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Angela Light

Walking it out- the great, the messy & in between

Redirect…..On Purpose!

Posted by angela on June 25, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 3 Comments

How can this matter? One more day of doing mundane chores that no one notices unless its not done. One more day of driving thru relentless traffic, going into the office to do work that doesn’t seem to matter in the big picture of life. Oh sure, it gets stuff done in the process of daily work but to matter on a bigger scale of life’s big picture? For eternity? Hardly…this isn’t work for the Kingdom, it’s a job. Back to the home front for family chores…people want to be fed, have clean clothes. She snaps about chores not being done. More bills arrive in the mail, the pets need a checkup, the kids need braces, and if one more person asks for a new pair of $20 socks, the latest celebrity endorsed pair of shoes, a new techno gadget, and rides to various events….ENOUGH.

She’s takes a deep breath, silently asks Jesus to give her a better attitude while stirring dinner on the stove. Of course, this brings the comment of ‘eeewwww I don’t want THAT for dinner tonight!”.  ‘Fine. Don’t eat’ she whispers to herself.

She takes a break, steps outside in the heat just for some space. How can she feel this way? She’s thankful. She’s blessed and she knows this. But the lack of gratitude. Lack of noticing what she goes through to provide, trying (not always successful) to keep a good attitude, keep everyone moving on the path of life…it’s just too much. Not just busy…but busy for what? It seems meaningless. How could one more load of dirty clothes matter in eternity? Oh Lord she whispers, I want to do something of meaning, of significance. …how is this doing anything important? I want something MORE.

Can you identify with this? Or know someone who can?

We may want to extend encouragement but somehow, feel empty ourselves and wonder…what is the answer? How do we keep moving forward when nothing feels like it matters.
The guilt sets in:
• Self pity is so ugly, forgive me!
• I’m blessed and happy to have what I do Father, thank you and forgive me for complaining!
We are sincere but the empty feeling seems to grip tighter somewhere deep inside.
Help Jesus…release this emptiness and fill me with you!

I know someone (okay, several people) who can relate to this situation. I asked a wise friend…someone who has walked through some pretty significant trauma…how do you keep going when it feels like we’re stuck? Her wise words are worth repeating:
Do it for the one
Focus on the one

Don’t focus on the empty, the feelings, the drudgery, the routines, the neglect, the lack of thankfulness. Focus on the one. Do what we do for the One. THE ONE.
It sounds so simple….so how do we lose our focus? Daily life. Daily struggle.

Sometimes we have to smack ourselves back into focus and MAKE our thoughts take a new pattern…focus on the One. Do it for the One.

Thank you wise friend! Thank you for redirecting this wandering mind that tends to trot off into places it doesn’t need to go.
Places that cause unrest and confusion.
Take control and purposely redirect…on the One!

Of course we’ll stumble. Of course our minds will wander. I sometimes get caught up in the ‘but I don’t feel like xxxxx’ and have to be very ON PURPOSE to make my thoughts redirect.

Almost like the GPS systems we used to have in our cars with the audible voice giving directions. We take a route it didn’t recommend and we’d hear ‘Rediecting’…
well…maybe I should take that to heart. You too?

Redirecting. Recalculating. A Do Over for our thoughts and where they drag us sometimes.
I know this doesn’t mean we’ll be skipping through the tulips in 3 easy steps.

But maybe, possibly…the redirection can crack through the stagnant empty place to one of hope…to see something we may not have recognized before. A new perspective through Him. A fresh thought that otherwise would never have developed. He is living water which never runs dry…so He CAN quench the empty place.

Help us Father keep our focus on you, Help us and guide us to redirect our wandering minds!

Hebrews 2:1
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it

Isaiah 26:3
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Romans 8:5-6
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

purposefulfaith.com

Hashtags

Posted by angela on June 18, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | No Comments yet, please leave one

 Join me in welcoming guest writer Robb Morgan today!!

Current culture; polarized views; how do we respond?

Check out Robb’s poem & perspective…

 

#Hashtags
Baltimore; Common Core; Climate Change and Lebron James
Internet trolls; primary polls; Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray….Love your enemy

Oil Fracking; NSA hacking
Gay, Straight, and Presidential Debates
Red or Blue, black or white; Clinton or Cruz, through pain and fright
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…Love your enemy

He did this, she said that
Gossip, slander, terrorist attacks; another divorce and excessive force
PARCC tests and civil unrest; Koch Brothers and countless others
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…Love your enemy

Pros and cons, for and against
Same-sex marriage, military defense
Poverty, charity; unmanned drones
Glass houses and a handful of stones
The list goes on and on…. and on
Whether 1 percent or 99 don’t just tout the party line
From both pride or prejudice comes the cry for justice …”Crucify Him!”
The human race…. is starving for grace

To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…. Love your enemy

 

We live in a world that is highly polarized and in communities (and even households) that are often deeply divided!  A world in which complex dynamics of systemic poverty, racial inequality, economic opportunity are often reduced to over-simplistic statements and insensitive tweets and social media posts and #hashtags.

