Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life Stages That Are EXPECTED

I have a couple of friends who are pregnant. One friend I grew up with and have been close to for many, many years, however, I find it hard, irritating, and uncomfortable when things in life, such as a pregnancy or marriage or some life changing event can separate and categorize me differently from where they are in life. I feel like in order to measure up and relate to them I must be in the same boat as they. Right now I am not talking about religion, but about stages in life and where one is. I feel like the relationship can never be the same until I jump on the pregnancy band wagon. I am not there yet, I actually have thought about the possibility of never having children, but the pressure of this stage is so relevant that it freaks me out. Being pressured into doing something, especially if it is a huge life changing event makes me want to run SCREAMING the other direction. I find it hard now to relate to these friends of mine who are in different stages in life. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand the differences, but that does not make me want to ‘do’ as they do either. The voices in my head tell me, to get over myself and join the club of expectancy, and the other voices tell me to ignore and go on with life. What voice in God’s though? It is so hard sometimes to distinguish the voices. Maybe non are Father, and I just make them up as I go along. Who knows? I am pathetic. I get really edged up about this that I just want to move to Bermuda or somewhere so so far away that I won’t feel pressured or taken over by the expectancy of others. I grew up in a church that everyone was raised homeschooled and the girls my age weren’t really encouraged to go to college, but get married and raise children. That was the norm and it felt like it was expected of us. I went to college, got married, but I am not about to go have children because everyone else is having them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

No Ones Watching

When no one is watching, doesn’t that give some the freedom to do certain things they wouldn’t normally do when certain people are keeping tabs or watching what we do? We get so concerned with what others think about us and what we do, and in the midst of this, we forget that the only thing that matters is that Father is watching us and He cares for us far more than people do. This happens more in religious settings and congregations than anywhere else. Growing up in an institution, it becomes very noticeable because I used to put on a show in church sometimes, and then when I wasn’t there, go out and do something that was not of God in the sight of some who would forbid certain things. I am sure a lot, if not everyone, has done something that has caught eyes and bad attention that forces them to fake it and hide in some cases. However, everything changes when our focus becomes more on Father and living for him every single day. We began to notice how we behave when we care that God cares for us, and we start to realize that God may not be too keen on some of the things we do, instead of caring so much about what so and so would think and act upon that by acting differently in front of them, we care more about God and use his PERSONAL conviction to lead us and guide us… See the difference? Then we are free to NOT care what others think and who is watching us because ultimately God is our personal leader and is big enough to be God in our lives… It’s hard to stop hiding but we can do it, if we stop caring who see's us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not Knowing God Personally

Do you think that it has been possible that a Christian has lived their entire lives not knowing who God truly is to them? They may have given the knowledge of all the details of the bible and what it intales, but has no reality of having an intimate relationship with God. Wow, can you imagine going through your whole life as a Christian not having a relationship with Father? I would not see the point of living as a Christian without truly knowing God personally. I think that if one only speaks as a Christian who does certain things as a 'Christian should' does not give the spacific details to the importance of what being a Christian is all about.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seeing God For Who He Truly IS

The way we perceive God’s character, gives us permission to act and portray the same character of God. If a person has an image of an angry God who punishes and condemns people who don’t conform to his authority, doesn’t that give that person permission to be angry and act the way they see or understand God’s Image? However, the more one understands God’s true character and image of unconditional love and acceptance, one will come to the conclusion that they no longer can use God as an excuse to act nasty towards others who don’t do things they do or believe how they believe… If we think God uses fear to manipulate people to come to him, it makes sense to think we have ‘permission’ to use fear and manipulation in order to control others to conform. We tend to create our own image of God and we think God hates or is angry with someone we are angry with and that makes it okay. . . I know for me, I have dealt with anger, but knowing his true character, I think that anger comes from my fleshly desires and the dark side of me. It has nothing to do with Father and who he is in my life… The way he shows himself to me is the exact opposite of how I act or live sometimes; living with anger, bitterness, and uneasiness that is covered in fear and manipulated thoughts, it takes away the peace and love that are major characteristics of His Image. I am ready to see and accept Father for who he truly is, and that is abundant love and acceptance of me no matter how I act or live. Something within me desires to express myself through the true nature of God that will take the place of the false images of Father I once had…

