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Posts Tagged ‘God’

Dear friends,

As a upperclassman college student about to enter finals week, preparing for Graduate Admissions Tests, looking at possibilities for work in the real world, and of course the ever important question that plagues my mind, does that handsome gentleman like me as much as I like him, you might say I am under a little stress. There are also other minor details of things like reciting Romans 1 on Thursday and I only have 50 some odd days to finish sermons because I am going to be speaking at a summer camp. I cannot waste time.

As Christians positivity is incredibly important, I don’t think Christ died for us to be depressed or “in a funk”. Christ died so that we might have life abundantly (John 10:10). Yesterday I realized I needed a major attitude adjustment. I was going to sing in a choir concert and was still a little upset because I do not like singing in choir like I did when I was in High School. You see I have started to lose my hearing so half the time I am not totally sure what is going on in choir. It is terribly frustrating. As ridiculous as it sounds, choir is my most stressful class. I have been sort of upset because my minor in music requires me to be in four semesters of choir and since I have only three left. Now I know you are rolling your eyes at me, I am rolling my eyes at me. It seemed to have escaped my often air filled head that when something becomes difficult that it is time to kick in to overdrive and work ten times harder than before. It is like the piano piece I have recently learned, memorized, and conquered, it was more difficult than any previous piece I’ve worked on and thus it required more diligent work than any other piece. Up until about a year ago I got used to sort of just doing things I was naturally good at and not having to work particularly hard, but those days are over. It is funny how when you buckle down suddenly you are happier.

This brings me to this issue of a positive change in attitude. These are things that come to my mind that seem to make us all a little happier, please add to the list, these are not numbered in order of importance just in order of what I remember. So I make my vows…

1. Determine, before leaving the bedroom in the morning that I will seek to see the good in someone, no matter how scarce.
2. It’s ok to be sad sometimes, heck even to cry, I know this is about being happier, but there is something about crying when it happens that makes things easier to deal with later in life. For me it was the church I go to. It was where my grandparents funerals were held, my grandparents were two of the few people that clearly communicated love to me from an early age. It made me sad every time I went into the church because I did not properly mourn their deaths when they passed. So when something happens, I will be bold enough to be broken and cry.
3. I will trust and rest in the atoning sacrifice Christ made, I will not let my past decide that I am unusable for His kingdom and purpose.
4. Whether I like it or not from now on more coasting through, if I want to be better at anything from Piano to studies, I must work twice as hard. I may not be a prodigy, but it does not mean I cannot be better.
5. I must not compare myself to others, whether in talent, size, or heart. I will always be awkward. Don’t tell me, “It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.” I just made it awkward so there.
6. I will find something new to learn if in my piano playing I go three practice sessions without needing my books, it’s the only way to improve.
7. God, above all else: food, family, friends, the desire for that before mentioned boy.
8. I will every effort to maintain each relationship I have, even if it means apologizing when they are wrong. (Romans 12:18)

These are not new things, all have been said at one time or another to me, but I am stubborn so it takes me a bit longer. Please add the things you practice that allow you to live more happily.

Sincerely, Chloe

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Dear friends,

I am a whopping 20 years old and perhaps have a bit too much teenage rebellion inside of me. God has called me to a specific church, and no matter how much I try to rationalize other ministries, regardless of how good, the truth remains I need to be at this particular church. There is only one issue and the reason I am fighting God on it. I hate the church. I love the people individually don’t get me wrong but as a whole the spiritual atmosphere, I hate it. The church in my opinion (which may be prideful and not correct) is either dead or close to it. The people are very loving, but they will not compromise or change in order to reach our community. I have a love hate relationship with my church. I love the individuals, but going to church i a draining affair, at least with the hearing people, Wednesday nights with the Deaf are exhilarating and encouraging. Pray for me friends, pray for endurance and a proper attitude.

Sincerely, Chloe

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Dear Friends,

The time is nearing when I may have the opportunity to finally reconcile with my dad.  This both excites me and terrifies me.  You see we have had a strained relationship for many years (thus the need for reconciliation) and while things have been getting progressively better we still are not open, or at least I am not.  I keep my defenses up because truth be told I am afraid that he may reject me or that things will get worse, but that is not the only fear.

