Misunderstanding God and Death

Published September 15, 2010 by VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS

Last weekend, a relative of mine went home to be with our Lord and Savior. It was so unexpected, unwarranted, unexplainable and misunderstood. How could God take someone away from their husband, children, mother, father, sisters, brothers, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends so suddenly? Leaving us all in utter shock? Here’s the answer to that question…..it’s not for us to know!

To be painfully frank, God doesn’t have to give justifiable cause or send a sign as to why she died without our being prepared because well, He’s God! God even told us in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord”. This being the case, what other choice do we have than to completely and unequivocally trust Him? We must do so as He will give us peace when we lack understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 states it best: “TRUST in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding”. Then, Philippians 4:7 says: “And the PEACE of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

Because we have no way of knowing what death “feels” like, we often fear it. None of us know what’s on the other side, thus fear of the unknown is expected. Children of God, we cannot be with Him until we die so therefore, death is necessary. Have you ever heard that “to live is to die and to die is to live“? Well, let that marinate for a minute and realize that there’s innumerable truth in this statement.

Death is only fearful to those who DO NOT TRUST GOD! God already knew that death would not be perceived as pleasant but would seem intolerable and dreaded to those of us left behind. This is why we have His Word (Jesus Christ) to comfort us in these difficult times. Just as King David knew and expressed in his Psalms, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they COMFORT me”, may we also know this trust in and dependence upon our Father!

I’m blogging this today because I’d like to reassure you that death is not the end, but is the beginning (for those of us who are in Christ Jesus) of an everlasting life of happiness. He has prepared a place for us dear ones. But know this, God will not force us to accept His Son as our Savior. Consequently, failure to do so will reap its’ reward, that’s for sure.

Now with that said, it is not my place to say who will make it to heaven and who won’t. Only YOU, through the free will that God has given you, can choose where your final resting place will be. Heaven or hell is YOUR choice to make. I am thoroughly convinced however, that Lisa made the right choice. Family and friends, we will see her again if we too make the unquestionable choice to love and believe in Jesus Christ.

Let us take the oath today to have a relationship with Him and gain the peace He promises to give. It is undeniable that if we’re granted a long life of abundance, we will surely attest to the deaths of more loved ones and friends. But, we can stand steadfast in His grace & mercy with assurance of our salvation and heaven bound destination!

The PRIDE Deception, Part 2

Published August 13, 2010 by VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS

Baba, a friend that I would love to know personally, helped me to see that I’m the dirtiest, filthiest hypocrite and a sorry excuse for someone who claims to be a child of God. No, Baba did not say these words to me, but what he did was reveal (through his own testimony) the importance of making ourselves little so that God can be made great! 

You see, pride does this to you: It makes you feel like YOU know it all, YOU’re never wrong, what YOU need matters most, and that it’s YOUr way or no way. I’m guilty loved ones. Guilty as charged. Until we can admit to our own shortcomings, we will never overcome them! How can you blow out a candle if you don’t light it? The truth can not be revealed without a fallacy. In other words, you need a lie before you can have a truth! The truth is that God despises a prideful and haughty heart. Giving in to pride deceives you into believing that you are your own god and the Lord Almighty specifically stated that: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” I’m sure many of you don’t know this but……..you’ve made yourself into a mini-god when you allowed pride to manifest itself within your heart. Also, here’s a revelation for you: pride is the foundation of all sin!

God’s main desire for His people is that we love one another and share the good news. Because we are likened unto Him and created in His image, we must abide by His rules whether we like it or not. If God IS love, why would He expect any less from His creation? Pride instills an “I can do whatever I want” façade within the heart of man which leads to his disobedience and insubordination to God. This in turn separates man from God then, he finds himself left at his own defenses to battle the wiles of Satan without God’s help. This is a place you don’t want to be my friend.

Here’s a recent prayer that I gave unto my Father….. 

