Tag Archives: important things

Eternal Justice

Disclaimer: I’m sure this topic may elicit some strong feelings from some of you. Please feel free to share your thoughts, but don’t expect any heated debates.

For more than a year, I’ve been reading or studying the issue of women in the church. All the reading and thinking, has left me feeling as if my sense of justice has been violated.

During this study time, I’ve come to recognize the power, or should I say, abuse of power by a few. The Judeo/Christian culture is primarily a patriarchal culture. I accept this as the world I live in. However, when I see how one uses their position of power and/or trust to contrive a message to fit their life view instead of accepting the original text may have been written to challenge or question that very life view, it strikes me as an abuse of power and trust. My sense of justice, or the sense that one should do the right thing because it is the right thing, feels very violated.

While sharing these thoughts with a close friend, she helped me put some perspective on this. She could understand my feelings; but told me when she feels something is unjust, she tries to step back and look at it from the scales of eternal justice. She said those who abused their power and trust, would one day be held accountable. Wow! Those words created a strong visual, and immediately brought to mind James 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers,
because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

The good news is the sense of justice being violated was replaced with peace; with the promise and assurance the eternal scales will validate the truth.

Current day teachings associated with this topic should address the failings of those who translated the original manuscripts, or of those who led the early church into placing such emphasis on scriptures designed for a particular location or a particular set of circumstances. Will that happen?

That still leaves the question of, how ‘women in the church’ is to be lived out today?

For those of you who know me, this is a reversal of my former thoughts on the subject. I want to be clear, I believe God intended for women and men to be spiritually active in the church and among others. This change in my thoughts is not a matter of feminism or equal rights. For a woman, or a man to be involved in spiritual leadership, they have to possess the spiritual gifts of the position they are filling. Those gifts are not bestowed because of gender. People (men and women) receive these gifts from a loving God when they are in relationship with Him.

Revival or Refining — Part II

I’ve been pondering the Revival or Refining question for a few days. Thanks to each of you who reacted to this post.

A friend on FaceBook posted a comment that simply said “Both”.

His response resonated with me. I believe he is correct.

God’s church is the people! So when we consider anything the church is experiencing we need to consider what the individuals are experiencing.

Refining happens when we submit to changes God wants to make in our lives. These changes should be happening to all believers regularly. Then those changes should bring about revival within us. We should be strengthened, changed and desire to be closer to God.

Refining may have gotten a hard wrap. People tend to consider it something negative. Sometimes the process is difficult, but that may be the result of our resistance. The results of refining are what most of us desire.

  • To be free from impurities
  • To be free from moral imperfection
  • To improve or perfect
  • To be free from what is coarse, vulgar or uncouth

If these things are going on in your life, you are changing. Those changes are reason enough to celebrate “revival”.

Here’s the definition for revival so you can see if it might already be occurring in your life:

  • An improvement in the condition or strength of something
  • An instance of something becoming popular, active or important again

I think The Church should be ready for both “refining” and “revival”. We should encourage one another to submit to the refining and live in revival!

 

Grateful Haitians…

While in Haiti I was impressed by the people. They are poor. Poor beyond anything I could imagine. Yet these people were dignified, gracious and grateful. The following photo is a candid shot of one of these couples. I also shot the formal pose, which was their preference.

Grateful Homeowners (rural farmers)
Grateful Homeowners (rural farmers)

I volunteered with Poured-Out, installing bio-sand water filters in homes. The people have requested these filters, signed up for and paid 200 Gourde (approximately 4.00 US dollars.) This small contribution to the cost of the filters denotes ownership in the process. These people were interested and invested in learning about the benefits of the filters and the maintenance. As part of the extensive survey they participated in, they were asked if there were things they wanted shared with people in the United States to understand what the filters mean to them and why their contributions are so meaningful. I was blown away by the responses! Below are some of the responses I would like to share. Hopefully these words will give you some insight into the gratitude I was able to witness during my work in Haiti.

  • Thank you, this kind help will be easy for us to save more money, to keep our health – May God bless you. I hope this favor continues in Haiti.
  • Thank you a lot, encourage you for this good work, it is a great work, we really like it. We will pray for more people to give to this work, so God will touch their hearts. We are very happy with the work.
  • Thank you so much for the work you are doing. Be strong in the world. Cover much area with filters. She will pray we will be blessed and can continue this work.
  • God sent you to Haiti to bring clean water. Thank you so much for helping another country. We will pray for you.
  • I feel it is a big lesson, just sitting here while you install a filter for my family. Now we don’t have to worry about diarrhea or other diseases because now our water will be clean. This is a big opportunity for all of us. A big thank you to all of you.
  • I congratulate you! I think it is a big thing. My family has a filter. I hope others will have filters also. That’s why I will continue to pray for you so that God can continue to bless you to have a giving heart. Thank you.
  • Thank you for the good work. Continue the good work. Don’t get discouraged. Even though you do the work for us, God will bless you. Thank you and God bless you.
  • We need to get the word out so more people can have filters. More people need them. Doing this is a big job in Haiti. You are killing cholera in Haiti. Thank you so much. Pray that God can bless you as an organization and keep on working. Pray that God would continue to provide the money for this work.
  • I have satisfaction you have given us this filter. I want to thank you for doing this work. I know the area next to mine needs filters too, so can you guys bring more? We have other areas, communities, people who have sickness and cholera and they need filters and would love it if you could bring some there too.
  • This is a big help because we have a lot of disease in this country. This filter will help us a lot because clean water is the most important thing in our lives. Thank you.
  • I am so happy about the work I know that God put that in your heart to help us. I want to say thank you again. May God bless you to continue to do this job.
  • I say thank you for this support. It will help me not to buy water again. Money it will be used for other. Thank you a lot. May the Love of God follow you.
  • We say thank you for this effort for this help in Haiti. We encourage you to continue doing this job because God will bless you. May God protect you and bless you. Thanks for having God in your life.
  • We say thank you. May God continue to bless you and give you the ability to continue installing these filters. May God bless you.
  • Thank you so much because you leave home, your family to come. We will pray for you I pray that God will protect and take care of you. God is the one who is in control of you.
  • We thank you for this gift that you guys give. If we were buying it would cost a lot of money, but to have one is a big gift.
  • We say thank you for the team that our eves see right now because God gave you the opportunity to think of Haitian people, after the two big shocks that we have had in our country of the earthquake and cholera outbreak. We say thank you to all the people who contribute to buying this for the Haitian people. May God bless you.
  • First of all we thank God, that makes the idea in your mind to think of Haiti, and we thank God because he made it possible to do this good work. We pray the blessing of God over everyone who is doing this work. We were in need of this because we used to have to buy water to drink now we won’t have to buy it anymore.