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Boycott System

There is a trend in politics and also in religious groups that I find quite annoying and absurd. I think boycotting certain things like not shopping at Target because some of their sponsors support abortion, or even not buying certain items that is supported by particular groups… It’s like people think that if they STAND AGAINST something they are making a stand for what they believe, but in reality, does it really make a difference of what others think? I would get some emails from some friends that are petitioning against something and encourage everyone else to jump on the boycott band wagon. It is so funny but I hardly see the point. At some point, people think that if you ‘do’ this or stand for ‘that’ you are ‘supporting’ sin, when, in reality if I buy a certain pair of shoes that are made from a company that supports something that is religiously wrong, the focus in now on ‘me’ who 'did' the wrong by buying the item… It becomes a vicious cycle of finger pointing and is complete stupidity in my opinion. To me, it is just another system that tries to enforce itself on people, and I refuse to support the BOYCOTT SYSTEM…

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unplanned and Unexpected Visits With My Father

Quiet times in our Christian circles, has become a time set aside to spend time with the Lord, but I think that if that is the only time we allow ourselves to be with Father and try to ‘make’ something happen during that time, doesn’t that hinder the possibilities of spontaneous experiences that we could have? I remember having a certain time of day set aside for Father, and honestly, I never got a whole lot out of it, it became more of something to check off my daily list, and nothing more. I remember hearing growing up that it was crucial that we have quiet times with the Lord every single day in order to be close to him. Today, that doesn’t make sense to me because why can’t I feel close to him just living and being every single minute of every single day with him? That just boils down to ‘doing’ something for God than living day to day with Father and being open to His unexpected presence… I honestly, hardly just open my bible to read, if I want to be close to Father I will read blogs, or stories of other people’s lives today to see the presence of Father in others lives, or I read good books… I don’t think I remember the last time I opened the bible to just read it. There is nothing wrong with just reading the bible if one feels like that is the way to be close to Father, but I don’t think that everyone feels the same… I definitely don’t. I find that the best times for me to spend time with the Lord are unplanned and are mostly unexpected, and through those times, I feel completely fulfilled and satisfied with what Father has to offer in my life. So, I started a new daily list, and quiet times are NOT on it!!! FREEDOM is to express myself and be who I am wherever and whenever Father and I want to chill!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Living For God Isn’t About dying, It’s About LIVING

So, I have been thinking that living for God and being in relationship with him is about LIFE, and life to the fullest. Why, then is so many focused on dying to sin and being so concerned with Not sinning and miss the reality of living life to the fullest? Not in a sinful way, but really get to experience what life is all about when we are living for God instead of trying so hard not to sin; we miss the experience of life in abundance. I think a lot of it is where the focus of our life is and whether we take advantage of just living… It’s really easy to get in that old grind of making sure we don’t slip up, but our efforts will always, every time become unfulfilled, and it reminds me of really wanting to die trying. It’s amazing how much pressure we put on ourselves so we will measure up… I have heard that our goal in life should be to become PERFECT like Christ is perfect. Who are we kidding, honestly! That to me is a waste of time and that expectation will always leave us empty handed and alone in the midst of trying, every single time… I don’t want to be perfect, I want to be who I am and live life to the fullest with Father and get out of life as much as I can without any effort on my part behind it… I want to just be, and through that, LIVE!

