Worry and Its Remedy. Anger and the News.

I give permission for anyone to use my posts for any reason.

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.    Philippians 4:6,7

I can’t count the number of times this verse has come to my mind when I am upset or worried. I say it to myself and immediately feel relief. God leaves nothing out of this verse. We are to worry about nothing.

I was listening to a podcast where the woman quoted this verse and then asked, “How do we do this? She says the remedy to worry, after giving it to God, is in the next two verses:

“Finally, Brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Verses 8,9

I know that when I listen to Christian podcasts or music that this is hearing and thinking on good things. I am so happy to hear of the good things God’s people are doing in the world. It encourages me. And songs of praise lift me up to the skies where God abides. These things bring me joy.

But we don’t have to bury our heads in the sand on the bad things going on all around us. As we all know, reading the news is discouraging. Yesterday, I read there will be supply shortages due to the cargo ship blocking all traffic in the Suez Canal. The article said that toilet paper (Lol) might become scarce, along with other goods. I live in Canada and all our toilet paper is made in China.

I no longer get mad about politics. There is nothing I can do about that and the craziness that is going on. But I still get mad when I read how all our supplies come from China or some other country. Global Trade and the Global Economy has ruined the lives of millions of people, at least that is my opinion.

I live in an area that is chock full of apple orchards. We have an apple juice factory here. But when I buy apples at the grocery store, I see a tag saying, “Washington Apples.” I live just over the border from Washington State. So, we buy their apples and they buy ours.

How is that good for the people of our country? I have to pay $1.84 per apple. Why? Transportation costs, I would guess. Why do we do this little dance? I have no idea except to say that everything is about making more money for companies.

They say, “We can’t take in refugees. There are no jobs. Well, why are there no jobs? Global Trade. If we had lots of factories we could take in thousands of refugees. The poor here, who can’t find a job because of lack of education, could work in a factory.

We have all been screwed by the rich and powerful and this is something that has happened since the beginning of time. Read the Old Testament. God speaks of it often.

Yep, this is a subject that infuriates me and I need to pray about that because anger is an ok emotion if you can remedy a situation, but if there is nothing you can do, you might as well let it go. I did write the government about it and that is my part. I could protest about it in the streets, but I’m old and sick.

So yes, I need to lay all this aside, all the bad news, all the hatred, all the racism, all the politics and lay it all before God, and then do what I can do, and that is write. I can write about God’s love and write about Man’s hate and greed and hope it makes a difference.

Thank You God for My Suffering.

Joyce Meyer

I was watching Joyce Meyer this morning, and she spoke about going through trials, pain and suffering and how these things equip us for the future. They equip us with experience that we can then use to help other people. She said we usually don’t realize this until we are older and can look back on our lives.

Joyce used the example of Joseph’s life, which if you read it in Genesis Chapters 37-50, will explain why “But Joseph replied, “Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God? As for you, what you intended against me for evil, God intended for good, in order to accomplish a day like this—to preserve the lives of many people.”

Just the other day, my sister said to me, “When you used to come to Nevada to visit me, it surprised me how my bad temper didn’t upset you. When I raged about something, most people didn’t like it and would get upset, but you would just sit there working on your crossword puzzle.”

I said to her, “I realized a few years ago, that the years of having my husband lose his temper had taught me not to take anger personally. I read a book that explained bad-tempered people are not actually mad at you; they are angry about something else, usually their childhood.”

Living with my husband and praying about my own temper, has been good for me. I didn’t think so at the time, in fact, I hated it, but God used that so I could learn to let people go and not be upset about what they say and do. I haven’t learned this perfectly, but most of the time when someone is mad at me or at something else, I feel at peace about it.

My husband rarely loses his temper now. We have both learned how useless it is to be angry at people. When he does slip and flip-out, we pause and then start laughing. This is what can happen when you follow Jesus through your life. We are both in our late sixties and both of us have learned through suffering and praying. It is God alone who changes us as we ask him.