Lord God,

I want to know your way because my way is the total opposite and this is not of you! Lord, forgive me of my indiscretions lest I be given unto the wiles of satan. Lord, forbid me to question your will and desire for my soul. I’m so inflicted with confusion, resistance and insubordination! Have mercy on me oh Lord! I’m sorry for wanting more from you than you desire to offer. Forgive me for not accepting the terms that you’ve set forth, for you are the Grand Master of my soul. I want to love everything about you dear Jesus, even the things that don’t make sense to me right now; to be obedient, no longer thinking as the world thinks. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

(Feel free to petition the Lord our God (using the prayer above or your own) to enter into your heart and reveal your indiscretions. Once the Spirit has spoken unto you regarding this, seek forgiveness and always ask God to have mercy because we are not perfect.) 

I’ve always considered myself to be King David’s long-lost twin sister because we’re almost exactly alike. Though I may not possess the bravery he had, my name does mean “strong” so I suppose I’m not too far-fetched. David was prideful as well, but he earnestly cried unto God and was forgiven. You too have the gift of forgiveness. Please do not let “YOU” get in your way!

King David also knew that he had some serious issues when it came to matters of the heart. He killed a man because he wanted his wife (envy = pride). He committed adultery with this man’s wife (lust = pride). Whenever the Holy Spirit revealed these monstrosities, David immediately went down on his knees to seek the Lord’s forgiveness. No wonder he was a man after God’s own heart…HE DIDN’T LET HIS PRIDE STAND IN THE WAY OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!!!

Pride grows into anger, frustration, self-pity and regret because these are reactions to an injustice done towards you. God already knew that loving unconditionally (requires humbleness) would keep these manifestations out of your heart. Now you tell me, is it better to love or is it better to hurt? You make the call.

The PRIDE Deception, Part 1

Published July 14, 2010 by VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS

I’m not too particularly thrilled to admit that I’m prideful. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t even aware that I was! Not until this past Sunday that is….. 

We had a guest pastor at church on Sunday that spoke of our friend and foe, those being “humility” and “pride”, respectively. God forbid that I should quote his sermon verbatim, but I will attempt to translate it my own way. It doesn’t take a bible scholar to know that being humble is God’s way and prideful is satan’s way. However, upon hearing the sermon, I began to realize just how guilty I was of fostering pride within my own heart. 

{For this post, I simply want to introduce what pride is and later, I will share with you how pride is destructive.} 

You see, when you become bitter, angry, resentful, and disgusted, it is because pride has manifested. Offense is the prerequisite to an ungodly action or reaction. When you’re offended, naturally you say within yourself; “You’ve hurt me so now I’m going to hurt you back!” Pride is evidenced in many variations that are disguised as vindication, and supports the infamous folklore: An eye for an eye. However, unbeknownst to many, God hates pride because it is considered evil and a sin as spoken of by David in Psalm 8:13; “All who fear the LORD will hate evil. That is why I hate pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverted speech.”  David includes pride as being one of those evil things.

 Here’s why pride is evil:

  1. It causes us to turn away from God when we’re supposed to turn to Him
  2. It leads to disobedience and rebellion
  3. It causes us to mistreat other people
  4. It defiles us! (Mark 7: 20-23)

 Manifestations of pride:

  1. Can’t admit when wrong
  2. Selfishness
  3. Disrespect of and no submission to authority
  4. Criticism and looking down on others
  5. Self-exhortation
  6. Too busy or too lazy to help others 

The list goes on and on. Even if you possess only one of the aforementioned characteristics, you are still deemed prideful. Stay tuned because I’m going to share with you how to recognize pride, how it affects your Christian walk, and why God doesn’t think it’s cool. 

Being Married to an Extrovert (from an introvert’s point of view)

Published July 9, 2010 by VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS

A friend of mine that I’m quite fond of inquired about my relationship with my hubby seeing that I’m an introvert and he an extrovert. First, you must understand that men are from Mars and women are from Venus…just kidding. Seriously, we are different and this fact alone contributes to a variance in reactions from one person towards another.

