Before I begin stating what my wishes and dreams are for 2014, I am going to take a moment to reflect on 2013.
I noticed a post on Facebook a while ago regarding what your word for 2013 was and what your word for 2014 would be. Intrigued, I clicked the post and briefly scanned the article. Basically, you choose one word to define your upcoming year. I chose love. Love seems cliché and easy to accomplish for the majority of the human race, but for me it is much more difficult. I am working on it and hopefully this time next year I will say my word for 2014 was love and I lived up to it completely.
I then sat and took a minute to think about what my word for 2013 would have been. Faith. 100%. I think back to this time last year. It was the end of 2012 when I received my call indicating that I needed to go in for a second mammogram because there was something of concern found on my initial mammogram. It was Jan 1 of 2012 when the fear regarding my upcoming biopsy creeped into my heart. I had only returned to Church in October of 2012 so finding Faith was new to me. Very new. It was that day that I wrote Love, Marriage and God. I remember writing at that time that I wasn’t mad at God and I remember thanking him. I remember thanking him for bringing me to this point because I had a feeling everything was going to turn out OK and he just needed to grab my attention because he had something very important to show me. He did. Everything did turn out OK. No cancer and my Faith in God has only grown at an incredible rate. I have felt, seen and become a part of the most incredible relationship in my life. My relationship with God is what is going to make my word for 2014 an obtainable reality. I thank God everyday for grabbing my attention.
On to 2014. My hopes and dreams for 2014 are simple. I hope to be able to Love with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope and PRAY that you’re 2014 will fill you with as much Faith and Love as you yourselves deserve.
Last evening while flipping through the channels looking for something fun and interesting to watch I landed on “The Bible – Secrets Revealed” on the History Channel. This is not going to be a fair review of the program as I could only stomach about 10 minutes of the program before switching channels to something more ‘entertaining’ – “Christmas Family Vacation” now that’s quality entertainment right there!
“The Bible – Secrets Revealed” was your usual debunking the Bible kind of programming. Filled with ‘experts’ with a bunch of letters after their names telling us all to not believe anything we were ever told about the Bible because these very smart ‘experts’ know everything there is to know about what happened more than 2000 years ago and they weren’t even there! They know because of all those letters after their names. Sit down kids because you are about to be schooled in all things “The Bible”.
In the 10 minutes (give or take) that I could stomach this program I learned this. The Wise Men were NOT at the Nativity. Jesus was NOT born in December. The Old Testament was NOT written by Moses and the New Testament was NOT written by Luke, Matthew, Mark or John. Wow! Call me converted because that’s some real truth right there! I am no longer a believer in Jesus Christ. I am no longer a believer in God. I am a believer in evolution because everything I was ever taught about the Bible is a LIE! Ok, that is a lie. I am 100% a believer in Jesus Christ, God and the Power of the Holy Spirit. 100%. It leaves me wondering that if the later statement was infact true, and if this History program did change my opinion even in the slightest, what is the pay off? I mean, really, what are they trying to accomplish by destroying people’s faith? It baffles me, truely. When people have the power of the Holy Spirity living within them, they are not perfect, for sure, we all have faults, inherient sin if you want to call it that, but, we also have the desire to love one another as ourselves. To live without sin and to love God with all our hearts, all our minds and all our soul. That is our desire, and wow, even if we can never even remotely live up to that desire, it’s there. What happens if one day that desire is gone? What is the pay off there? I don’t get it, probably never will and never want to.