My sister and I are very close, even though we live miles apart. Through email, Messenger and phone calls, we share our happiness, sorrows and how God is working in our lives. She has helped me so much in so many ways. She says I have helped her. This deep, Christian friendship is what I have needed. I can tell her anything and know I will be understood; she can do the same with me. I pray all you who read this will have a friend like that.

The other thing I have learned through suffering is compassion. I believe if a person goes through life with everything going their way, they will probably be proud and selfish. How can we understand the suffering of others if we never go through it ourselves?

I read a millionaire say, “Anyone can do what I have done and be rich.” I suppose he says that because he has never had a family member who is not as smart as him. He doesn’t realize that intelligence makes a huge difference in how successful we will be in this world. His parents probably sent him to a wonderful university where he learned what he needed to learn.

There are those who suffer mental illness. People like me, who have no confidence and are terrified to work with other people. People like me who freeze and are speechless and so afraid to make a mistake on a job they can’t function. People like me, who were horribly abused as a child.

I can now say to God, “Thank you for all my suffering.” I never thought I would ever, ever say that, but I can see the beauty that can come from it. I would rather be who I am, with all my weakness, than proud in my own strength. I can say with David, “The Lord is my strength,” because I know how true that is.

Living with Cranky People.

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Photo by:  https://www.flickr.com/people/78428166@N00

I’m reading, The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas A. Kempis (1380-1471). It is a book famous for its depth of spirituality. I just wanted to share parts of this book. The edition I am reading was published in old-fashioned English, so I am going to paraphrase.

It is not hard to associate with kind and gentle people. This is pleasing to all, and everyone enjoys peace and loves those who agree with them. 

But to be able to live peacefully with hard-hearted, irritable persons, disorderly persons, or those who argue with us, is a great grace, and a most commendable and brave thing.

Our whole peace in this world consists in this kind of humble suffering, not so much in experiencing troubles. He that knows how to suffer (being with these kind of people) in peace, is conqueror of himself, lord of the world, the friend of Christ and heir of heaven.

Kempis goes on to describe these two kinds of people, one of peace the other of passions.

A peaceful man does good and turns all things into good. A passionate man turns even good into evil, and easily believes evil. He who is discontented and troubled, is tossed with many suspicions; he is neither at rest himself nor will let others be at rest.

He often says what he should not say and does not say what he should. He judges what others do without judging himself. He will excuse his own deeds, but will not accept the excuses of others.

If you want to be forgiven and understood, learn to forgive and understand others.

Since there are quite a few cranky people in my family, I have realized a few things:

1. Don’t take what they say personally. If they are mad at the world, that is their problem. If you can in any way ignore politely what is said or have a “soft answer” that turns away wrath –  do it. If you need to talk with them about their treatment of you, wait for a calm time, sit down with them and say, “Do not speak until I am finished saying what I want to say.” Explain how you feel. Probably nothing will change, but at least you tried.  (However, after 40 years of this they just might!)

2. Don’t have expectations of people. They don’t know what you expect, for one thing, and even when you tell them, they usually won’t change.

3. This is the most important thing to do. Ask God to help you to accept and love this person just as they are. Ask God when you get angry, ask him in the morning, noon and night. God will do this for you. You will be at peace.

4. This may take 20 – 45 years to learn and even then you will goof up.

Rage and the Christian.

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Today, I felt rage flooding up inside me. Someone said to me, “Why didn’t you ask me to help you earlier? I’m tired now.”

I did ask you earlier. The thing is, there is no good time to ask you. Any time is the wrong time. Everything I say is the wrong thing. Everything I do is done wrong.

That’s what the rage was saying to my heart. It feels weird to be that angry, to feel your body actually get hot. I say, “I asked earlier.” You say, “No, you didn’t.” There is no winning this argument. The argument itself is a dead loss. Nothing will change. I know that, yet sometimes I’ll keep arguing anyway.  I only shut up today because I felt God there in the room with us.

I thought about Jesus. What would he do if someone was finding fault with him all the time? He would be patient, loving and not take offence. Did he feel anger and have to deal with it? Yes, I think so. The Bible says he was tempted in everything as we are. It isn’t a sin to feel anger, but it is a sin to let it make you do wrong. It is a sin if you nurse your anger and let it turn to hate.

