Blogger vs Atheist, 2 to 1 or 1 to 2?

Ok, I decided to put my blog about heaven on the Huffington Post’s religion section.  Boy, did the Atheists and Agnostic’s jump, scream, and condemn me.

It was discussed about how religion manipulates people and of course, there is always the fear of death answer. And then there was the logical explanation of dreaming comment, you know your imagination taking over in your sleep thing. Only, I was not asleep.

One lady compared those who talk of their beliefs, like me saying “I know there is a heaven”; to be an “in your face“ kind of thing.  And she would rather go to hell, than to heaven with someone like me.  Well, I have to admit I have felt the same about some people.  Then I found out; how can God extend me mercy and grace for all of my sins, if I can’t extend mercy and grace to others?  Do you know, now I can forgive, love, and even be kind to my worst enemy?  I need mercy and grace!

Funny, I thought the crux of being a Christian meant telling others what we believe.  I try not to be in anyone’s face over my beliefs. But I do believe you must stand up for what you believe in all things. I wanted to give hope and eliminate the fear of death, with the article.  So many people allow fear to manage their lives.

I did not see it as an in your face article. So, I could only smile as I read each angry word.  Why smile?  Because I know where I am going at the end of my life!

I did agree with the comment, that as humans we do tend to manipulate religion to suit our own needs.  We also manipulate science, history, and other people.  How many times have we looked back in history with a softer view?  And then there are the cults of our own religion, and the manipulation of people for money using Jesus Christ.  No we are not perfect and right. Neither are they.

I did have a sad, disturbing thought about our own Christian students going to colleges, universities, community colleges, and local school systems.  Because sometimes, they must endure an Atheist professor or teacher, who attempts to emotionally and mentally break down these kid’s beliefs.  While their only reason for doing so, is to prove themselves right, at all costs. Kind of like the nasty and demeaning comments that were made to me.  It is heartbreaking to think of an adult in such desperation.

As a Christian, we are to tell people the good news of Jesus Christ!  And when attacked, we should turn the other cheek to one of kindness.  Which from time to time, I have a hard time putting into practice. Human again! Then I remember CS Lewis, an Atheist, who set out to prove Christians invented Christianity because of their fear of death.  His logical, Oxford Scholar brain set out on a quest, which made him a Christian!

I leave you with this quote from CS Lewis…

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

I Know There is a Heaven

Yesterday, I wrote about my “Black Friday” experience and used Psalm 103:3-5.  It reminded me of a personal experience, that I had after my mother had passed from cancer.

I awoke in the middle of the night to someone stroking my face and hair.  And there was my mom.  She was young and beautiful again!  Not the ravaged body and worn face which the cancer and treatment had placed upon her. She had a holy beauty placed upon her by God!

So, our beauty truly does lie within our soul, not this outer shell. 

Then, there were two pillars, one on each side of her which resembled the Washington monument in shape and size.  They were so white, bright, and pure, it made me squint my human eyes.  The peace and understanding were immediately known within my heart. Then I laid back down and went to sleep.

Psalm 103: 3-5, states …

“He forgives your sins–every one.  He heals your diseases–every one.  He redeems you from hell — saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy — a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness — beauty eternal.  He renews your youth — you’re always young in His presence.”

I saw this with my mom!

Now, you would think to know Heaven waits for me after I die, is a comforting thought. And it is. But am I a better person because I know the truth?  Some days the answer is yes and some days the answer is no.  I, too, get caught up in the world and my own humanness.  Even when I do live in this world, I still know Heaven exists.  No doubt, no question, and no hesitation!

The experience with my mother has not been the only one in my life. Through out my life and more recently into my Christian walk, I have been blessed with glimpses into the “other” as C.S. Lewis called it.  The “Other” is the whole basis for Christianity, for if Heaven does not exist, Christianity can not exist.  Has your soul not longed for something, which your head does not comprehend?  Somewhere inside of you, knows the truth!  If you listen, you will hear the truth.

Lately, I have noticed a lot of books have been published about people’s personal experiences with Heaven and then, returning back to their earthly bodies.  Maybe God is trying to reassure us, because He knows our humanness wants proof by actually seeing and knowing in our human mind.  If we were to trust our “gut” or “soul”, then we would know without a doubt Heaven does exist!  Our soul sees what we cannot see and knows the location of our true home.

