Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I ran into an article about Tiger Woods and his infidelity problems, and this guy who wrote the article really spoke to me in how we see someone famous who really messes up. And how we all look at this person in discuss as though we never have blown it, or don’t have compassion for those who are humiliated in front of millions of people. It would be easy for me to sit here and go, oh well he had it coming. Though, I think maybe we all have it coming because we ourselves put us up on pedestals and have the balls to laugh and poke fun at someone who messes up when, we all are just as capable to do the same mistake as he did. To me, it is hypocritical to say anything about this man, who I only know through the TV screen. I feel as though when anyone is put under a spotlight or any type of success, their life and any problems they run into will always be breaking news. Though, as this article reads, it could happen and has happened to those who aren’t in the spot light and whose lives have been humiliated by the sin they have committed because of those who don’t realize that sin is sin, and we are all prone to it, no matter how severe. I don’t believe one sin is bigger than another, because in God’s eyes, it’s all the same.

If you have time, read this article, it may touch you like it touched me….

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/25/AR2009122501440_2.html




Sunday, March 28, 2010

Feared Into Believing

I am reminded today of when I first asked Jesus to come into my life. We were at a funeral, I was 7 or 8 years old. Nothing but fear pushed down my throat in attempt to get me saved so that I don’t go to hell did the trick. It was an open casket, and it was the first time I have ever seen a dead corpse. It scared the living day lights out of me, and I began to question why people die. I remember someone taking me up to the casket and telling me that there is nothing left in that body, and that their soul has gone to heaven. I then began to question this whole thing called, death. Nice people who my family knew were there. They quietly took me aside and started telling me ‘why’ death happens, and what comes next. I did the typical sinners prayer because that was the way to get saved of course and without those spoken words, ‘it wouldn’t happen’. After hearing that, I was so afraid that if I didn’t accept Jesus into my heart then, I would be the next to go, and even worse, I would end up in the pits of hell. There’s nothing like scaring kid’s to death to persuade them to do something, it works every time. After that, I was afraid of sleeping by myself, and believe it or not I was still afraid of the dark. Images of that dead body played in my mind, and thoughts pertaining to where I could end up, taunted me. I was scared.

When I look back at this time in my life, I am saddened that I came ‘to know’ my Savior through fear and guilt. I was a kid and only had a mind of a child. I was a child who cared only about playing, and discovering; a child who had years of development ahead of her. I never imagined what a huge responsibility I had in this life until that day. Until they told me that it was up to ‘me’ to take responsibility to not get thrown into hell by God. This was the first picture I had of God, that if I wasn’t on His side, I was going to hell. I heard that God loved me, but those words meant very little to a small girl who was deathly afraid of a God who had the ability to place her in hell. The bottom line was I was afraid of God himself. From that moment on until about 3-4 years ago, I never once thought this fear-based obedient Christian life was an illusion, until now.

I am heartbroken that there are many children out there that have similar stories like mine. Who came to know God through fear, not love. That in the depths of their little souls, they only want and need to know that they are loved through grace and that no matter what they do, they will still be loved by the Father. They then come to understand and know that they can love God back, not because they feel forced or feared into loving Him, but that loving Him is a choice, not a responsibility.

Learning to live loved by Father makes all the difference!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fear-Mongering and Overheated Rhetoric


I have been towing with the idea for several days now to write a blog about the reaction I’ve been hearing about the heath care bill. I just stumbled across the words in my title in something I was reading in a news story about the health care bill. Thought it would fit in perfectly to how I see people reacting.

Let me start out by saying that I am sad and frustrated that fear has a way to antagonize and stir up people’s emotions, especially those who I care for and love so much. I feel like anytime before this year, I would have been drowned by the fear and anger that is bloating and clouding up visions across conservative and Christian view across the board and to think I could actually separate myself from such madness was never a thought until recently. Blind spots on every corner, and they don’t even see it. Growing up a Christian and knowing what to fear has really never helped me trust God more, but to be more prone to letting fear have more say in my life. The root of the problem isn’t this health care bill, and what it entails, its the fear mongering and overheated rhetoric that has escalated profoundly that has opened my eyes to what the real problem is in and among people in America, especially those who proclaim to know the Lord. Fear leaves a much bigger mark on people than love does it seems. It lingers on and on, until the subject of what is feared slowly loses its popularity or eventually dies.

