Tag: Opinion

Trenton, Florida.

Gainesville, Florida, the swamp,  home of the Gators, my hometown for my entire life. Gainesville is a small college town made up of even smaller towns in the surrounding areas located in the country.

Trenton, Florida is my backyard. I hope that together we can unite and pray for this small community, the officer’s family, and for our continued prays for our country. FB_IMG_1524252365024

Surrounded ( Fight my battles) Michael W.Smith

 

This song seemed appropriate for my mood today. Enjoy.

How to find the”perfect”, church? My view from the pew.

Do I Have to Go to Church to Be a Christian?
 It’s Sunday morning and we have a choice to make. Do we get up and get the kids and ourselves ready for church or do we lay in bed, maybe sleep in, or watch some TV church for a few minutes until we get bored and turn the channel to Food Network?
There is a brand-new trend that I have been hearing about lately, it’s called “stay at home Christians.” What does that mean anyway? I have also heard, “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” Let me set this straight, no, we don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, but we live in a free country where we have the right to go to any church we choose to attend, not everyone gets that choice. All over the world, especially in communistic countries, people do not get the choice of what church they want to go to attend.
 Here are some reasons why people are not going to church. I did a little research and this is what I found.
1. Churches are always asking for money. 
*It’s your choice to give or not to give. God is the one that requires tithes and offerings, take it up with Him.
(My home church does not pass an offering plate around, we have a box for tithes and offerings.)
2. Sunday’s are my only days to sleep in.
 *A lot of churches have Saturday night services as well as Sunday morning and afternoon services.
3. I don’t get anything out of it.
 *It is up to the individual what they get out of church. Some people go for the music, some people go for the message and still others go for the fellowship.
Honestly what we get out of church is what we put into church. If we will worship during the music, we will be blessed. If we will apply the message to our own life, we will be filled. If we are friendly, we will gain friends.
There are also some reasons that I believe that we should go to church. Let me give my top three reasons for going to church.
1. After Jesus went to be with the Father in Heaven, He told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit was given to them. After Pentecost, the Bible records in Acts 2: 42-44 (ESV),
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
 The people who followed Jesus and had received the Holy Spirit fellowship together and had all things in common
2. We are a body of Christ. We should worship together, encourage one another, learn God’s word together, pray for one another and strengthen one another.
3. When we have a church home we have a church covering. That means that we are covered in prayer by other Christians at all times. I understand that we can pray for ourself, that is great, but wouldn’t it be better to be covered in prayer by the pastor and the prayer warriors at a local church that loved us, and knew us.
 When we are not under a covering, we choose to fight the enemy alone. Wouldn’t we rather have an army with you fighting then fighting on our own.

snipview.com Google Images

How do I find the perfect church for me?

The truth is, there is not a perfect church. We are all sinners saved by grace, gathered together in our Fathers house under one roof however there is a church that we can belong to and we can grow in.
Finding a church that believes the way you do can be difficult, but it is not impossible. The excuses run wild with why people can’t find the perfect church these days.

The millennial’s, for the most part, are looking for great music and a modern service. The older generation typically likes the traditional style of church services. It’s no wonder people have a challenging time finding a church that fits them, but many of the larger churches offer both styles of services at different times.


 We are in a state of transition as the body of Christ right now and attendance is at a staggering all-time low.

Almost ten years ago, there was always something wrong with all the churches that my husband and I visited; the church was too small, they used chairs, I liked pews, the music was not moving, the Pastor didn’t move the earth and sky with his sermon. When we had enough excuses, we would move on to another church. We walked into every church expecting to “fit,” in somewhere and that was never going to work.
 Things began to change, oh sure, you could find us on the same pew every Sunday unless we really didn’t feel like going. We didn’t speak to anybody, we didn’t move when it was time for meet and greet. As far as we were concerned we went to church because it was the right thing to do. We came in to church, sat down, enjoyed the worship, enjoyed the sermon and at the end of service we went straight home, with no real communication.
It wasn’t until I met, what was soon to be, my Spiritual Father who made me get up off that pew and become sociable. I started helping with small jobs. I became a greeter on Sunday mornings and if I wasn’t greeting, I walked around and “tried” to carry on conversations with people. I taught children’s church occasionally. I volunteered for church events. I stayed after church and helped clean up.