Have you listened to your gut lately?

I LIVED through Black Friday!

Yes, I went shopping on Black Friday. My daughter loves to go to Black Friday sales. I have always avoided the day. But this year we did a mother/daughter team and went together. I have to say, I had fun!

Now, my daughter, who should be classified as a “Professional Black Friday Shopper”, had a typed list. She knew exactly what she was getting and we only went to three stores. Our first stop was Target at midnight, and you are probably wondering why not Wal-Mart. Well, their prices were close if not the exact same, but Target offered gift cards with the higher priced item. Then we went to Belk and last was Bass Pro at Concord Mills.

The experience was not as bad as the media portrays it to be and there were a few “adults” who could have used a thump on the back of the head. But all in all, I enjoyed the night.

My rules for Black Friday.
1. Have a list of the items you need to purchase.
2. Decide ahead of time the stores you will visit and in what order.
3. If you don’t get something on your list, it is not the end of the world. So don’t show your ignorance by cussing out the hourly wage teenage sales clerk.
4. If you are so desperate to have an item that you will push people down, pepper spray them, or cause bodily harm to someone with your shopping cart…Go straight to the nearest psychiatrist’s office or even your bathroom sink, and soak your head!

The bible tells us how to have happiness.  In Psalm 103: 3-5, it tells us what God gives to us and that is all we should require to be happy. (The Message/Remix Bible)

“He forgives your sins–every one.  He heals your diseases–every one.  He redeems you from hell — saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy — a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness — beauty eternal.  He renews your youth — you’re always young in His presence.”

Not one part of  that verse says He gives us wealth, to buy all the material possessions we feel we need.  Not one part says we have to buy, and buy, and buy for our children.

Next year, I will sleep Thanksgiving afternoon until time to go.  I will try to bring a little Christmas cheer to those around me in line.  I will thank God for the precious time my daughter and I get to spend together!

Thankfulness

Sometimes I have to read 1 Thessalonians 5:18 over and over again, in order to kept my mind and spirit in a place of thankfulness.  Just like everyone else, life can get me down too.  My respiratory system might not be functioning well, so every day activities become labored and tiring.  Or I look in the mirror and see my distorted face from all of the surgeries.  Then I think I am more like a Picasso picture, with a nose here and an eye there.  Not to mention the stresses associated with living your life.

But God says we are to be thankful for one reason…because we believe in Christ Jesus.

1. Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks no matter what happens.  God wants you to thank Him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”

Pretty simple.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holidays Bring Family Problems

Every year, at this time, we begin trying to figure out the logistics of getting everyone together for Christmas. Now with our kids married, new in-laws and more family members than ever, it is becoming increasingly more difficult. Not to mention the stress.

I only have a brother with his wife and family, but my husband’s family has now grown to a whopping 22 and that does not include us. If we were included it would be 29. Location, day, and time are pretty hard to resolve because we don’t all live in the same area. Some are three hours away, and some two. Not to mention the cost involved with transportation, food, and presents.

My brother and I have agreed that we will try to get together during the year instead of at Christmas. He wants to be with his grandkids and I want to be with mine. We understand the fact, with his son in law enforcement and our son-in-law in fire, scheduling can be difficult. Also we want our children to spend the Christmas season at home with their children. And years ago, we decided to only buy for the kids.

Now one year, I suggested, we take the money, which we would spend on these gatherings, and give or spend it on people who are in great need. I brought up the point that we are all so blessed to have homes, food, and much more than the basic necessities of life. And I personally feel that at Christmas and as Christians, this seems more appropriate than adding to our own loot and fat bellies. Later on, we can pick a time during the year to visit with one another. What do you think?  Would your family do something like this at Christmas?  Maybe they already do.  Share, please.

Also, I don’t know if you know, but Christmas is not Jesus’ birthday. He was born either in April or June, and it is a well known fact among scholars. We celebrate Christmas in December because of the Catholic church. You see, it was during a time in history,  when the pagans had what was called Winter Solstice with the gifts, trees, and celebrations. The Catholic church wanted to convert them over to Catholicism, so they compromised.  The Catholic church’s big holiday would be celebrated during the pagan’s winter solstice.  Thus the Christmas holiday was established for all Christians by the Catholic church.