The opportunity to reconcile is going to come in the next few weeks before I ship out to work at camp.  He is coming into town for a few days in the near future, and I am praying that we might be reconciled then.  I also am hoping to invite him to visit the camp for a weekend or so while I am up there.  However all this comes with it’s own set of fears.

My dad was recently diagnosed with melanoma, while it is not terribly serious at the moment there is a very real possibility that it could spread.  So the fear that follows is that we are reconciled, our relationship restored and he dies. I keep having this recurring nightmarish vision of him dying when I am at camp and not making it back for the funeral.

I have a tendency to jump to worst case scenario, always have.  I recall talking with one of my professors, asking him to pray for me (one of the many benefits to a Christian university) because I have a lot of walls that need removing, I need to be open.  He asked if the walls were there because of past betrayal or fear of future doom.  I said the past, but in truth it is both.  There were past betrayals that made me vow never to be in that place again, but there is also a fear of a future doom that is probably not coming.

So there you have it the jacked-upness that is me the blogger

 

 

Ps: I am thinking about posting an audio link of the song that I wrote, it is kind of my story in 4 minutes. My singing voice is not fantastic nor is the quality of the recording but if you think it is a good idea please comment.

 

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Dear friends,

It’s time for some real talk.  Today, my good friend told me about something that she read.  I don’t remember exactly what it said, but this is more or less the gist of it.  We, in the American culture, look down on polygamy, but there are many who practice it these days.  You see so many are getting divorced these days then remarrying.  If God’s intention was for marriage to be life long (and this is fair because the statistics are just as saddening from those who profess to be Christian), then it should not be thrown out when times get hard (think of for better or for worse).  Paul encourages to hang on in marriage even if the other is not a believer (1 Corinthians 7.10-14) .  I would say our Western culture should be ashamed, we spit condemnation on polygamists, while we look over our own who are participating in it.  If you get divorced and remarried, I am sorry, but that means you have had two spouses.

Now before you go and think that I am some sheltered freak show who has no idea what she is talking about, I take you to my family.  In March of 2011 my parents filed for divorce and went through the painful process last year.  It climaxed in their court date in September, there was some issues with the paper work and the judge threw out the petition.  They filed again this past March about two days after the year anniversary.  I hear the word family and I am in some hot mess between cold blood and white hot anger.  Oh ya my family at one point in time was Christian.  When I was little we used to read the Bible together, twice a day as I recall (it’s been a few years so don’t hold me to that). Then my parents started fighting, and my dad took a job that paid more but required quite a bit of travel, he was home some, but when he was they would fight.  I remember being maybe five or six on the top bunk crying and plugging my ears as their shouts grew louder.  My dad started traveling more and more.  By the time moved out I only saw him about once a month, he helped me move so they could divorce a little more smoothly, and I appreciate that.  Being an adult does not make your parents divorcing any easier, just ask my older siblings.

Marriage is supposed to be a picture of God’s relationship with us, and right now we are really screwing with it.  When we as Christians get married and divorce what does that say about God and His relations with us. We are called to live as representatives of Him, but we make Him look weak, bad, uncommitted when nothing could be further from the truth.

Now this is not to let anyone off the hook. God, knows we have contributed our fair share to the mess of families, and we must take responsibility for our actions.  There is a greater, and much darker force behind this as well who is grinning at every divorce, suicide, and abandonment.  That is Satan.  Don’t believe me? Don’t think he cares to attack family? Let’s look at Genesis 3 where he tempts the woman (don’t forget the man was there too), and what happened they started blaming each other, sounds like a lot of marriages these days.  Consider the next chapter where Cain kills Abel (if I was honest there were many times I wanted to kill my siblings). The point is Satan is anti-family.  Ephesians 6.12 tells us, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This is not to deny our own responsibility for our actions, but to remember that sometimes perception does not equal reality, and Satan is actively working against families.

So this is a call to action, for every struggling family, married couple, for the broken-hearted child of parents divorcing, for the family that still stands strong, to those without a family, for the wife of the man who left her (or vice verse), and to any who do not fall into any of those categories.  We need to fight, we need to pray, and we need to stand together united on behalf of families.  Do you know someone who is being impacted by a divorce in the family?  Pray for them. Are you in the struggling marriage? Pray. We need to stand against Satan and his blatant attacks on family.  To be blunt we need to kick him in the balls and tell him to piss off.  We have the victory so we need to claim it.  This is a call to fight for what is important, whether you have a family or not.

