Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happenings

Wishing there was more hours in the day… I started a new book called, Ethics of Freedom by Jacques Ellul, though I just started it, it is beginning to open my eyes to so many things. I asked Father today that he would open my mind up to understand this in a deep and filled way. It seems to be very complex, and I have a tendency to give up way too early on things that take more brain power than I want to bring forth. Lately though since getting this book, I have wanted to understand things that are difficult or complex that will challenge my knowledge, but at the same time grow me and teach me things that will be with me for the rest of my days.

Today my great Grandmother past away; she was 95 years old. It was time for her to go though because she suffered for a while with being weak and dealt with a lot of pain. She got really sick like three months ago and they took her to the hospital and from that point on, she has been going downhill. In many ways, it has relieved my mom and grandma from taking care of her full-time. It has been difficult to say the least. I was able to see her last Sunday and asked her how she was doing, and all I could hear her say was, “I am happy”. That gives me peace that she is no longer in pain or striving to live when she knows her time is up. It is so hard to watch someone go through the dying process especially when she seemed to be holding on for dear life. It’s so weird to think that she is no longer going to be there when I go down next time to visit my family. It kind of reminds me of when my dad died. After he passed, going home was the strangest things in the world, to think that we would be going home without him. His presence would no longer accompany us. My grandmother was a Jehovah’s Witness. She knew what the bible said blindfolded, and only in the ways that this religion understands it. It sickens me to no end, that what if my Grandma only knew was this religion, and she really never got to have a relationship with Father? Sometimes I have to wonder if religion is a sin. If it has the power to keep us away from truly having a conscious relationship with Father and to know who He truly is in our lives. All the rest of the stuff, regardless of the ‘belief’ can keep us away from Father. I pondered on that thought today after I heard of my Grandmother’s passing. It is with great disdain to see religion be put on a pedestal and to see mere humans bow down to its demands. What emptiness will be found when this life is all said and done. I have a hard time getting that people are easily persuaded to sell their souls to a religious entity, or system. It saddens me to no end seeing my Grandma in this way and deep down inside I knew she was not a really happy person, and treated her daughter, which is my grandma very bad sometimes. Her religious agenda’s and things she strive for in this life only left her empty and dry at the end of her life. I have great hope that Father will still give her a chance to get to know him, but we only live once, and to see it pass by so quickly opens my eyes to how precious our time here on earth is. I want to gain and understand who Father is the more I realize how short of a time I will be here on earth. Well, this wraps up my thoughts for the evening.

More thoughts will come I assure you.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Nicole, First off, I wanted to say I'm so sorry about your grandmother. I pray the Lord gives you and your family great peace during this time. Moving on..I just got on here and was reading some of your blogs. I have to say I'm quite amazed. I read so much about "freedom" and "love", yet, I sense an air of pride and near hatred in many of your posts and responces. I was reading what everyone (including "anonymous") had to say in your second to last, I believe it was, blog and I was shocked with the way he/she ? was responded too. Especially by, UsherandDeacon and Laurie. If it is freedom you believe so much in, why do you not allow "freedom" to disagree with you (and others) without such hostility? There is no "my way, your way" with "Father". It is ALWAYS.. HIS way. He has called us to be light in dark times, peace in the midst of chaos and confusion, etc... We should not to be bringing more "I'm right, your wrong" to the table. Therefor, let me say this.. I'm not always right. Many many times I "miss the mark", but I believe (as you do it seems) that our Father is a God of peace, patience, kindness, love ,etc...

Anonymous said...

Sorry.. I got cut off. :) Anyway, when we as followers of Christ (church goers or not,) start fighting amongst ourselves we completely tear down and destroy all we are trying to accomplish in bringing lost souls to Jesus. Anyway... that was just what came to me and I felt I should share. Thanks for reading :)

Nicole said...

Thanks for sharing (man/women without an identity)...

