tell my student how to return to that sacred Communion, because I cannot deny a thirsty man Living Water, and I will tell him that praise is vital and why and speaking love back to Him through His words is core to the worship/relationship experience with our First Love.

Thank You Jesus for leading me through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and pits, through a land of drought and the shadow of death, through a land that no one has crossed and no one dwells; that You have brought me to the bountiful land, to eat its fruits and its goodness (Jer 2:6,7). Amen!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I've always known of the idea that the mind is connected to the body, but it has become more of a reality in the last 3 weeks. This is the year of becoming healthy. This need to be active has been mentally germinating for the last two months. I started joining health groups on Facebook around that time, and reading a bit of literature (aka Livestrong), and realized that I needed to find something that clicks. Group exercises work the best for me. It is a dedicated set time, I don't have to think about the workout process (Just Do It!), and I can focus on my eating habits without being discouraged in the workout routine arena. In the process of getting healthy, one key component has been pivotal to my entire body/mind health routine. Sleep! I desperately need my 8 hours every night. Along the way of acquiring enough sleep, I've realized some habits that, at times, take away my sleep - my tv/online/book binging habits. I've been struggling in this arena, oh, since June. I had been bad habit clean for a year and a half, and than it went downhill. My time with my Father suffered. But it was interesting. My mental/spiritual time was fine for that year and a half, but my physical time did not improve. I believe this is the year where there will be a balance between the two. For this I am thankful to my heavenly Father for getting it through my thick skull this need for balance.

So my prayer this year, seeking God in the physical by praising Him with my workout routines, my sleep and my eating correctly. Amen!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I haven't felt this emotional in months - emotionally in the turmoil sort of way. I honestly don't even know what to write because along with that churning emotion is a legion of thoughts, and I am finding myself trail hopping each time a new thought occurs. We are both scared about change. Will I be down there, or will he be up here? I am learning the true form of compromise. Learning to let go and be at peace about the choice. I guess, after a nature, being mature about the choice as well. Emotionally, what can I accomplish that he can't? Where in this relationship is there give and take? Am I being selfish? Anyways, I will continue psychoanalyzing myself all the day long. Jesus, thanks for being here. Amen.

Friday, January 4, 2013

I am constantly learning patience. I need to keep reminding myself that when one moment is past that patience does not end there. It is constant and beyond individual moments and waitings. I am quite thankful for a loving man, who points out my impatience, though he may never realize what he is doing. Amen.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I haven't done resolutions in a long time, I am not really a goal setter, but this year I figure I'd try something different. Last year was a roller coaster ride, with my biggest prayer being answered and a realization of how beautiful, but oh so difficult the journey had been before that prayer had been answered. I am ready for another beautifully difficult journey, not into my heart this time, but into my body. This is the year of divine physical intervention. I am curious how Jesus being my workout Buddy will "work out", but I expect it to be amazing, and definitely    refining. But besides being being aware of this fleshy temple, I want to work on a few other things:
  • blogging three times a week
  • something artsy fartsy once a week
  • budget, Budget, BUDGET!
  • Ween myself off of CCs!
  • Read everything in my library
  • 7 - 8 hours a day of sleep
  • be moderate in yoga
  • give extra tithe
  • reduce sugar intake
  • learn to treat myself instead of indulging (aka learn restraint)
  • build endurance
  • Get all of my PD courses DONE!
I am aiming to blog about each of the items on my list as the year goes by. I have a lot on my list, but He will be in the midst of this mess :) Happy about that. Amen.

A new year and I am alive, praise God! I am thankful to be here...