(Of course, you are only hearing my side of things. The other person doesn’t write a blog and blab about everything.)

I was listening to Don Moen’s song, “Be Still/Know I am God.” It is my favorite song. It helped me once again in seeing I needed to soar with my Father above the flood of my emotions. I needed to be still and know he is God. He can lift me above anger and resentment. He can lift me above sadness and depression. He can make me act how Jesus acted when he was here. He can give me peace and joy in place of a troubled mind.

Be Still  (Lyrics)

By Don Moen

Hide me now
Under Your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hand

CHORUS:
When the oceans rise
And the thunders roar
I Will soar with You
Above the storm
Father You are King
Over the flood
And I will be still
And know You are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

Be still and know
That I am God

I am the God
That healeth thee

 

A Glimpse.

Sometimes I get a glimpse of what I would be like without God in my life. Last night, I had a terrible time getting to sleep. As soon as I would nod off, my brain would jerk me awake. This happened three times. I felt so upset and discouraged, I prayed and finally fell asleep.

This morning, my daughter and granddaughter came over at 11:00 am. They woke me (how nice, Lol) and we were visiting in the living room. My granddaughter turned on the TV and there were some people on it who were laughing and enjoying themselves. I looked at them and thought, “Yeah, sure, laugh it up.” I felt angry at their happiness.

I told my daughter what I was feeling and she was shocked. I said, “It’s a good thing I pray each morning before I get up or I would be the biggest bitch in this city.” My granddaughter laughed, but I know that is the truth. Without God, I would be angry, bitter, cynical and jealous of other people’s happiness. Sheesh, what a mess I am.

The things I write on my blog about living a Christian life are concepts I ardently believe in. Living them is something else. I try, but of course I stumble and fall. The carnal part of me, as Joyce Meyer points out, sometimes takes over. But I know that when I stumble, it’s a chance to learn something about myself that I can talk over with God. I don’t let it discourage me anymore. It’s a good thing to be humbled.

Marriage, Love and Words.

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My husband and I on our wedding day. (1977)

I was posting earlier about the words I speak and also about not getting irritated. The Lord is truly working because today, when I was irritated with my husband I was immediately impressed to tell him he was right in that I had no reason to feel that way. He was trying to show me how to drain the water from a can of sliced mushrooms. I wanted to do it my own way and he wouldn’t give me the can. He is a methodical, practical person who thinks everything should be done in a certain way. I am a fly-by-night person who wings it a lot because I think it will save time; I do something one way and then maybe next time I’ll do it another way. We drive each other crazy.

Anyway, I rejoice in how God is helping me to quickly see my errors. I suppose this is why it is important to talk with God about our faults, but also not worry about them. He will fix things. It is fun to watch him work on my stubborn heart.

I remember many years ago, I was going for walks each day. My husband was on vacation and asked to come along. I was happy for the company. We stopped at the end of the driveway and he asked, “Where are we going? What’s the route you take?”  I told him, “I never plan a route; I just start walking.”

He couldn’t live with that. It was too much for him, so he said, “Let’s plan a route.” I was irritated, but I could see we would be going nowhere if I didn’t go along. We planned a route.

God has shown me why my husband doesn’t like spontaneity. His childhood was chaotic; he never knew when his father would beat him. He would sometimes be woken out of sleep to be beaten. One time he was brushing his teeth and his father smashed his head into the sink. So, my husband needs all things planned. No surprises.

This is where understanding and compassion comes into play in a marriage. We may not understand our spouse; we may think they are crazy, but there are always, always reasons for what people do and how they look at life. Planning things is not a big enough deal to fight about. Of course, if your husband treats you like crap, that is worth dealing with. It must be dealt with but in a loving way. As they say, “Pick your fights.”

My husband has to put up with my craziness too. I look on the dark side of life; every time my daughter drives all the way to Kelowna to visit, I picture her in a big car crash. I read the news and figure the world is falling apart. My husband? A total optimist. Naturally. We call him, “Walmart is always open.” because if he wants it to be open, it is. (He told my daughter it was open til 10:00 pm and it wasn’t.)