Beyond that, we live in a world that is constantly asking us to choose sides, to take up arms, to pick which team we are on and which team we are against and to walk in lockstep with their political ideologies and platforms.  Our teams are often depicted by colors, demarcations that allow us to know who is with us and who we are against – red and blue, black and white, light and dark; Scarlet & Gray, Maize & Blue. [Ohio reference for those not in O H I O]

We are about to enter into a political season in which our state, and specifically our portion of the state will be overwhelmed by political rallies and campaign slogans.  A battleground state contested between opposing forces highlighting, in some cases, competing values between spouses and siblings OR  mortal enemies – right or left, liberal or conservative.  We live in a political battleground state – a swing area, in the swing county, of the swing state for the presidential election each year proven true since the 1960s. As Columbus [OH] has gone, so has the presidency. And many of us have perspectives, thoughtful ones, informed ones, backed by grounded research, family heritage and legacy –  convictions for which are prepared to  “die in a ditch.”

And then there is the “other” – sometimes a distant faceless foe, in other cases close to home – a sibling, a spouse, a schoolmate or roommate, the neighbor with yard signs – the other, our enemy.

As opposed to our perspectives, theirs are ill-informed

  • OR they are uneducated
  • they are deceived OR
  • worse – immoral; they are darkened, blind or deaf and dumb.  By action and deed – real and perceived, thought and ideology – the “other” is our enemy.

And the narratives, agendas and platforms of all sides are akin to a “kingdom”  governing principles – social, familial, relational, economic that dictate how we live and how we think the “other” ought to.

Kingdoms with fortified walls and strong defenses.

Kingdoms with spokesman and experts, attorneys and statistics, with leaders and legends.

As in days past, kingdoms look for allies, for kindred spirits and like minds.  Unlikely alliances can be formed- but the enemy of my enemy is indeed my friend.

And as modern day Kingdoms look at the landscape for allies and allegiances, we look for those who will validate our position and posture.  And many turn to Jesus – He likes us and therefore is like us.  We like what he likes and therefore he likes what we like.

We hate what he hates and therefore he hates what we hate.

“I wonder If he’ll join our team?”   

And Jesus’s response, “how about you join my Kingdom?”

 

Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

Robb Morgan is the Lead Pastor at Delaware City Vineyard in Delaware, OH.

Robb and his wife, Julie Morgan, comprise the Pastoral Team. It is their responsibility to seek and follow God’s leading and, in so doing, to set direction for the church. http://delawarecityvineyard.org

Run? No thanks!

Posted by angela on June 5, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | Tagged With: , , , | 2 Comments

So what does it mean…’run’? I think to keep going. Keep moving. Keep walking running on the path. The daily life. Keep the feet going, one in front of the other. Don’t stop, don’t give up. Even when you want to, when you feel dry and crusty and can’t give or do anymore. Keep running.

Why? Well, what is the alternative? To stop? Abandon ship? Run away? None of these options give what we want or need in the long run. [Well…run away if it’s to a vacation spot somewhere tropical…but then you have to come back sometime. Maybe:)].
We’ve all heard ‘run the race’ which signifies us continuing on our path of life. Running the race of life with hope and expectation. I believe this but also slam into walls sometimes. Walls that may be invisible to others but stop me dead in my tracks along the path.

Walls that surround me at times with things like exhaustion and whispers of ‘just stop, its not worth it. no one notices anyhow’.

I have to smash thru that wall. Then as you pick yourself up to continue running, SLAM if you haven’t run face first into another wall called ‘disillusionment’.

Yep, this one whispers to me and my continual declarations that it doesn’t exist…well, I’m not being truthful. I get disillusioned. We all do at times. We know to keep going, living life, doing the basics but sometimes…when we come up for air and plead with the Father for change or progress and see nothing on the horizon…well, DISILLUSIONMENT. Disappointment.

I start wondering did I miss something? Am I doing what God wants me to? If I am on the right path, why does it seem so barren, empty and unfruitful at times? I must have misunderstood my path and I’m doing everything wrong I tell myself. Anyone else fall into this cycle?
So I pray for strength to continue running, endurance and guidance that my feet are on the path He wants them on. Then the hard part…keep running and waiting. Yes, I know. Even when I’m not seeing anything happening. When others around me have enlightening stories of success, impacts, breakthroughs, etc.

I’m still here…running along my path and trying to keep my focus on Him and not my feelings of failure or inadequacy. I remind myself feelings are not always reality…to focus on what I know is truth and not let my feelings guide me.
Yes, I get super frustrated. I ask God if He’s sick of hearing me cry out to him for change, for guidance. I wrap myself in a bubble of doubt and despair. I have to kick myself to crawl out of that ugly place-where my thoughts make it worse than it is. Just RUN.

Sometimes that is the answer. We don’t understand why things are happening in our world the way they are; why breakthroughs don’t seem to materialize; when will things improve or change; when will others change or cooperate (insert whatever word applies); when will we see something good from the continual steps we take each day. Just RUN.
I don’t want to keep going since it doesn’t seem like anything is moving forward. It feels stagnate at times. So my option is to quit running? And do what? Sit and cry out that I’m quitting this race until God does what I want Him to? Hmm…I realize that doing this is me trying to manipulate God into doing what I want, when I want it. Yikes! So….Run.

Keep running. Until He tells me to stop. Because really…isn’t that what we’re doing?
We’re running the race set before us (since he orders our steps), continuing in faith that we’re doing the right things even when it doesn’t feel like it (as long as we’re obedient, he is faithful)and don’t quit or give up. I encourage you…keep running. Even when you don’t feel like it, even when it doesn’t look like the path will take you where you envision you should be going in the timeline you think you should….just Run.

He has your back and if you are truly trusting in Him, He won’t leave you to be in this race alone. Just Run. This is the hard part…to not give up when things don’t seem to look like we thought it would—to keep putting one foot in front of the other. We do this in faith-Just Run.

 

Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. Psalm 37:34

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23

 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

 

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