I was having a similar conversation with my husband who happens to be very much into politics and seems to be very informed about what is going on. He says its not fear, but awareness. If its just awareness, then why do people have to make a huge fuss about it and instead of complaining and throwing hate around, go do something about it. I am not going to sit here and say that I think the bill is fine, when I hardly know what is in the bill, but the point I am trying to make isn’t about this stupid bill, but how unaware people are to what their reactions do to others, and it’s not pretty. The reactions that are coming from Christians I wouldn’t call Christ-like in the slightest, when all I have been hearing is anger, hate, fear, and making judgments about something that hasn’t even taken an effect. It’s purely frustrating to me. And what is worse is that fear drives people to such madness. People who I love dearly are in this crazy fear-based, overheated spin zone. It looks like this once you step out of its rhetoric and see it for what it really is. All I see in politics is if its not one thing, its another, and just to get your panties in a bundle over decisions about freedom in America that really doesn’t have to do with freedom at all, but what is of this world is a waste of time. We spend more time spreading hate and fear instead of making a difference in this world to spread love and real freedom.

All I wish for and pray for, is that people will wake up to what really matters, and find that maybe freedom isn’t just found in the constitution but take a look at the bigger picture and find that spreading this kind of chaos isn’t worth it in the end.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lost In Thought









Today I’ve been thinking about when we move back to the states. Where we will end up. How things are going to go. It’s kinda nerve racking to think about, but definitely keeps my mind busy. We’ve been looking for jobs in and around NM, CO, AZ, UT, ID states. We want to stay close to home where both of our families are, it all just depends on the job opportunities that come our way. Recently, I bumped into a job in Albuquerque New Mexico for Jonathan working as an instructor at CNM College. He really wants to teach more than anything so I think he is going to apply for that job. I am actually really excited about the possibilities to move to Albuquerque. My brother lives there, and my parents and Jon parents are only a couple of hours away. And it’s a city. Not a huge city, but, big enough to feel very civilized, in which I’d prefer. So we shall see what comes of this if anything. It’s hard not to get my hopes up, but I will take whatever comes.

I’ve been thinking about going back to school to either finish my degree in Early Childhood Development, or I’ve been interested in Culinary Arts. I can’t decide what I would want to do. It would be a huge change for me and the workload would be a lot. Something I haven’t done in years, though, in some ways I think I could sore to the challenge as long as I am not thrown into several math classes, in which I despise. All this is just a thought in which just came to me today, so nothing but thoughts are happening at this point. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself because nothing is certain right now where we will end up. Its good to put things in their rightful place and deal with what comes first. I am excited to move back to the US though because I am ready for that change.

Costa Rica has been a great experience. Learning about different cultures, and way of life in comparison to what I’ve always known in America. It’s been a trip that is for sure. The heat is getting to me, which makes living down here not very pleasant! I was never used sweating so much! The humidity is super high and the average temps are like 90 + degrees here. My skin is constantly sticky. I just feel dirty all the time. I’m not too fond of the weather here. But despite that, moving to another country has done more for me than what I ever thought possible. It has really thrown me out of my comfort box that I used to living in, in America. Things here are so unpredictable at first and so foreign. The language barrier is a huge gap in trying to get around. I am at a point that I understand enough to get by, and that is a huge accomplishment I think. I can live in other places even if it is unsettling at first and learn about different cultures. This world is so huge, and there are so many places to learn about and explore. I wouldn’t take anything back from this experience even working at the school I was working at was an experience in which I thought was good for me at the time!


I never understood why God would put us in a work environment that is so systematically based that everything you do is monitored or controlled. Once we found ourselves escaping one system, we found God allowing us to be put in another. It’s amazing how that works, and I have thought about this for quite sometime. All the dogma and rules aren’t only found in religious institutions, but in all systems. The systems of the world run on just that. Maybe I will write a blog that will break those thoughts down even more. It’s just interesting how thats happened.