I just speak from the heart, whether or not it is 'positive' or not. I am not afraid of what you or others think of me. I do not write to gain anyone's approval, and if that is what you are looking for here, you won't be finding it... Yes, of course I like it when people like me and what I have to say, but, that is not the goal of my writings. It is to spread the truth in the ways that I perceive it and understand it whether or not you agree with me... I don't mind at all that you don't agree with me, but, what is wrong with disagreements? You seem to have a problem with it, not I! I never once hashed out on you, only when you won't share who you really are... That does bother me BTW... Why are you so interested in my writings? I should have the right to know who my readers are... Obviously that is not important to you, therefore why waste my time in talking to a man/women without a face or a name? Maybe those who responded to you in the second to last blog post wouldn't be so defensive if you gave your identity. . . To them you are just a trouble maker who's only goal is to stir the pot to get attention, and not to have a conversation with...

Leah said...

Hey Nic,
Just want to let you know that I am truly sorry to hear about your great-grandmother! I will be praying for peace for you and your family during this time! Love you!

Aida said...

Nicki, I’m sorry about your grandmother.

This was another great post and, as always, I enjoy reading your thoughts. As you know, I still attend a church and, like you, I see the errors and dangers of the mindsets and teachings that have found their way into the church. And, of course, I know that you’re not angry at people but at the mindsets that keep them bound and you’re right to be angry. God has called us to be free and to follow him and not a set of traditions that have sprung up over the years. People need to hear that and I’m thankful that you and others are boldly speaking out.

There will always be those who think it’s their job to correct and tear down but don’t worry. Your love and sweet spirit shine very brightly through what you write. You’re doing a great job so continue to be led by the Spirit and don’t worry about people’s opinion.

Amy said...

Nicole,
Ah...I am so sorry for your great-grandmother, my dear sister.

Losing a loved one...it's simply hard.

The precious perspective of the treasure of life seems to be the Gift Papa is giving you through her loss.

Indeed, I too, desire with all my heart for everyone to know Papa Jesus Holy Spirit in an intimate relationship here, on Earth, and walk with Him for many, many years.

Blessings,
~Amy :)

observer said...

Anonymous:

I Cor. 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

John 13:35 By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.

1 Peter 4:15
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a BUSYBODY in other men’s matters.

1 Cor 1:10-17
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, that no man should say you were baptized in my name. Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void.

2 Timothy 2:23,24
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nic

This is your Aunt Denise. I haven't checked in on your blog lately because I have been so busy at work lately...year-end activities.

First, I'm so sorry to hear about your great grandmother. I didn't realize you had JW in your family. That's interesting. I can relate to your mom's burden of caring for an aging person. That's pretty taxing on a person so I pray for her strength, as well as your grandmother's. I'm glad you got to see your great grandmother before her passing.

I read through a couple of your past posts. I find it amazing that you are exploring to such depth...probably pretty healthy. Of course, "Anonymous" is bringing up some good points just like all your respondents. The way I see all of this conversation could be wrapped up in just a few thoughts. Here are mine:

1. God gives us this marvelous mind to use for His good. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:8
"8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." I

think this is a pretty good guide of where we spend out "thinking time." Joyce Meyers is great about tying this to the battlefield of the mind...keeps up healthy boundaries in our thinking.

2. We don't need to make the gospel difficult. I see a lot of intellectualizing in all these writings (both blogs and responses). The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple--requiring the faith of a child. Lee Strobel spent years digging and digging for the truth. (I realize what you are doing is NOT digging for the Truth of Jesus Christ--you know Jesus!) The great result of Lee's years of searching was a profound awakening of who Jesus is and Lee's purpose was in this life. He is now a great messenger of the gospel. Who knows what God has for you when you reach the other side of your digging? You may be the next great Billy Graham! :) Who knows, your hours of digging may turn to your hours of sharing the simple love of Christ. Keep digging, Girl. Remember, spend equal time digging in God's Word too as you are digging in man's writings.