Regarding the ‘Truths’ about the program that I mentioned earlier. They are correct. The Wise Men were NOT at the Nativity. As a matter of fact, they came to visit Jesus at his home months after his birth. History dictates that Jesus was actually born around the Summer time and the Wise Men made the treck to visit him with the gifts and arrived months later. Why does this not deter me? They are right. The Bible got it wrong and everything we have known has been wrong. What they are forgetting to highlight here is that the details don’t matter when you are talking about the birth of Christ. Who cares that the details were wrong? The prophesy stated a child would be born in Bethelehem. A child born of the descendant of David. That descendent was Joseph and they traveled from their home to Bethelehem to take part in a census ordered by Ceasar Agustus. They weren’t even from Bethelehem. They WENT there and it was THERE that Mary gave birth to Jesus. That folks is proven HISTORY that they cannot debunk so they try to baffle you with garbage and big words and ‘expert’ knowledge by saying the entire Bible is a falsity because the Three Wise Men did NOT visit the Nativity? I ask again, what is the payoff?
Jesus was NOT born in December. Well, we have all heard this one before, and the fact that Christmas is actually a pagan holiday stemming from the Winter Soltice or something like that. True fact. They can have that one. Lets all stop celebrating Christmas, it has absolutely nothing to do with the birth of Christ and it’s completely commercialized anyway. What is the payoff there? The un-churched will stop feeling the pull to go to Church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. One of the 2 days of the year where they get thier ‘fill’ of Christ. One of the 2 days they feel the ‘obligation’ or ‘pull’ to come rejoice in the Power of the Holy Spirit will no longer exist. I guess we will just see them at Easter now? The joy and happiness that most of us experience at Christmas will vanish. We will all realize that this ‘History’ program had it right all along. We will still celebrate Christmas, but if you think it’s commercialized now, think about it if Jesus is completely removed from the occassion as this ‘History” program is trying to achieve. What is the payoff? I don’t get it. I choose to use this day to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ. To get my full of the Holy Spirit and to see the joy and laughter and love of all manking echo thoughout the voices everywhere. Where people can say Merry Christmas to a stranger no matter their religious background and hear that person echo it back. Who cares about the details? Who cares that he was actually born in the Summer? I care that he was born. That the prophesy was fullfilled. Period. No ‘History’ program can debunk that.
The Old and New Testaments were not written by the Authors as stated. Wow! Even more than 2000 years ago people had the good sence to have ‘ghost writers’. Come on. You have to do better than that. Are you saying that just because it wasn’t written first hand as precieved, it’s not true? Who cares who wrote it? Who cares if the details are not 100% fact? Just because a person had a ghost writer and just because the story was embellished to sell more copies does NOT make it fiction! HISTORY makes it HISTORY. Period. The Ark was built. Proven by history. Jesus had followers by the thousands and the people in charge were threatened that he was going to be king and had him cruxified. Proven by history. Jesus had these followers because he was crazy? Because he was a liar? Because John the Baptist told them to follow him? Because he was a trouble maker? Would you follow someone today for those reasons? Of course you wouldn’t. They followed him because he was the Messiah and HE proved it again and again and again. There is no other proof needed.
Who cares about the details. The proof as they say is in the pudding. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and no amount of ‘experts’ and their razzle dazzle arguments will ever change my mind. What’s my payoff for this blog? My payoff is that you too will feel the joy and love and magic that I feel at Christmas and all year round. That you too will know what I know and when you do, the reward is over and above anything else you will experience. That Jesus sized hole in your heart will be filled by the Power of the Holy Spirit and you will finally find that inner peace and true happiness that you have been searching for. That’s my payoff.
Merry Christmas. Two words with so much meaning for everyone. Two words that can bring so much joy and yet so much pain. Two words that also bring about so much controversey. Is that the way God intended it? I believe so.
Jesus was born. Joy. Jesus died in the most horrific manner ever. In a manner that even the Romans deemed horrific and abolished it years after his death. Pain. Jesus rose again. Joy.
Stories break on the daily during Christmas time about people who cannot afford Christmas, charities spring up looking for money to support the needy. Suicides are at an all time high. People are homeless, families are having their first Christmas without a loved one. The elderly are reminiscing about days long past as they sit alone in their home wishing for family to visit. Pain.