Monday, July 14, 2008

In My Daddy’s Arms

Today I woke up with tears streaming down my face in thought of my dad who passed away when I was ten. It was quite a surprise because I haven’t thought about him in a very long time. He has always been a constant memory, but lately, he hasn’t crossed my mind in a while for some reason. It really hit me when I was dreaming of him and he seemed so real. In my dream I saw him driving a van, and my mom and I were with him. We stopped and my mom got out of the van to go somewhere and I remember stepping out going around to the driver’s door and opening it and telling him I didn’t want him to go. I knew he was going to die. It was so heart wrenching. So vividly real, how I could feel so much pain in a dream. He never said anything in my dream to what I remember, but all I can really remember is him holding me… I picture my heavenly Daddy like this, when I am going through something tough or hard, he will come to me and hold me silently, just the thought of him holding me is the most peaceful and warmest place that has ever existed. The truth in my Father’s eyes says that he will never leave me, and the touch of his hand says he will catch me if ever I fall! He says it best when he says nothing at all! I am given a song from Alison Krauss that speaks exactly what Father is telling my heart through this dream that I had…

"It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What's being said between your heart and mine

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all"

Thank you my heavenly Daddy for giving me this gift of knowing you and being with you. You are priceless and precious to my heart that I will never let go of…
I love you…

Friday, July 11, 2008

Think HUGE, Do HUGE, and Be HUGE……NOT……

I was reading one of Darin Huffords blog posts called Authentic Spirituality, it really brought several other thoughts to mind about how easy it is to get caught up in spiritual personal performance and self absorption in the midst of ‘trying’ to please the Lord, but also make a good name for ones self. That is a little twisted sounding if you ask me. I thought that when one’s purpose is to please the Lord, one is not out to get their own personal gain and attention out of it. I have tried doing things ‘for God’ and thinking, I don’t have much to offer, I have no HUGE testimonies to share of my life, I haven’t done something out of the ordinary that has a spot light on it. I don’t think anyone would think ‘my’ story is extremely amazing. But what’s more important to me is what Father sees and not what man see’s (sorry guys, no offence). I honestly don’t want that kind of attention in my Christian life with others. I would much rather have a simple down to earth conversation about Father than have it about something HUGE that I or someone else has accomplished! I also think that living for God doesn’t mean that I have to accomplish huge tasks, unless I knew that the God I served required that from me, but I know that he is simple and easily satisfied with who I am and what I do (if I do anything), and he takes all the pressure off of accomplishing huge amazements. I am a simple kind of person, or I have become simpler as I am learning how to live it more than just say it and think it! It makes me wonder how I survived the performance based reality I used to live in. Always making sure I went to church with a HUGE smile on my face regardless how I was feeling. Telling people I am great, when in reality, I was anything but great. How fake, how sad. It’s time for authentic realness in my life I am ready to dive in with all I got. I can tell you now that my life is not perfect and not pretty most of the time, but I can tell you that I am who I am by the grace of God whether you catch me on a good day or not!!!

Want To Chat Again This Sunday?

Hey guys, I could use some good conversation here soon!

How does this Sunday same time same place sound to get together to chat?

The times again would be, 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern.

Now, the next time if these times or even the day does not work for you please let me know and for the next time we can change it!

Hope you all can make it! I am looking forward to talking again!!!

Love in Freedom, Nicole!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Presence of God over the Image of God-

Yesterday when I was taking my daily walk by the river, I was thinking about Father and how living in the moment with him as I was enjoying the freeness I feel when I am close to him. I was pondering what image I have of Father. Is he that big guy up in the clouds looking down at me? Or is he my Father walking beside me through everything I go through? It touched my heart thinking about feeling the presence of Father in my life. He walks with me through thick and thin, through trial and error, through war and peace, or just a stroll down the bike path by the river. Through it all he is there! It’s a comforting thought to think that I am not alone, ever. I love it! He has a very good way to get my attention on His presence throughout the day even if I am busy doing stuff.

Sometimes I think the image I have of Father is just an idea I learned from another person, and who they think the image of Father is or what they understand him to be, but it doesn’t make sense that every single person would think of Father in the same way. It is easy to have an idea of Father than actually experience his presence, but once someone really recognizes the differences, something in our mind begins to shift our focus. We get out minds off of ourselves and what we think, and onto the ever realness presence of God. It’s exciting to see that there is a difference, and experiencing it first hand is an amazing thing.

Praise Him

Sunday, July 6, 2008

How Do I Get Out Of The Rut Of Religion?