3. Also in line with this simplicity of the gospel is simple love and non-judging attitude. I have to say I do agree with Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous in that I do hear an underlying message of judging in your writings. Many of your writings are full of profound words of what you are finding in your explorations--which is amazing and shows your extreme intelligence. Where the thread of judging comes in is when to make references to "those who are bound by religion" and references to those in the church. I see where Anonymous writes that he does read about your "love" and "freedom" but senses "hatred"--even though I wouldn't term it hatred. I don't know what's going on in your head and heart and that shouldn't be any of my concern. What God is doing in your life is much more than I can comprehend. I see your writings as a way to process internally what is going on and your willingness to share. We readers should just read it then respond on what we think...not try to argue a point. We may not agree with what your saying (anymore than you agree with what we may say). However, we should each have the freedom to share how we see it--all in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way. All done in love.

I guess my thoughts on this point is when love abounds, an outflow of the heart will be love of all and everything--the church, those in and out of the church, those who agree or disagree, the hypocrites, the sinner, etc. I know your blog is your platform for self expression and everyone should respect that. Everyone, including you and me, need to share in a healthy way w/o being condemning, judgmental, or argumentative. Otherwise, one becomes a hypocrite. I once took a discipleship class and the key point I remember learning was how to witness to the person who is hiding from Christ because of the Christian hypocrites. We were trained to respond that to hide from Christ because of the hypocrites, you have to be smaller than the hypocrite. It was a picture of how to hide behind an object, you have to be smaller than the object.

I just think we need to focus on love. We all can share our thoughts and then stop at that point. Just share what motivates oneself to do and believe something without mentioning what motivates someone else to do something. Crossing the line otherwise just brings in an argumentative platform.

MY SUMMARY: This is your blog so everyone should accept what you say as your exploration of life. Faith and the gospel is simple. Jesus said love is foremost. Any judging of another because beliefs don't align with one another makes one a hypocrite.

Keep exploring, my Dear Niece. On the other side of your journey, you will take that God-given passion to a higher level of what God has for you. I look forward to what that is! I will sit back and say, "That's my niece. I was honored to follow her journey in her days and years of preparation."

I love you!
Aunt Denise
(I don't want to register so I guess my name won't show up on my post"

Nicole said...

Hey Aunt Denise!

It is a pleasure to hear from you as always. Thanks for stopping by!

I thank you for your kind words, and I totally agree that every conversation that includes disagreements should first be covered in love and not in defense or in an argumentative way. I may come across in a judgmental way towards other who do certain things, but let me assure you that, that is not my intention... It is only to express the way I view 'church' and how the 'churches' now a days do not represent Father in the least! Not even the best church building out there has perfectly expressed Father for who he truly is, because we are dealing with mere humans who are not perfect and will never be. I think it is so easy to get lost in the thought of what is actually "church". To me, it is not a building, it is not things we do inside of a building on certain days of the week, its the people, you and me who profess to be in relationship with Father, and I think the rest of that stuff just fogs up the purpose of being in relationship with Jesus. Jesus is not a system to be worked, but is a God who loves us and desperately longs to be in relationship with us! I have worked and been involved over my head in things in church buildings, and never have I found so much more rest and deep understanding of Father then I do now, when I don't involve myself with that anymore, but this is only 'my' experience, and can't and will not say that this is true for everyone. This is only my opinion, and does not stand to judge those who feel led to go to a church building... That is completely their call, and if they feel fulfilled in doing so, then good for them, and I hope that they will see Father as much as they can in what they involve themselves in.

Thanks Observer for the scriptures, they hit the nail on the head. Um, so, Observer huh? Never have seen that one before! Thanks for coming by! I guess I should come up with a hidden identity too, maybe no one will ever know that it is me writing on my own blog! Haha!

In Freedom, Nicole!

non-metaphysical stephen said...

Ellul is great -- not easy, but very insightful. May God give you the wisdom you need to read fruitfully!

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