The first thing I want to do is pray for you if that is alright.  I want to pray for you in your situation and for a God intervention.

The second thing I would like to ask is if I you would like to hear the song, (or read the lyrics if I can’t figure out how to work my stupid camera)? It is more or less my story wrapped up with where God has taken me.

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Dear friend,

I have delayed this post for a long time.  This is written more or less to some people who have hurt me and such, read if you so desire.

I blamed you for a lot of things, it is easier sometimes.  I blamed you for anger, depression, and even my own actions.  You left us. I thought I had a right, and perhaps I did. However, the damage done to my heart cannot be blamed on you because you did not do it.  I am sorry I ever blamed you, was angry with you, and wanted to cut you off.  I cannot blame you because you did not do this to me.  In my own sickness and depravity I, myself, inflicted this on me, and in that same disease I blamed you.  I cannot begin to express my deep sorrow over what was done.  Maybe one day God will grant me the strength to face you and tell you this.

I blamed you, in my sickness.  I told the lie so many times I began to believe it.  I blamed you for stealing my innocence, but I do not think I had any left by the time you came, not that I fully understood everything.  I am sorry that I have blamed you for so many years.  A convenient lie I told, not that you would ever know.

My gracious Father, I am sorry for not forgiving them made evident in my blaming them.  Please give us the strength and opportunity to reconcile.  You, God, have shown yourself through the ages as a reconciler.  Lord, forgive us and help us to forgive the same way.  In Jesus name AMEN!

-Sincerely, Chloe

Ps: I am praying about posting my testimony, though I am hesitant because I wonder sometimes.  Let me know what you think please

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Church

Dear Friend,

Are you as burned out on church as I am? You see I am frustrated that there are so many congregations that believe mostly the same things in my small town, somewhere around 30 for a town of 3000.  I know right.  I am burned out because it seems people are more concerned about getting a person into their church, though I am more and more convinced they are cults, then they are about furthering the kingdom of God.

Sincerely, Chloe

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Dear friend,

I am excited to tell you that after a few years I finally think I understand a little better about what God is calling me to do.  You see over the past 5 and a half years that I have known Christ (though I walked away for a portion of that time) God has been placing on my heart what I believe He is calling me to do.  First of all 5 years ago on my first mission trip to Mexico I felt a tugging to foreign missions which was confirmed a year later. About 2 years ago while at a concert, I felt a tug towards Nicaragua (during a lull between musicians), 8 months ago I felt a tugging to learn sign language, and now in the past week or so a tug towards church planting.  Now I am going to switch gears, but stay with me I will tie it up at the end.

I have heard people say that we should not pray for patience because “tribulation worketh patience” well I decided that I was going to do that anyways and prayed for patience.  So now the hard part comes… waiting. You see I have waited to get narrow enough to know what God wanted me to do in regards to missions, I finally know, but I am still years away from that because I believe God wants me to finish my Christian education, and I know at the very bare minimum I will need a husband who is called to the same place to do the same thing.  The hard part is here now.  I am going to wait to see how God works this all together and I am certain that He will.  Unfortunately there are things going on in my family (with my parents divorcing, and please I do not want your pity, I appreciate it but pray for my brother and sisters who are taking it harder) and I am waiting to see what all comes out of that.  Though I have seen some positive things come from it like changing my major to what God wants as opposed to what they want and being able to tell them that I want to be a missionary, I am still anxious to see the whole picture that God is painting.  I am going to spend the rest of my time prior to going to camp this summer at a church here in town then pray that God leads me to the church He is calling me.  Also in a strange turn of events I have begun praying to God not only that He would provide ways for me to be more open, but also that He would take away all my defenses (one of which I know to be large is sarcasm) I know that the process of God opening me up and more or less for lack of better phrasing, putting my heart on my sleeve is going to be painful and difficult at best.  I have also been praying that God would do whatever it takes to reconcile my family, we are all professional escapists who more or less all deal (or dealt) with some form of depression, but no one is willing to fess up.  So right now times are good because I have so much to be thankful for every moment of every day, but at the same time I know that the coming months are going to be difficult, but get this…. I am totally excited for it and can’t wait to see what God has waiting at the the end.
Well that’s all for now

Sincerely, Chloe

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