 All of these things added up to molding myself into a church family. I had to learn to make myself mold into the church and create a place for myself instead of trying to make the church fit to me. The trick is, you must get up off that pew and move!!! Move around the church, sit in a different spot. God may have a special person that needs to connect with you.

 The excuses for not being able to find a good church are just silly. Pick a church that you agree with what they believe, then go, and mold yourself into that family! Be a part of the kingdom of God and grow.
 As for me and my family, we continue to mold ourselves into our church family and be disciples for Christ.

Day 3…How does Auto immune affect our family.

This is my best friend and her perspective. When you have chronic illness, it’s hard to keep friends close because you constantly have to cancel plans and she does get that from me. I have tried my best to educate everyone in my life what Lupus is. I believe that has helped my relationships.



I have known Tabitha most of my life and she is one of the strongest people that I know. She can handle just about anything that is thrown her way. When she told me she was diagnosed with Lupus, I had no idea what that really meant. It took some learning on my part to understand how this can really impact a
person’s life and change everything that they know. As I said before, Tabitha is one of the strongest people I know, if not the strongest. I am always worrying about her even when I don’t say it; that is just who I am as a person. When I do ask how she is, she quickly tries to comfort me with a “I’m fine”, “things
are great”, but I can see hurt in her eyes, or hear the pain in her voice that is caused by this disease. I wish that everyday I could make the pain go away or make it my own, that way she would no longer suffer. I worry for her family too and wish they could have their mom back in full health that she use to be. She is loved beyond words and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her, even write this up with

the little sleep I have had, working over 12 hours a day, going out 10 days straight. I Love you Tabitha.



In case you missed it….

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

See previous post for letters from other family.

Day 2…How does Autoimmune Disease affect our family? A note from my 14 year old daughter.

Being the daughter of a mom that has lupus can be tough sometimes. I have struggled with anxiety since the very beginning. Several times I would be at school and wonder, “Will my mom be okay?.”  It seems like we all have a jump scare at least once a year. I always sit in my bed every night and pray to God about
everything but my mom is always at least one of the topics. I used to be afraid to tell my mom about my personal problems because I would be afraid that it would stress her out even more than she already was. I felt like I had a voice in the back of my head telling me not to worry but I didn’t listen to it. That was one of my big mistakes I made through this journey. Ever since 5th grade, I went through anxiety
thinking I may come home to something bad happening.
If I could give advice to another daughter that has a parent in this situation, I would suggest not to worry because God has a plan for all of us. Usually when these things happen it’s to teach us a lesson. Personally, for me it has taught me hope. While writing this I
had to think about what hope actually was. When I searched what “hope” meant it said, “a feeling of trust”. I learned to trust God with my mom. Every now and then I still think, “Is my mom going to be okay?”, but I still say I need to trust God.
Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured
out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”





 

In case you missed it……

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

How does living with Autoimmune Disease affect our families?

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

My first letter will be from the man that I call my Spiritual Father but by all rights and purposes he is my Dad.

Actually I feel more like a father to Tabitha than just a spiritual father. I hurt when she hurts, I’m sad when she is sad, I empathize when I can do nothing but offer words of comfort. I have walked a hard road with Tabitha for nine years, most of those years were dealing with the past atrocities that she has suffered. Those former years, before I knew her, have made me angry and hurt at the people that have hurt her. I can do nothing about those people but I can be there for Tabitha. Now, as almost insult to injury, she has been plagued with a debilitating disease. I’m not angry with God because of her life of torment and pain, He didn’t cause them, but He has lifted her up through them and has given her hope and a platform to help and encourage others. I never ask God why this is happening to Tabitha, in fact I think this is Satan’s way of trying to silence her, but he has failed to do that, her voice of hope and encouragement is stronger than ever. The sicker she gets, the more I encourage and the more I ask God to heal and protect her from Satan’s talons and I will do that until the day God calls me home.
I tell Tabitha that God is as all we have.  This is a fallen world and we, as the human race, have chosen to do our own thing, but God still stands and waits for His children to call out to Him, to call His name, to ask for help, healing and mercy and He has done just that for Tabitha. The help and healing isn’t manifested in the way we would always want, but still God continues to bring help and healing in new ways that is overwhelming victories. We see that God is doing greater things than just stopping the pain and sickness, He has created miracles that Tabitha and I rehearse continually to keep them fresh in our minds and hearts. That doesn’t mean God is not touched with our infirmities, He hates for His children to suffer, but suffering is a part of this world. One day this will all be over and we will go to a place of bliss forever. For now, we will stand, we will fight the enemy and we will continue to believe that God has a plan. Our faith and trust are in God. God has been my source of strength for longer than Tabitha has been alive, now I will be her source of strength. I will stand with her, hold her up when I need to, pray for her, encourage her, listen to her, cry with her and continue to love her just like the Father has loved me. In fact, that is how I have known how to be a father to Tabitha, God has been a great Father to me.

