Staying Orange in a Red World

I’m a huge University of Tennessee fan (go VOLS!) and I live in Alabama. See my problem? I have a hard time during football season to say the least! I’ve lived here over 25 years and I can honestly say I’ve remained true to my Vols. When I buy flowers, yard decorations, anything for my office it has to be orange.  Just little pieces of home everywhere to keep myself motivated and show everyone I’m not backing down.  There have been many who’ve tried to convert me and get me to renounce my loyalty to no avail. I’ve stood firm and their insistances have only made me more determined not to conform regardless of all the National titles, the whoopins we’ve suffered. I’m still a Vols fan. I’m still proudly displaying my loyalty to my beloved team.

My plight made me think of being a Christian AND LIVING LIKE ONE in this world. Many people go to church but when they step out of Sunday and into their Monday you couldn’t tell it.

We want to be real and live God-honoring lives but let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we think we need to loosen a little bit. I mean maybe we’d have more friends, more fun and fit in a little easier if we acted like everyone else. Sometimes I think it would be easier just to shut up and try to blend in.

What about you? Do you hide your Christianity? Do you live like everyone else, talk like everyone else? The Bible…you know that book we’re supposed to live by, pattern our lives after, says we’re supposed to be different. God says we’re a “peculiar people”, chosen for HIS good pleasure. Hmmmm.

I want to stand strong for God and my love for Him as I support my favorite football team.  I want to be as faithful to God (more so actually) as I am to the Vols.  I’ve decided you can’t talk me out of my decision on either. Go ahead and try. It may not be easy to honor my decision sometimes but I’ll do my best.

I’m not conforming; I’m being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. I think all of us could use a big dose of boldness and live like we mean it. Our world needs more of God, His love and His truth.

I’m staying orange…what about you? 

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In The Now

It’s been 37 years since I graduated from high school. I’ve taken courses since then and finished many Bible studies.  I was blessed to get a job about 25 years ago in Medical Transcription through which I was trained on the job. Now because of all the changes related to health care, we’re being required to be registered and certified. While studying with a friend close to my age who has been in this profession about as long as I have, she finds herself in the same predicament. To say I’m intimidated is an understatement! We’re not only finding that we were taught wrong, we’re seeing we have to unlearn years and years of the way we’ve done things and learn…and put into practice the “new” way (for us), bringing ourselves up to the standard while preparing for the tests.

Who would have thought at this age I’d find myself in this position, finding out the way I’ve always done things isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s just not the standard. I’m not “up to code”! It’s daunting. What’s even funnier is that I’m considered one of the best Transcriptionists in our area…but that’s because no one knows the standards! As long as there are no big mistakes and you produce that becomes enough. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that it could be better!

While feeling old, not so smart and extremely intimidated and threatened because I honestly don’t know how I can possibly find time to re-educate and retain what I learn, study, test, etc…on top of everything else in my life. I talked to God about it and went to bed last night with my mind reeling.

I picked up a book I’m reading (LOADED WITH BENEFITS) this morning that I’m using for a devotional and it was as if the Lord jumped off the page and put Himself smack-dab in the midst of my present concerns. Isaiah 46:4~ “Even to your old age I am the same; and even to your graying years I shall bear you. I have done it and I shall carry you, and I shall bear you and I shall deliver you.”~

How absolutely perfect. I’m tearing up as I write this. I asked Him to forgive me because in the moment of all these changes and my fears, I forgot what…WHO…will get me through. I’m almost 55. I’ve never been in a place like this so these aren’t my usual fears and doubts. This is a whole new place and God knew that…even before I had figured that out!

He ministered to me through this book at this time without my begging and pleading. He knew exactly what I would need in this season of my life and He provided. I’m telling you this to say He is relevant. He is timely. He is the answer.

Our ultimate resource is God Himself. He will show us He’s with us and give us exactly what we need. Pick Him up. Seek Him and let Him blow your mind with how perfectly on time He is. There simply is no comfort and reassurance like our God. I’m relishing in that truth this morning and this ole gal is grateful!

I don’t want to…

I’m fighting going back to bed. I don’t want to do this today. I just don’t want to. Nothing’s wrong…but very little is right. I’m tired. I’m worn, bruised and just want to sleep, my escape. I’ve been hurt, abused, lied to and lied about. I’ve been passed over and disregarded most of my life and I’m feeling it the past couple of days. Sometimes I think my name should have been “unwanted”. I don’t even want me today. I want me to go away.

Have you ever felt that way?

One more time I look to God. I talk to Him, pour out my pain and sadness…I heap on Him what He willingly took upon Himself over 2000 years ago. Will He take it again or reject me too? Everyone else has. He says, “come”. He bases His response on Himself and His promises…not my feelings or emotions…He invites me, heals me,  restores me and loves me based on His promises because they’re who He is. He embodies love and acceptance. He heals and restores because He is healing and restoration.

That’s why when we’re pitiful we can run to Daddy God. He never changes and is steady and reliable when we’re shaken and unreliable. Even in our ‘don’t want to’ states of hopelessness and depression He’s who He’s always been: God. Never waivering, ever faithful Abba.

Don’t Be Afraid

The world’s a scary place. Things are happening that I thought I’d never live to see. We’re getting away with things God’s word says not to do. So who’s in control? Looks like no one is.  Didn’t Jesus say it would be this way? I choose to believe Him. He says no-thing…nothing’s beyond Him and He’s already overcome everything that comes against us. We just have to “get there” or get thru it with our faith intact. Pastor says it’s not a question of being able to be trusted in hard times; the real question is…can He trust us to stay faithful to Him,still believing in Him? I’m hanging on tight to His unchanging hand…hope you are too! Ephesians 6:10!