When I first met my husband and even before distinguishing the differences between the outgoing personality and the inward personality, I knew he was contagious. I observed that people were drawn to him but couldn’t quite put my finger on why. I now know that this is what attracted me to him because he had what I lacked; that being an ability to converse with anybody and make others laugh. This is not to discredit introverts by implying we have no sense of humor however, we don’t possess the natural skill of invoking hysteria. We must practice and rehearse the punch line whereas it comes without thought for an extrovert.

(In hindsight, I’d like to mention that this blog is dedicated to her.)

Contrary to my own analysis, researchers assert that there are between 25-35% of introverts in the US. This being the case, we are obviously outnumbered and depicted as an anomaly of sorts. Introverts are not the standard, we’re the exception. The fact that we are less popular (by both statistical standards and personal acquaintance) syncs harmoniously with our inward perception of ourselves. As a matter of fact, I’m drained just thinking about that…moving right along.

I will refer to my friend as “B”. B stated that this difference is probably the biggest struggle in her marriage. You see, B’s an extrovert and her hubby an introvert which is the opposite of my situation.

First, I want to acknowledge that opposites in fact do attract! This is more than mere speculation and not quite as cliché as some may think. In my opinion, the attraction manifests from curiosity, anticipation, and acquisition. Let me elaborate: When I met my husband “W”, I was curious as to why everyone loved being around him. I’m sure B’s husband wondered the same about her. I then began to anticipate getting to know him better because I needed a man in my life to make me feel good about myself. I figured that those who knew and loved him enjoyed his company for some reason or another so I wanted to find out. Finally, I went out of my way to acquire a relationship with him as I knew he’d be the best thing for me since sliced bread. We’ve been married for 11 1/2 years now so go figure.

Here, I will give the definitions of introversion (B’s hubby and myself) and extroversion (B and my hubby W). Afterwards, a few traits:

Introversion: “the state of, or tendency towards being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interest in one’s own mental life”.

Extroversion: “the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self”.

Intro Traits                                                    Extro Traits

Self-conscious                                                   Assertive

Passionate                                                         Enthusiastic

Quiet                                                                 Talkative

Deliberate                                                          Blunt

**There’s a tumultuous amount of information on the internet that elucidates the above traits so I would encourage you to do your own elaborate research. My condensed version is merely a teaser or rather an introduction.**

During my years of service (ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration). I meant to say: during my marriage, I believe my husband has learned how to embrace my solidarity. He’s pretty much a party animal socialite, but because I choose to find substance in quietness away from the noise, he has adapted and doesn’t pressure me. Introverts are mentally and physically drained by too much stimulation. We will socialize and even party, but during these festivities we wish to be at home reading a book or simply taking a drive. We need our alone time for this is our means of rejuvenation. This facet is often times perceived as a “brush off” when in fact it’s just the introvert way of wanting to get away from the ruckus.

Just to expound on a couple of the above traits, the self-consciousness factor is not “banner” worthy and we definitely won’t admit to it, but it is existent so please don’t take it personally when we complain about ourselves. Yes, we are highly passionate which is probably why psychologists say that we’re exceptional lovers! (I had to throw that one in…lol)

So, with all these ramblings said, I’d like to offer a couple of resolutions for your times of misunderstanding:

1.  When introverts are asked: “What’s wrong?”, don’t be surprised when no answer is given. It’s hard for us to explain ourselves for fear of being misunderstood. Please do not consider our dismissal as a rebuff.

2.  We tend to have long lasting one-on-one relationships and short-lived group participation. We aren’t accustomed to hanging out or mingling with several people in one setting.

3.  We may occasionally think we’ve told you something that we actually didn’t. This is because we’re always going over things in our head.

4.  As evidenced by my blogging right now, we tend to prefer written over verbal communication. Maybe you could write him a letter the next time you can’t come to an agreement.