 

Fear of family and friends leaving when you have Autoimmune Disease.

What really constitutes being a Father?

I was born in the most obscure circumstances possible. My biological father was abusive in every way possible from the time I was just a toddler until I was nine-years-old. My parents divorced at that time and for a short time my three siblings and I  lived with my mother.
One day, without any forewarning  my siblings and I were taken away from our mother and placed in foster care. Although we were safe from physical abuse in our foster home, mental abuse was still the order. I learned at an early age how to look after myself and to protect my brother and two sisters. For the most part, I was the father and the mother to my siblings. Still, even in the midst of an abusive life, God still found a way into my life and he placed different people in my path even for short times.
Even though my life had been filled with abuse, neglect, and abandonment, God was still a part of my life. We were taken to church, we were taught about Jesus and I managed to find people that seemed to care about me and my siblings despite our plight in life. I knew who God was but I did not have a relationship
with Him. When people would say that God was my Father, I could not relate, every father I had known to this point was a bitter
disappointment.
I met my husband when I was just a eighteen. After a very short courtship we would become engaged and married just a short time
later. One of the defining factors of my relationship with my husband was that he went to church with his parents. I too wanted
to go to church and so I attended church with my husband and his parents.
One day a missionary came to our church and talked about Guatemala. I connected with the pictures of the starving dirty poor children and I wanted to go help. This mission trip would be a life changing experience for me.
At this time in my life I was twenty-nine years old, had two small children but I was still not over my past and the abuse that I had
suffered, but I was determined to keep moving, that was the only thing I knew, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
On the mission trip I became acquainted with the Associate Pastor of the church.  Back home, at the church for an entire year he had been relentless to always go out of his way to speak to me and my husband and he would call us by name. However, I was not about to let anyone in my life, I had a hedge of protection around me, and I would not give him the time of day.
On the mission trip He spent time talking to me, encouraging me and even pushing me to become more connected and to break out of my shell.
When we came back home from the mission trip, I began to open up to the Associate Pastor. He proved to me to be trustworthy. He was patient, he taught me the word of God, he prayed for me over and over again. One day I realized, “maybe this is what a dad really is?”
I wish time would allow for me to tell of all that I have learned from this man, but one thing that stands above the rest is his unconditional love. No matter how stubborn I was, no matter how angry I was, he still loved and cared for me and kept leading me to Jesus.
We have built a trusting relationship for nine years and he has taught me everything a real father should have. This man is now my spiritual father, because of Him I can call God my Father for the first time and mean it because now I understand what a father really is.
I believe that spiritual fathers and spiritual mothers are essential in the church for repairing damage that has been done to young Christians. For me, it was the only tangible way to learn the basics of a relationship without expectations. Because of one person willing to take the time to step out in faith and keep trying even though it was difficult, I was able to know unconditional love and give my life willingly over to God. #unconditionallove #survivor #metoo

My daughter playing At the Cross by Chris Tomlin.

I am so proud of this girl right here. Not only does she play her flute beautifully but she is a great daughter.

Please Share This.

 

Hope.

 

While the entire world is recovering from celebrating the start of a New Year, those of us who have an illness are most likely inside today, still recovering from last month’s holidays.

Today, reflect on how far you have come. You made it!! Know that you are strong, courageous, and you are a winner.

As long as we are in this together, there is always hope!

Take time to celebrate the small victories.