Why, oh why, is this blog even here

As of today (Nov. 8, 2010) this blog will be a series of post following my journey in life. Don't worry, I lack any real Christian credibility ( other than loving Christ) so there will be no preaching, only reflecting on my daily struggles to be a good Christian, a decent wife, an OUTSTANDING mother and an ok person. Feel free to judge!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thou Shalt not Facebook? Hold up!

Ain't that somethin'! My last post was about using your electronic devices to do Christ's work and today in the news I read about a New Jersey pastor calling for his church leaders and congregants to delete their Facebook accounts.

Read story on USA Today's website.

Call me millennial minded, but that is just crazy! You can't shun technology when your sheep go astray.
First of all, a cheating man is going to cheat no matter what, am I right? Whether it's an old flame on Facebook, a new flame on Craigslist (oh yeah, they've got em too) or just a chance meeting at the corner store, a cheater is going to cheat. What Facebook has done is made it easier for sleuthing spouses to catch their significant others in their dirt.
In my experience, banning access to social networks will just force a cheater to find another avenue to creep.
With that being said, I'm going to go out on a limb here and proclaim that Facebook is not the Devil!
However, I will admit that it can create temptations for many. My husband and I have had the i-talk about what is and is not appropriate digital communication. I'll share some of our thoughts and decisions with you:
  1. Just like we tell kids on the web, If you wouldn't do it in person, it is definitely not OK to do it on the web. Sins of the heart and mind are just as hurtful as those of the flesh. Don't think it's not cheating because it was just said in a text or IM.
  2. Limit your contacts to true friends, family, colleagues and networking associates. In other words, you don't have to Friend everybody. It is not rude to ignore a person who is not integral in your life. Is this a person you need to have contact with? If not IGNORE! That dude that sat behind you in 8th grade history is not going to be hurt if you ignore him.
  3. Don't friend old flames. It's stupid. Unless your relationship began and ended before puberty, don't risk what you have. It may seem innocent to you, but your spouse probably will be jealous and hurt. Let it go.
  4. Remind your friends that you are a Christian and they can't leave a bunch of racy, suggestive messages on your wall. That is not cool. Let 'em know.
  5. Give each other access to your accounts. After all, if there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear.
  6. Post love messages (clean ones) on each others' walls. You've got to let those home-wrecking skanks lost and confused children of God know that you two belong to each other and it would be inappropriate to step in on that.
  7. Be honest to your partner. If you are uncomfortable with an online relationship, let your spouse know and try to figure out a way to resolve the issue before it gets out of hand.
  8. Be honest with the offender. Please don't be messy, but if someone is sending inappropriate messages to your spouse, you need to let them know what the business is.
  9. Don't play games online. I'm not talking Farmville either y'all. Don't use a social networking site to lure or trap your man/woman into some mess. Leave the stealth operations to the good folks on 'To Catch a Predator'
  10. Use all your space online and in this world to praise and exalt the Lord! You can't go wrong with praise y'all!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Using your device to Serve Christ!

We've all looked down our noses at those buzzing, ringing and sometimes singing Sunday service cell phone offenders. Most rules of cell phone etiquette suggest we silence our devices or leave them at home.
But is it really so bad to use your cell phone or electronic device during service?
I can see it being rude to interrupt the sermon with annoying rings or vibrations. Also, checking scores and Facebook statuses are without a doubt uncool. But I think there is a place for my phonw in service.
Some examples:
  1. Awesome Apps — No, I'm not playing bubbleburst during service, but with so many helpful apps on my smart phone, I find it indispensable during service. First of all, there's my Bible App. It allows me to follow along quickly. I'm not super Bible-literate, so it helps me track down passages quickly instead of flipping through pages, I can bookmark my favorite passages and even share them with my friends via text or Facebook. I love it, and it helps me continue studying Sunday's message all week long. I may not carry a Bible everywhere I go, but my phone is with me 24-7, so I have no excuse not to explore the Word with my bible on my device.
  2. Notes — Ok, so this is basically anther app, but taking notes, making list and other reminders helps me to practically use the word after service. This week my pastor gave us 12 steps to forgiveness, I immediately made a checklist in my phone, something I have referred to twice already (It's Monday)
  3. Status — I know, I said checking your status wasn't cool, but that's totally different from updating it! Sharing a weekly message with friends and family is an excellent practice of evangelism. We may not all be called to preach, but all Christians should freely speak the lessons we're learning on this journey. Hey, did you think twice about posting that latest viral video?
These are ways I feel comfortable pairing my faith with my attention deficit issues and addiction to technology. How do you use your device to serve Christ?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In God's hands