Families who are struggling get that one person who takes them out of their poverty for even one day and opens up their homes to them. Charities raise the money they need to help the less fortunate. Kids all over the world smile in joy as their dreams come true. Families come together. People laughing, people hoping everyone smiling. Joy.
At this time of year, you often hear another word. “commercialization”. The word people throw out there to give as a reason why they hate Christmas. “It’s too commercialized” they say. “The true meaning of Christmas is gone”. They may be right. It’s true it’s commercialized. It has long lost the meaning, it has long became about Santa and Giving and Receiving. I agree. What I don’t agree with is the fact that it’s used as an excuse to hate Christmas. Look around you. Be the change you want to see.
Why is Merry Christmas offensive? When did that happen? When did it become acceptable to mark off the meaning of Christmas with an X? When did it become a stressful holiday instead of a joyful one? Look around you, be the change you want to see.
Is this the way God intended it? I believe he did. Love Christmas or Hate Christmas, revel in the Joy or wallow in the pain, Merry Christmas or Season’s Greetings, you HAVE an opinion. You are TALKING about it. Christ is alive in YOU. Every single December in every single year, Christ is alive in YOU. You are keeping him alive because love it or hate it you are talking about it. Whether or not you think it should be Merry Christmas or Seasons Greetings, you are talking about it.
Merry Christmas one and all! May this holiday season bring you joy, happiness and may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you to overflowing.
I had the opportunity to attend The Global Leadership Summit yesterday. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s a seminar that focuses on growing leadership by using the skills God has given you and by following the rules of life as set forth in the Bible. Now, you don’t have to be Christian to attend these talks, it’s not at all “Preachy”, truly, there is something every single person can take away from these talks. I listened intently through all speakers from Colin Powell to Mark Brunette. My take away was from Dr. Henry Cloud @DrHenryCloud he spoke about being “Ridiculously In Charge” yep, that’s me… I’m in charge of something and the thought of that is absolutely ridiculous! (I’m not sure if that’s what he meant but that’s how I took it)
My relationship with God only began last year. I will not say I didn’t believe in God, because that would indicate I had a relationship of not believing. Kind of like when you just lock a family member out of your life, you can’t say you hate them, because that would imply a relationship, you just don’t think about them at all, they aren’t there. There is no relationship there with them at all. That was me with God. I didn’t not believe, I just never thought about him at all. When you decide to open the door to God and let him in to guide your life, you’d better be prepared for what he has in store.
Why was I even at that seminar? Why did it feel like every single speaker was speaking directly to me? I’m not a CEO or CFO or CwhateverO of any organization, why was I even there? Why did I feel like I had to be there, even if it meant writing memo’s to my heads of departments (who still don’t believe I’m a “Bible Thumper” by the way LOL) to say I MUST attend this seminar? A memo stating that me, a secretary, an admin assistant, MUST attend this Christian Leadership Seminar to move forward on my career path as an admin assistant, why was it even approved? Why? Because it’s God’s plan, not mine.
Hillside 2 Haiti 5k is my God’s baby. It’s my HIS idea that I HE had and decided to implement. The only problem with that is it’s on me and only me if it’s a failure. If you have your own plan and it goes south then you feel like an incompetent idiot in front of your inner circle and trust me, failure sucks when people are counting on you. If you are being trusted with God’s plan and you fail… Oh boy. How do you recover from that one? I can see it now… The failed execution of Hillside 2 Haiti annual 5k race is a long forgotten memory. Oh well, you tried, it was all you could do… Life goes on, nobody even remembers or even thinks about what could have been. Years pass. Grandchildren get married… Life goes on until it doesn’t and I’m standing at the pearly gates and Peter says “Hey 🙂 Glad to see you! But Boy did you ever screw up that ONE thing HE entrusted you with”
Before my relationship with God started, I thought Christianity was a dying breed. I never heard people talk about it, and I never really noticed any reference to it. Truth is I was just completely closed off from it and that’s why I didn’t notice. When I first received this plan for Hillside 2 Haiti 5k, I said to God “that’s a great plan God! I can see it! A huge pot of money for Hillside missions, but even more important than that will be the huge gathering of people in YOUR NAME!!” How amazing is that idea? But wait… It will never work God! People don’t feel comfortable talking about you. People won’t believe this is your plan. People will think I’m crazy. Nobody is going to get behind a race supported by God, people are afraid of religion, I won’t get any sponsorships because companies cannot promote religious beliefs. It won’t work! I can’t do this God! It WON’T WORK!!! “It will Paula. It will. Trust in me and it will”
People do believe in God. The more my own relationship with Him grows the more I hear other people say it, before I thought things like “Praise God” and “We’ll pray for you” and “Bless you” were things people just said, like “please and thank-you” it’s not, people do believe. People do know Christ and God will see this through to the end and it will be a successful annual event.