Well, that's all for now...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Freedom In Letting Go


I think I am beginning to understand how expectations on relationships can potentially destroy any health that is found in relationships. I’ve been going through some stuff that has really opened my eyes to this fact. It happens in the slightest of ways. It’s when our expectations take on more importance than others or relating in a non-selfish way. It happens too often, and I have found myself wondering why some relationships that I have, aren’t working out so well. Once I started letting expectations go in my relationships, a new profound awareness of how selfish I really was opened up my horizons. It’s really fascinating to me actually. I never thought I would really come to grips that I was the problem for the longest time in my relationships. That my expectations were held in more importance than the people I am learning how to grow in relations with. I think God has really started opening my eyes to what is actually going on here. A good friend and I were talking about this not too long ago, and how it starts when we don’t even see it. How unhealthy relationships start with our parents, our grandparents and how it makes its way up to us. It’s a profound and complex issue I think, and I may just be touching the surface now, but I think it’s a good place to start though.

Here is something my friend, Kent shared with me that made perfect sense in relation to what I am talking about here.

“People we have been in relationship with will always react to a changing of the dance. Even if they hate the present dance...it is familiar and gives them a sense of control. You don't have to attempt to change their dance directly...that would be a violation of their freedom to choose for themselves. But the simple act of you changing your dance will in effect change the dance you are in with everyone around you. Some will come to see that the change was needed and is healthy...some won't.”

If you drop all expectations, the pressure is off, and then real relationship can start to happen. The freedom I give others to be who they are and do what they will without the intrusion of my own expectations or desires, relationships will start to mold into what they were supposed to be, in a more natural form and not in forced or expected way. They may never end up to be more than a shallow relationship, but, at least this way, I am no longer feel the responsibility to hold something together that wasn’t my job to do so in the first place.

Though I feel like I have barely touched the surface on this on-going problem, I think Father has opened my eyes to how dangerous and threatening expectations are on relationships. I am releasing myself to freedom in my relationships and see them for what they really are, and not how I want them to look like.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Love Can Heal Broken Souls



In relation to my latest blog, I have been thinking about what brings people to be violent, hurtful and dangerous. I know it is in all cultures that this is happening, its in human blood that has been past down from generations to generations that stem from sinful natures and evil that is evident in this world. However, I am beginning to sense something much more evident than this.

There is something very immense lacking in these lives. Something that would change anyone from practicing such hates. The lack of love and hope is what I sense that is lacking big time. Once this incident happened to our friend, I had another teacher friend say on facebook why such evil takes place on the most innocent ones around us, and why does it happen at all. People who perceive to have excuses for such behaviors are missing the point. They are missing what it is to be human, to live loved and to love others, to LIVE. This concept is hard for those to understand what love really is. I wonder what these people go through to not understand the concept of love. Sometimes I really think these people really don’t know any different. They may know what is ‘ethical’ or ‘right’ but doesn’t mean they care, and it doesn’t mean they are going to stop, and it might mean they don’t know what love is. It’s hard to think any good thoughts about this person who devoured my friend, or the other one who had bad intentions toward my other friend!

Once I read my latest blog, I noticed I was coming from a place of fear, that there are many here where we are currently living who do have bad intentions for us innocent by standards who are here to learn about their culture, and their way of life, not the evil side to this life, but you know what I mean. But maybe being fearful is a bad approach, though my first initial thoughts and actions would to be abrasive in order to defend myself against such evil. Maybe through all this, even through the worst of it, would it be a waste of time to hope? Hope that things could change in these people’s lives? That instead of turning to violence and greed, they would turn to love and respect of another life? It breaks my heart for them in a way. I can’t relate at all to them, but I feel some kind of sense of sad for them. That they choose to live such low quality lives, that they have to go and ruin someone else’s life in order to feel either better about themselves or whatever it really does for them. It doesn’t make any sense to me. But then I think about how that person was raised, what morals, or what kind of love was shown to this person as a child. It could be highly possible that love was completely left out of the equation, and through that, this kind of behavior and way of life was taught.