Go. Learn. Love. HAITI — The Short Story

I arrived home about 4 am today.

It was an amazing week! I’m still sorting through all the different thoughts and emotions involved in experiencing something so totally different from my life routines.

Market Day
Market Day
Rural Farm House eager for their filter install.
Rural Farm House eager for their filter install.

There were 14 team members, 3 team leaders, and 3 translators working together in the Torbeck area, Okay Region of Haiti.

We installed 50 filters.

Yes! 50 filters.

What does that mean?

Each filter can process approximately 20 gallons of water a day.

That creates a potential of 1,000 additional gallons of safe drinking water available each day to improve the quality of life for the people of this area.

Lovely Haitian Girls
Lovely Haitian Girls

More info and photos to follow…

An Interesting Dilemma to Ponder…

I recently read an article from the Washington Post about millennials who nix their parents’ treasures. I can see aspects of this story from both sides.

Several years ago, my husband and I performed a major downsizing effort to move west. It was an interesting experience. We have a large gaggle of adult children. Of things we wanted to find new homes for, some of the kids took a few things. We were surprised at several large family pieces we had no takers for. We sold those pieces of furniture, as they were not going to fit in our new life. It was a bittersweet revelation to us. Sad the heritage of the pieces won’t be maintained. Proud our kids could make those decisions and not take the pieces they didn’t want or couldn’t use just because they thought it would please us.

For us, or at least me, the downsizing project proved to be unbelievably liberating. We kept things with the most meaning to us, and things that would fit in our new home. It’s been good for me to travel lighter and have fewer things. Others who have gone through a similar process also talk about the freedom, which comes from shedding stuff. Perhaps the younger generation has it right. Hold onto things lightly and embrace life.

Yet I wonder if they may someday recognize the loss of some of the things they’ve passed on. We do genealogy research, so we have many photos, scrapbooks and family historical information. I have framed my great-grandfather’s original citizenship paperwork. There is only one original. I hope it will have value to someone in the family, as it is part of our roots as Americans. But I don’t know.

I’m sensory. I enjoy visual pleasures from art and photography; the fragrances of food cooking, flowers blooming or even autumn in the morning air stir me to life; the sounds of wind blowing through the tree leaves adds another dimension to the meaning of autumn for me; holding a book and actually turning the pages is part of the story coming to life; enjoying an old piece of furniture or dishes I remember seeing my grandmother use takes me back in time to her kitchen. Can one savor all those emotions without some of the things from those times?

For clarification – I do believe embracing life and all it has to offer is of far higher value than clamoring after ‘things’.

I look forward to some fun discussion. I don’t think there are any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers, just different perspectives on this topic. Now for the questions:

1. As the parents, we aren’t ready to part with all those things yet, so how do we discern which things those kids might want later?

2. If you don’t want things, what method do you use to save memories for later enjoyment?

3. Are things of historical value important to you? Why? or why not?

4. How do you embrace life?

Have a great day — and enjoy life!

Goals Review, Welcome 2015

I’ve just finished reviewing my Writing Goals for 2014. In many ways this has been a great year for my writing and I’ve learned much. When setting my goals, I learned I had too many things on my Goals List and did not allow enough room for flexibility. When talking about flexibility, I’m thinking about two things in particular. I didn’t realize I would be ask to help out with some ghost writing which was a great experience for me. I hope to do more in the future. I’m also thinking about something I started and wanted finished by Year End. I thought it was going to be a short story. The more I wrote, working on it, the more I realized it was not going to be a short story but instead a novella. I tweaked my goal to be: have the first draft of The Madeleine completed by year-end. For those of you who write you have probably already experienced this, but this was my first big project and holding the printed copy of The Madeleine so I could start editing was a pretty amazing feeling. I’ve started the editing process and suspect it will take me awhile. I’m starting 2015 so excited about this accomplishment; I’ve not yet set my writing goals for the year. I’m sure that will happen soon.

Expect to hear more about The Madeleine as my work progresses.
Best wishes for your goals and plans for 2015.

Sometimes 24 Hours Makes a Difference…….

Yesterday……

October 3, 2013

Today……

October 4, 2013

Same view yet totally different.

It is amazing how little it takes to change how things look.

I find these views so much like our perspectives on life. We don’t always realize when they change. The important things are still there. They always are. Sometimes they are hidden from us.

Find something to enjoy today!