I tend to get in the rut of religion sometimes. I think sometimes I get so head strong about my beliefs and what I think about Father and tend to get angry when other’s who are on opposite sides of me. I think partly it’s because I give into my humanness and forget about Father in those times. Opposition seems to be on the forefront of my mind at times and I forget what really matters. Opposition will pass someday I am actually looking forward to that day, but what do I do about it right now? It’s a struggle I have to let go of and move on and learn how to keep Father on the forefront of my mind! It bothers me so much that I allow it to get in the way of ‘possible’ relationships. Not that they would go anywhere anyway, I just get really exhausted of what seems to be a huge bridge of opposition between me and some other people! A lot of it is having conversations with others; they just don’t get me, or don't want to even understand where I am coming from. When I am in a conversation with others, I try to give them a chance to share what is on their hearts and I don’t want to seem that I am opposed to their view, but, I hate to argue or find controversy in the midst of relating to others. It’s dull and sad and frankly, I hate it! So, usually if I know there is an angst of opposition I tend to shy away from that and talk shallow or never get too close to discomforting discussions. I want to overcome this, but there are so many people who have this mission to prove something to me and I just can’t go there! I never try to go that far with people, but I have thought about how sometimes my thoughts about certain people go there, and I just don’t like it! I feel like I can’t relate on a level of deepness, which I would like to be able to. I wonder sometimes if my thoughts like this don’t allow me to be who I want to be with people who are on different pages than I. It’s quite frustrating.

Any Thoughts?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

First Day on the Job And I Already Quit

So to some the title may sound bad, but actually I think there is a lot to what happens in life that will lead us out of something we have gotten ourselves into.

Today was my first house cleaning job out at these peoples house like 30 minutes from where I live. My landlord, Barbara and I started a house cleaning business and got this call from this guy who wanted us to clean his house twice a week, and he lives way out in the middle of nowhere. So, we decided to go check it out and we said we would clean his house if he helped pay for the gas. However, ever since we agreed to clean his house, something didn’t feel right about it. So, as dumb as I am, I just ignore the negative thoughts and give it a try! Low and behold, my first day on the job, I break something. Yikes! I am in trouble now, I think to myself, and freak out! I was cleaning the microwave and took the glass platter that sits in the microwave out to clean it! Well, I put it on the counter and it breaks into to two pieces. OH my gosh, what am I going to do now? Well, I try not to lose it and clean as fast as I could so I could go out and buy him a new one to replace the one I broke! Well, I get to town and go looking for one, I stop at a dozen stores and I can’t find one at all! I am not sure what to do, so I call Barbara and tell her what happened and she helps me look for one, but still no luck. So after great deliberation, we decide that maybe we aren’t supposed to do this job way out there with gas being so high and how they want us out there twice a week and to be very consistent! It can get to be a lot….So…..We are throwing in the towel, and are going to tell the guy that we just can’t do it! I have decided that he can use the money he owes me for the cleaning job to order himself a new microwave platter. So, I think Father really was watching out for me, because just the other day I was worrying about this job and how rough it would be to drive that much every week…. Even though it would have been much easier to listen to what Father was saying and not have taken the job in the first place, but things happen for a reason and perhaps that is why I accidently broke the microwave platter!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Today I was walking on a bike path and I brought my camera along so you can see where I go and what I see… Hope you enjoy my excursion to not really a destination but where I came to a dead end…

When I walk on foot I am sure to look out for the signs-

This sign is to protect me from those crazy drivers!

I live off of College Drive

Down by the river to play...

He's not serious


WHOA! He has absolutely lost it!

Truck'n It

Oops, they missed one...

Some weird art I guess...

This one didn't make it...

Keep'n hydrated

Made it to the mall outside of town!

Only brought

Shoot and I am at a mall too....

Wish I had one of these right now...

The stop light by Wal-mart, my so called destination...

A path that came out of nowhere that leads to somewhere

Keep's going...

And going.... Like the energizer bunny......

Keep chugging that water...

It's The Shack

Look what I found...Want some?

Yikes, that feels good...

Home at LAST!