Something was wrong. It was about 5:30 a.m. Friday morning that my body woke me and brought me to this conclusion.
My left hand was itching. And not in the 'lookout now! I got some money coming' kind of way. It felt like I had my hand had been bitten by 100 mosquitoes. I got up and turned on a light to view the hand that was surely swollen and inflamed. nothing. I was beginning to feel uneasy. Something was wrong. But what?
I'd prayed over my family. Things were good, great even. We were speaking God's word like middle schoolers speak 'yo mama' jokes. My husband and I were even discussing, planning for our approach to teaching our child the word of God.
But something was terribly wrong.
I went back to sleep.
Three hours later, as I read the morning news updates on my phone it hit me.
I had skimmed headlines about the Indonesian volcano story all week. But I never seemed to have the time to read it. That morning however, I had a little more time. I didn't have to read past the first sentence to realize what was wrong in my life.
You see, amid all of the disaster stories in the news — those stories about other people in other countries with problems other than your own – there was one, on the other side of this planet, that applied directly to me.
My best friend, Irma Paramitha and her family live in Yogyakarta where the volcano erupted. And all week I had been reading about Kanye West and 'For Colored Girls' and Lindsay Lohan. while someone I loved was literally dealing with disaster.
ugh. what's up with that.
So of course, that's when the Devil hit me!
"How could I be such a bad friend," I cried to my husband.
He told me things would be alright.
"I can't believe, I didn't think about it until now,"I weeped to my friend.
She told me not to worry.
"What if she didn't make it," I worried over the computer.
The news stories reported most had evacuated and the dead were mostly farmers.
"I'm just so worried about my friend," I sniffled to my daughter.
She told me God would take care of my friend.
And then the Devil gave up, I suppose, because any guilt, worry or distress I had felt melted away.
I cried about it. I prayed about it. There was nothing more that I could do. And my baby was right. The situation was and is completely in God's hands.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In the beginning

Today I'm reclaiming two very important parts of my identity: My faith and my word. I won't say I ever lost these two traits, but somewhere along the line, I convinced myself that I didn't have the credentials or the right to share these parts of me with the world. One day I stopped writing short stories and monologues. One day I stopped talking about how the Lord was working in my life. And now I find it difficult to share even the simplest thoughts or feelings.
It seems that when you don't uses the gifts the Lord gives you, he feels inclined to take them away.
So today, I'm going to try again as I've tried before. I'm going to write. I'm going to blog. I'm going to share and if it is God's will, I'm not going to stop.

Now the thing I've been battling with the most lately is trust in God.
Recently at church, we had a series on practical atheism which, as I understand it, is professing a belief in God without actually acting like you believe in God --sounds better coming from my preacher.
Anyway, during this series, there was a lesson on trust and the question was "Which do you trust more God or Money?"
And it's funny because normally in service, I'm listening to the service like "Oh that's my husband all day!" and "Um, hmm I was like that once" or "If only my friend could hear this one!" But on that day, that man was talking to me.
That day, I realized that I'm praying to God for the money I need to obtain the security I want when I should just be praying to God for the security. I should just be praying to God to ensure I have everything I need, but instead I'm praying for $10,000 more dollars a year.
That one really hit home. Because at the end of the day, I was depending on the dollars and cents, not God and I knew that there was a time in my life when I could ask the Lord to provide me with my needs and he did.
That realization made me really question a lot of my actions and struggles over the past few years.
In that one moment, I realized that I had received every blessing I ever asked for and was still unhappy. Every monetary goal I ever spoke was achieved, and still there was a sense of longing, a sense of failure. And in my darkest moments, my prayer was always if I had $5,000 more Lord, if I could just make this amount, I know my problems would be solved and I could do your will.
I was really ashamed of myself and of how far off track I had gotten that I could believe that any amount of money would fix my marital problems or make me a better person or instantly activate a better Christ follower within.
No amount of money is going to give me more time, effort or energy to write or to reach out or to become a contributing member of society.
But any amount of time that I put into reading the word, sharing my faith and listening to the Lord would help me come closer to the real goals I set for myself a long time ago.
Because I do want to eventually have a home big enough and wealthy enough to sustain any and all friends or family members who need a place to stay. I do want to create a charity. I do want to write a book and be heard and make a difference. But I don't want to wait on the world to make that happen.
So today, I'm stepping out on faith. I'm sharing my thoughts, my faith, my words.
And I''m claiming my blessings, not in dollars but in spiritually tangible goals that I am sure the Lord will move mountains to help me achieve right now without a dime to my name.

Pray for me, or at least think about me, as I embark on this journey to reclaim my gifts and share them with the world.