5.  Click here for more information on relationships between intros and extros.

B, I don’t have all the answers girlfriend, but hopefully I’ve given you and others some insight into your introvert’s world.

Much Love, ~Lenci

Is Your Vision Clear?

Published July 7, 2010 by VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS

It was impressed upon me to examine my demeanor toward others after having posted on pet peeves yesterday. For years I’ve battled with anger issues that have contributed to the demise of relationships, job opportunities, spiritual freedom and self-acceptance. Unless you’ve experienced the type of irascible anger (easily angered) to which I refer, you probably wouldn’t understand. You may even deem it as selfishness (which in part is factual) or just plain craziness. If you do, you’re half-way right.

I remember when I was a young girl around the age of thirteen and had friends like all normal teenagers. However, I always felt the need to compare and examine myself as if I didn’t meet some unknown standard of humanity. I had to look like I didn’t have stupid thoughts running through my head. I’d be thinking on something dreadful, but yet have a smile on my face because I felt that if the true nature of my thoughts was revealed on my face, I’d scare everyone away. No, I wasn’t malevolent and thinking of killing anybody, it was more like hating who I was and wishing I were someone else. (that’s another story entirely) People used to always tell me: “You look so evil”. How does a teenager look so evil? I guess when I was looking evil, I was thinking about how pretty the day was. Nevertheless, I heard this remark constantly and eventually felt that I might as well be that way. Little did I know that every time these words were spoken to me, they actually manifested into who I became.

Buddy Ridell (Jack Nicholson) from the movie “Anger Management” said: “Sarcasm is Anger’s ugly cousin”. Indeed it is, but I’d like to add that: “Confusion is Denial’s ugly cousin”. I was so confused most times that I’d deny that I was a confused person! Once you’re in denial, you forfeit the reality that something is terribly wrong. But because you’re confused, you don’t even know if what’s right is right or if what’s wrong is wrong! It’s a vicious cycle my friends.

Anyway, many years have passed since this onset and still I must repress/control potential battles with anger. Though delusional evolutionists have tried to label me as bipolar, sufferer of mood swings and a recipient of borderline personality disorder, I don’t believe nor receive lies of the fabulist satan. Freud and Darwin were both guile and not inspired of God so their definitions of my mental state are vacuous. Despite the flaws of these men, I know for myself that anger leads to judgment and vice versa.

 Matthew 7: 4-5 says, “4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?” “5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  Wow, Jesus definitely had a low tolerance for hypocrisy! When I read these scriptures earlier in life, they didn’t touch my heart as they do today. Sometimes we have to be in a certain season of life for the revelation to hit home.

Friends, we are all guilty. However, I am not immutable and can most always rectify my wrongs. In other words, I’m not perfect but at least I realize the folly of my ways and strive to do better. We must acknowledge our faults to God, earnestly ask for forgiveness and stop the rebellion. I’ve chosen to obey. Will you? 

Pet Peeves That Cause Heaves!

Published July 6, 2010 by VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS

I simply cannot be the only human being that gets heated at the stupid things other human beings do. By no means am I implying that I’m without fault, but just like everyone else, I too am annoyed by the senseless gestures and lack of thought that permeates throughout society. Maybe you can relate to these top 10 of mine:

  1. Having the parking spot you spotted a mile away snatched right from under your nose. Despite my poor sense of reality, I saw it first!
  2. Drivers that occupy the passing lane to “sight see” what’s on the left side of the road. Sometimes I think people get their driver’s licenses out of the Cracker Jack box.  What’s inside?.... why it’s A DRIVER’S LICENSE! Thank you sailor boy! What’s inside?…. why it’s A DRIVER’S LICENSE! Thank you sailor boy!
  3. The music and moderator’s voice on Forensic Files gives me the creeps. This is being considered as a pet peeve because I DON’T LIKE TO FEEL CREEPY!
  4. Looking for any article that I’ve lost, really need and can’t find it. This practically drives me insane. The “catch 22” is that when I don’t need this article, it’s staring me straight in the face, but when it’s of dire importance that I have it, it runs off and hides from me!
  5. The non-chivalrous, jack-assed “pie hole” that doesn’t let a lady step on the elevator first, or hold the door open when you’re right behind him and he KNOWS you’re right behind him.
  6. Can you please tell me why bartenders, waitresses/waiters, fast food servers, etc., lick their fingers and have the audacity to bring your food with that fake @$$ smile on their faces as though to say: “Yeah, I licked my finger right before I touched your plate..now what?”. And then expect you to smile back and say “thank you”. I don’t think so!!!! I’m disgusted just typing about it….
  7. The inability to peruse Facebook statuses without having to see what cow you saved, how many guns you purchased, what new food you created, and what you named your stupid cat. Hence: Farmville, MafiaWars, CafeWorld and Petville. Give me a break already….
  8. Reality shows that have actors/actresses depicting reality. Case in point: Operation Repo (TruTV) and The Bachelor (ABC). What has this world come to?
  9. The shopping buggy that wobbles like a bobble-head, squeaks like a jet engine and has that one wheel that won’t roll! AARRGGHH!! Everybody knows you’re buying laxatives because your buggy says: “Black lady with a bad attitude on isle twelve!” Geez…
  10. And finally. I love the elderly so very much, however they should NOT be allowed to drive after retirement age. Hire a chauffeur, ride the commuter bus, recruit a family member, something!  They hinder the flow of traffic because they have snail syndrome, make illegal U-turns while at a red light, enter into oncoming traffic as if blindfolded and will cut you off like you’re not even there! Lord help us….

There’s certain to be tons upon tons of pet peeves that you may have and I would love to read some of them. Do share!

What Makes Me Happy

Published June 9, 2010 by VaLENCIa's MuSiNgS

Today I stumbled upon a blog entitled “1000 Awesome Things” by Neil Pasricha. He decided to blog daily of the things that he considers to be awesome. Some examples would be: ‘Fitting into those jeans you haven’t been able to fit for a while’, ‘The other side of the pillow’, ‘The smell of gasoline’, so on and so forth. So in turn, (and though he’s unaware) he’s inspired me to muse on those things I think are awesome. Anyway, his goal was to publish one amazing thing a day, every single day, but I think I’ll just put all of mine in one post. I’m not THAT freakin happy…..You will see that I find awesomeness in the most random encounters. 

Here’s 20:

  • Smelling gasoline. I don’t know what it is about those fumes, but they certainly make you feel good….
  • Cleaning your ears out with a Q-Tip after showering is heavenly!
  • When your signal light synchronizes harmoniously with the car in front of yours. You start hearing a faint rhythm inside your head.
  • The startling surprise of a lightning bug in the distance.
  • Licking your fingers after eating Cheetos.
  • When I see the “V” formation of birds flying…I take it personally. I see it as God’s way of telling me, “I love you V”. 
  • Scratching an itch! Any itch!
  • It’s mesmerizing when driving past a corn field to focus your eyes directly between the rows. It’s like being on a roller coaster.
  • When it rains while the sun is shining bright.
  • Waking up and realizing that your nightmare was in fact a dream and nothing more.
  • Sitting on the porch on a breezy summer day watching the sun set after a long day at work.

  • Freshly shaven legs and armpits.
  • Watching the Season Premiere  and Season Finale of your favorite reality show.
  • The smile a person returns when you’ve made their day!
  • Getting that parking spot you circled around for.

  • When the police officer that pulled you over is having a good day and lets you go with only a warning.
  • Randomly checking your online bank statement only to find your income tax return was deposited by the IRS.
  • How cool your pillow feels when you first lay your head on it.
  • Seeing ‘lovebugs’ stuck together.
  • And finally….finding a comment on your blog when you come back! 

What do you think is awesome?