Thank you God for choosing ME … Someone who is ridiculously in charge of implementing Your vision.
People can deny the existance of God just like they can deny the existance of Santa Clause. What they cannot deny however, is my personal experience, anymore then they can deny the air we breathe.
I’m not talking about being hit over the head with the Bible, speaking in tongue, having a pastor place his hands on my head to excise the demons and declare me saved. I’m not talking about plunging into a pool of water and having my sins washed away forever. I’m not talking about a near death experience where I was given a second chance at life. I’m talking about something very simple, not at all exciting or a ‘wow’ moment. I’m talking about my experience.
It was September of 2012 when I had had enough of the constant bickering/battling/crying/stress that my life seemed to be all about lately. I went out to my car and drove to the lake. I sat in my car, staring out at the lake and just thought. What am I going to do? How can I fix it? What is happening? How did I get here? It became a real pity me moment and I started to cry. Really cry. You know, the ‘ugly cry’. Up to this point I didn’t even believe in God. I have never not believed, I just didn’t believe either. I considered myself agnositc. At this point, I gripped the steering wheel with all my might, looked up to the sky and cried … “PLEASE GOD. HELP ME.” I never expected him to answer. He did.
3 days later, my son came home from school and asked if he could go to ‘youth club’. What was it I asked. He advised me that it was at the Hillside Wesleyan Church, wednesday nights from 7-9. Immediately all the images of Bible Thumping crazies came to my head. The placing hands on the heads, the crying for saving, the cults, all the sterotypical images one who doesn’t believe in God or Religion can get came into my head. You name it, it was there. What do they do there? I asked. Aww just play games and hang and stuff. He replied. Again, I was hesitatant to allow him to attend a child brain washing session but I relented.
After that first week, he brought home a sign up sheet to attend an “Encounter” weekend away. Now you have to realize that I am weary to begin with and the thoughts of sending my 15 year old son off to another province with a bunch of Church people scared me. Before I said yes, I had to check it out. I had to meet the people he was going with and I had to be certain nothing ‘funny’ was going to be happening.
They were doing a bottle drive to raise money for the kids to go on this ‘encounter’. I felt the pull to go to this bottle drive and see what it was all about. That was where I first felt God. Nothing special. No bright lights, no fireworks, no faiting or falling to my knees, no warmth throughout my body, just a feeling that it was OK to send my son to Encounter. That I had nothing to worry about. When the Pastor shook my hand and asked if I was going to go to Church the next day, I said yes and I knew I was telling the truth.
The day I walked into Church, I sat at the back, wasn’t expecting anything too much. What I felt was a sence that I was home. I probably cried like an enfant that Sunday and every Sunday since for 2 months straight. The emotions that came out of me were something I never experienced before. I was on a meriad of sleeping medications to help me sleep at night now I’m on none. Sleeping like a baby. I always talk to God before I go to bed and I fall asleep before I can even say Amen. That’s my experience. Like I said, it’s not a ‘wow’ moment, but it’s my moment and anyone can say he doesn’t exist but they can’t say he doesn’t exist for me.