Isn’t it funny because of our human nature to control, we even gave Jesus a birth date that was convenient to our scheduling and motives?  Not really.  With all of the marketing, merchandising, and the going broke in December so we can owe, owe, owe in January; would it not be better for every one to take a step back.  To put into perspective the real reason for Christmas, which is that God kept His promise.  He created a royal blood line for Jesus to be born from, with the purpose of saving our sorry necks.  To make us royal subjects, with an inheritance of eternal life!

So this Christmas season try something new for a change. If you have anger in your heart, either toward others, yourself, or family members, this is the time to follow Jesus’ example.  Let it all go, forgive, and move on to a blessed, productive life.  Instead of one more expensive gift, buy someone lunch, dinner, or pay their electric bill.  Spend some quiet time in meditation with God.  The stress will flow away and His Holy peace will enter your soul.  Christmas could be your re-birth!

I would like to share with you a bible verse, which has taught me so much this year. From the bible, The Message/Remix,  Matthew 5:48, “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow Up.  You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.  Live out your God-created identity.  Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”  From Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

 

The Trouble with Seeing

Each morning, I have a devotional book that I like to read.  And at the end of each devotion is scripture to find in my bible and read also.  You know, God’s direction for the day.

Well, now that I am getting older, my eyesight has given way to prescription bifocals.  Getting use to the up and down movement of my eyes, can be a challenge at times.  So, sometimes I will revert back to my reader glasses.

Now, here is where having bifocals and reading the bible can be quite tricky.  Especially if you are waiting on God’s response.  During the up and down action of my eyes, they can turn numbers into other numbers.  Kind of a magician’s trick. A quick glance can turn a 5 into a 6 and so on.

Have you ever been praying to God about a concern or situation and waiting for His reply?  So, every morning and night you read your bible, waiting for that key phrase to impact your life.  Waiting for guidance in what to do next and waiting.

 Side note…Never pray for patience, God will teach it to you.

The wait is over and today is the day for God’s reply. Now, imagine this…A menopausal woman nearing fifty, faithfully reading her morning devotional and focusing on her life‘s direction and her writing.  It is really me.

Scripture says…Gen. 21:2 “For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.” 

Heart racing, sweat running down face, and reaching for the reading glasses.  Mind flashes through changing diapers, up all night, and my body.  At fifty it would never go back in place!  It is not even “in place” now! Switch glasses.

Scripture says…Gen. 39:2 “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”.

Thank you Lord!  Stomach feels a little nauseous, probably because of the up and down movement of my eyes and the bifocals.  Deep breath.  Whew, close call.  I mean if God said that I was to have a baby, well ok, I would have a baby.  But, well…you know.

And then there was the time I thought I was getting a terrific deal on a weed eater. The price tag looked like 19.95, but it actually said 119.95.  Thanks to a gentleman who over heard me saying what a good deal it was to my son and peaked over at the price tag. He showed me the one before the 19.95.  Sometimes nosy people can be very beneficial. Yes, it could be my eyesight, or now that I think about it, maybe my mind is failing also.

Now, I can hear each one of you asking what about laser for my eyes, and some of you suggesting  shock treatments for my mind. Unfortunately, I am not a candidate for laser because of the Wegener’s disease and all of the facial surgeries.  As for the shock treatment, I guess I could lick the connection on the electric blanket a few times a day.  Just kidding.

Even God says that we get better as we age.  From His word…“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:30. “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32.

Noni’s advice…Aging should be peppered with humor and salted with love! And reader glasses.

Happy Veterans Day!

I was born in the sixties and did my growing up years in the 60’s and 70’s. I remember “men walking on the moon”, “JFK and MLK assassinations”, hippies, Vietnam and Watergate.

These were times when, even though we were flawed humans, we were PROUD to be Americans! Through our mistakes, we saw hope, promise, and progress. We put our hand over our heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance and we prayed. Yes, we prayed at school, ballgames, during important events and unimportant ones too. There was nothing to consider or to discuss. This is what Americans had been done continually for almost 200 years.