I want to be a blessing to my husband. I want to always be kind, loving and understanding. I want to always speak with good words, words of encouragement and love. God has helped me do that all through our marriage; but I was still falling far short of what I could be. I can see God is helping me do better and that makes me happy.

Feelings Irritate Me.

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Sometimes I have wished I didn’t have feelings. Feelings have tripped me up all my life; especially before I read Joyce Meyer’s books and watched her videos.

But still, I sometimes wish… My marriage is full of feelings, good and bad. When the feelings are bad I say to God, “Lord, throw my anger into the sea.” I thought that would take care of everything. I was wrong. The angry feelings just go down, down, down into my heart and then erupt like a volcano.

So, I tried a different prayer. “Lord, stop me before I start yelling and swearing at him.” Oh yes, I do that; not often, but I do it. The Lord did do this for me. The next day my hubby was upset with me about (nothing, trust me) and was irritated and asking why I did this and that. (closed a cupboard door that he wanted open) I could feel this rage rising in me and then I thought, “No.” I answered calmly. Okay, this was great.

The next day, I asked hubby something and he said, “Why do you bother me when I’m watching TV?” If I didn’t talk to him while he was watching TV I would never talk to him at all. I felt the rage rising. He came into the room, I looked up and screamed, “Lord, help me not to swear at him!”

That night, I asked God, “Where did this rage come from? I don’t like it or want it. I want to feel nothing if he hurts my feelings.”  I talked and talked with God, and I got my answer as I talked. I said, “I’m tired of being constantly rejected by him. Every time I talk with him he acts like I’m a pain or a bother.”

Okay, that’s what it was. Something my husband and I had talked about 6 months ago and he had changed and things were better; but now he had reverted to his previous behavior. I wished I could just ignore it, but I knew I couldn’t. We would have to have the “talk” about our marriage again. I knew it would hurt his feelings because he doesn’t realize what he says hurts me.

I told God I didn’t want to talk with him again. I was sick of the whole thing. Still, talking about it and getting it out there was better than rage, swearing and acting not like Jesus. Jesus would never, ever do what I did. He might get some cords and whack some tables, but he wouldn’t swear at people.

One thing I know, if I don’t confront and face things that are upsetting me I won’t get over it. God made us that way. It’s like when I was molested as a child. I had to have years of therapy. One day I knew I had to face it head-on and work through it. God made us that way. I wonder why? I’m not sure, but I do know he knows what he’s doing. So even though I would like to be a happy robot, I trust God about giving us feelings.

Twitter, Politics and Me.

Who am I?

An opinionated person who loves to give her opinion on everything.

Sometimes I start doing something and then wonder if God is pleased with what I’m doing. I’ve been on Twitter off and on over the last year. The first time I quit was because some people put photos of naked people on their tweets. Then my granddaughter got a Twitter account and wanted me to follow her, so I signed up again and decided to be very careful who I followed.

That worked out fine, but my granddaughter quit using Twitter and there I was again. I have to admit it can be fun and informative but I’ve decided to sign off once again. A lot of people use Twitter to post their opinion on politics. I’m interested in politics, but can also get angry about politics. I get angry at politicians who harm people. And they can harm people with their policies.

So, lately I’ve been tweeting about politics and didn’t feel too good about it so I talked with God. After I asked him what to do, a thought came to my mind, “Are you doing any good on Twitter?” I thought about it and decided – no, I wasn’t. I’ll never change anyone’s mind about their political leanings. And what is the good of complaining about politicians?

Who is God?

Well, Jesus never said anything against the Roman government when he was here. In fact, he healed a Roman Centurion’s servant and told his followers to carry a Roman soldier’s gear two miles instead of the one mile that was a law from Rome.

Paul said to pray for our rulers. He said to honor the emperor, who was Nero at the time. The Bible says that God rules over the nations; that he has given us governments to protect us. God told us to pray for the nation we live in because if it prospers then you will prosper.

I don’t think it is wrong to vote or have an opinion on politics, but for me, it isn’t a good thing. I get upset and angry so I’m going to try to leave it all alone and just pray.