I just got to come to a place of accepting that until I leave this earth, things will continue to be the same way, and people will still be lacking love and proceed to be destructive and corrupt. But then somehow, through all the chaos and violence, there just has to be something or someone that can shine the light on what is missing in their lives. There is hope that love can prevail and can reach the worst people, just maybe! God has a way to do that I know he does. I know he could use me, or anyone who was willing. This is huge. Somehow seems way beyond my reach in hopes to make a difference. Though I can attest to how far Father’s love can reach. It is possible!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Danger Lurking



It’s interesting what I have taken for granted when I lived in the states, to go out of my house and get in my car and drive to the store, or go for a walk or go to a restaurant by myself. Things are safe there and things are pleasant. Things are different here in Costa Rica. In recent days, there have been some incidents that have occurred that really brings me back to reality of where I am living. Scary and threatening to the point that I don’t even want to leave our apartment, even during the day. If I do go out, I am constantly on guard and uncomfortable. Before these recent events, I was naive, and almost blind to the fact that maybe, just maybe I am a target for disaster here. I am white as they come, and a women. I was caught off guard when we first moved here, as the tico men would stare at me like I was some kind of meat to devour. It made me nervous and even sick to my stomach. These events that I am about to discuss are exclusive and to ensure the privacy of the parties included, I will not use any names.

A couple weeks back, we have a close teacher friend who was with us at a birthday party in Jaco, which is a larger town close to where we live. Jonathan and I and our friend were coming back into town where we live in a taxi after a fun filled evening. We got dropped off at our apartment first because we were closer, and our friend was going to take the taxi back to his place. Jonathan and I woke up the next morning to hear the scariest news we have ever heard. Apparently our friend, who was going to take the taxi home, never got home that night! He stopped off at this restaurant to get some chicken, and decided to walk home which was over a mile away from the restaurant, at 2 or 3 in the morning. He was walking home, and this guy asked him for some money and drugs, and he said no. Then the guy beat our friend to a bloody pulp and stole his wallet and watch, and perhaps other items he had on him. He was left on the side of the road when the guy got scared off when a taxi driver showed up to investigate what was going on. Thankfully, our friend was not dead, but was in desperate need of medical attention. He got escorted to a medical facility in Jaco where we just came from, and was given these horrible stitches, and then they released him. He then walked to some teacher friend’s house in town, and stayed there for the night! To make a long story short, our friend got the proper care he needed and lost a front tooth and suffered from a lot of damage to his nose and eye. Praise God he is going to be all right though. This is just a prime example of how scary it is here. Another short example is another friend that is a teacher here was walking down the street in Jaco, I believe it was right after dark. This guy rides past her on his bike and stops right away and grabs her arm and tells her to go with him. Thankfully, there was tourist passing by and the guy freaked out and she was able to get away from him.

I can tell you one thing; I am not going out alone after dark! I will not be at risk. Though I am afraid, even during the day, this could happen. This past weekend we went to the city of San Jose, and Jonathan and I got some defense items. A large knife, some mace, and a beating weapon! We may be prepared, but I pray that we will never be put in situations where we have to use these. Never thought I would live in a place where I would feel so unsafe and feel so exposed like a target. I do know that fear has never done any good in my life. I just want to be safe, and be protected!

If you can, please pray for our safety and the safety of the other teachers here for the duration of our time here in Costa Rica.

Covered in safety…Amen!

Monday, March 8, 2010

DAN FOGELBERG NETHERLANDS (HIGH DEFINITION)

New Changes...



Well, I haven’t changed my blog in many moons, so I thought now that I have all the time in the world, and I am not working, I would do it! Oh I didn’t tell you did I?! The school let me go early due to finding my replacement, so my last day was last Tuesday… It feels good, real good to be free from that place. God knew what he was doing when he released me. It was time! So what am I going to do with myself? Stay safe and relax a lot and hopefully do a lot of writing here, and do some fun research of all kinds of stuff! Looking forward to this time. I feel so blessed it’s amazing! Keep checking in, there will be more to come, much more I hope!

Blessings to all you readers out there!