Through all of this, we recognized the power of Almighty God which had blessed America. He had blessed the United States of America with prosperity and promise. As a country, in turn, we looked to Him for guidance, thanked Him for every blessing, and stood firm as a Christian nation. We were working toward improving our inner relationships and democratic processes. It was great to be an American!

Then there was a volcanic shift in our nation called political correctness. And it reeked like a sun-baked field full of chicken manure. The hellish, sulfur stench would absorb into every American’s skin and affix itself inside the deepest crevices of our nostrils. Did we become lazy, blind, or even lame? No, we became complacent, money hungry, star struck, and luxurious lifestyle required, self-serving egotists. “Freedom” is now used as the catch word for other countries and their people, to enter our country; and use us and abuse us!

Today, if you are a Christian American, you are now a doormat. Loving everyone means agreeing with them, even their religious doctrine. You know those doctrines, that keep getting rewrites to adjust to society’s ever-changing desires and demands. Instead of the Bible, God’s Holy Word, that has not been re-written or changed in over two thousand years. So, as a Christian American I must permit my flag to be burned, my Savior to be ridiculed, and my country to be raped by other nations and religions.

And this is how I should address those people and nations…

Why sure, you can build a Mosque in my neighborhood. And, I won’t wear my “I love Jesus” t-shirt because it might offend you and your religion. I understand that you need to block the roadway in front of your Mosque for your daily prayers, causing me delays and difficulties. But don’t worry, I won’t put up a revival tent and have a Christian revival near your place of worship because I might disturb your daily activities. I won’t wave my flag proudly and celebrate the lives of our Veterans. I will smile, love you, and brown-nose you, as you slowly take over my country and my freedoms

Yeah, right. Sorry, but this is not me. Is this you? I can’t stand by and watch some “group” take over my country when so many Americans, who came before me, endured unspeakable tortures and died just to preserve our country. It is equal to spitting in their faces and reduces their hard work to rubble.  Veterans and our Military Service men and women today, remember what they fought and are still fighting for…YOUR FREEDOM!

They don’t deserve the apathy and do nothing attitude from their and I use this word lightly, “fellow” Americans.  Because as a “fellow” American would you stand shoulder to shoulder with them if needed?  I doubt it.  Your WII or XBOX needs to be played.  It is akin to a hypnotized stupor that we appear to walk around in today.

Well, my fellow Americans… you had better wake yourself up! Or you may find yourself explaining to your own kids and grandkids what freedom use to be like, back in the day. President Reagan warned of this years and year ago. To Me, America means working class people standing up for their Christian beliefs and their nation. We are a resilient, God-fearing nation. And once we stand up for ourselves and our country; no one person, country, or terrorist can stop us!

And this is what I really have to say to those who are trying to take over my country and my religion.

There is no doormat here, and I will wear my “I Love Jesus” t-shirt.

I will fly OLD GLORY high and proud.

I will say The Pledge of Allegiance and put my hand over my heart, whenever and where ever I feel like it.

I will stand up for “One Nation Under God”.

I will read my bible and pray, even in public places.

I will buy American and not support foreign imports.

I will protest anything you do or build which I feel is harmful to the American way of life.

I will expect the same from the officials that I elect to public office to represent me. If they can not seem to do these things or have their hands stuck in some foreign country’s pockets for their personal monetary gains, then I will relentlessly work to get them thrown out of office or not re-elected.

Shouldn’t we all be doing these things and more…One Nation (Unified) Under God(All Powerful)!

And if these officials or other people don’t like me, well I have one southern statement for them.

“Bless Your Heart, I’ll be sure to Pray for You, Honey“.

It sounds better than my sarcastic version with, “kiss my rear end, this conversation is so over, and I will pray for you, ‘cause baby you are going straight to hell”.

Sorry, sometimes the old me jumps out before I can grab her.

lol

I miss the America that I grew up in, don’t you? Time is now, for tomorrow may be too late.

Please watch the video below of Red Skelton’s saying of the Pledge of Allegiance. No one can say or explain it any better than this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZBTyTWOZCM

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

Thank You Lord!