Black Sheep Bass-ic Training

Doing The Christian Walk With A Funky Strut

God’s sense of humor.

So we celebrated the first official day of Spring on Thursday.  My lovely friend in Florida sent me some nice beach pics.

And this is what I woke up to yesterday morning:

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Yes, that’s right, more SNOW, big heavy flakes of it (which were flying when I took this but hard to see with screen).  Haven’t we already broken the snowfall total record for the season?

Sweet home Chicago.  😛

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Wrestling match

Part of the Christian walk, I’ve found, is occasionally running into seemingly contradictory commandments in Scripture, and getting in deeper with God to find out the nuances and shades of each, to find out what He’s really getting at.

That work confession list?  Yep, it’s done, and been confessing it.  Today was still an epic fail in the attitude and mouth department.  Was literally within minutes of going home early out of frustration.  Thankfully I got sent on a mission to assist someone elsewhere in the company, and was sufficiently distracted.  But I still ended up at the end of the day physically exhausted from stress and trying to figure out why I could not stay on track.

Felt a check in my spirit–“You are expecting the people to behave in a certain way, you are trusting them to do that–when you should be trusting Me.”

Do the work I’m supposed to do, and when I run into a roadblock that requires someone from another department to clear, trust Him to motivate them to do it, or trust that He will protect me from consequences if they don’t.  Either way, trust Him, not the people.  Trust Him and don’t try ‘motivating’ them on my own.

It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  Psalm 118:8 (AMP)

Which I was fine with.  I know I’m being taken through a season of faith testing and this just seems like another faith test.  But then the following Scriptures occurred to me just a few minutes ago–

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].  1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP)

and of course, on the topic of love:   So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  John 13:34 (NIV)

Now, obviously, I know our ULTIMATE trust needs to be in God.  EveryTHING is His; everyONE is under His dominion.

But how much (if any) trust should I be putting in people?  The above is one of many Scriptures that indicate NOT to trust, but trust is a vital component of love, and we are commanded to love one another.  So trust should be part of the package, yes?

Given the people I’m dealing with, there is a longstanding history of chronic letdown.  Hence the frustration.  I NEED them to come through and own their responsibilities in order for me to continue to do MY job with integrity and excellence, things I am compelled to as a Christian.  I can no sooner do a shoddy job than I can stop breathing.  But pretty much all jobs at my workplace have multiple moving parts that have multiple departments and individuals involved.  When one link in the chain doesn’t pull its weight, everyone else feels strain.  And no one of us can take on any of these processes in total–a) it would be far too much work and b) it would have Internal Audit and our external auditors in a rage.  So each step of each process is delegated to a specific individual, and we have to rely on each other to each do our part.

How much reliance do I release?  How much trust do I assign to the people doing the parts I can’t do?  How do I trust God AND show love in this situation?

I’m stepping on the mat.  Time to grapple.

Commentary more than welcome.

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Scripture reminder–work

Regarding my work life, I’ve read this Scripture and done various confessions based on it more times than I care to count.  But not enough times…as my attitude demonstrated this morning.  So, here goes.  Will be writing up an official ‘confession list’ for work and this will be the headliner…

“But we beseech and earnestly exhort you, brethren, that you excel [in this matter] more and more, to make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you, so that you may bear yourselves becomingly and be correct and honorable and command the respect of the outside world, being dependent on nobody [self-supporting] and having need of nothing.”  –1 Thessalonians 4: 10b-12 (AMP)

Goal: get to a point where I interact with the department as little as possible.  And have those interactions be life-giving.

 

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Field of faith

As is usually the case, silence on here means getting tested hardcore in real life.

The current test: plumbing the depths of my faith and making it grow.

I sort of sensed at the beginning of the year that this year was going to be filled with major changes and events.  I haven’t been let down in that regard.

Death in the family? Check.

Friend getting married? Check.

Major upheaval at work? Check.  (And I sense the fun’s only beginning, employment-wise.)

Moving YET AGAIN?  Check.

But this time I’m not just moving.  Becoming a first-time homeowner.

And that’s where the faith test is coming in.

God seems to have a sense of humor.  I know I’ve been weak when it comes to totally trusting Him; still exorcising past demons that make it hard for me to trust ANYONE completely.  So what does He do?  Throw me into a process that leaves me swinging in the wind, clinging desperately to Him.  Either get faith or go crazy!!!

If He doesn’t make this happen, it won’t happen.  Since He’s kicked the door wide open for me to even be able to put in offers, I have to believe He’s going to take me through the rest of this process.

For now, I’m at a point where all I can do is wait…and trust.

I look to Abraham as an example.  God told him to leave the land of his family, and he just went.  God didn’t tell him where He was going to take him, but he went anyway.  No wonder his faith was credited to him as righteousness.  It takes insane amount of faith to just pack up everything you have and just start going somewhere like he did.  Didn’t know the destination.  Didn’t know how long he’d have to travel or what he’d have to travel through.  He just went.

I’m being asked to do similar.  I have no idea where I’ll be living past June 30th at this point.  I just know it’s not going to be here…the anointing is off this place and I need to move on.  And I’m putting everything I’ve got on the line to try and buy a house, because there’s way too many signs that this is what I should be doing.  But it’s not going to work unless God keeps His hand on the process.

And to that point, the other Biblical account that’s coming to mind is the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness.  God took them on a 40-year trek, but if they’d gone the straight route, the trip would have only taken 11 days.  He needed to test and prove them, so He dragged the trip out.  Seems I’m going through similar.  He’s not letting me have this the easy way.  In fact, I’m currently wrapped up in probably the most red-tape ridden purchase process possible.

So what can I take from what the Israelites went through?  Be thankful for His provision in the journey, and don’t complain about the process!!!  Just take action when told to and let Him work the rest of the time.  He is using this time to refine me.  To purge my need to have all the answers.  To give me revelation on “perfect love casteth out fear”.  To seek Him with all my heart and let Him add other things unto me.

He has been faithful in the past…as many times as I’ve moved, as crazy as the circumstances were surrounding some of the moves…He’s always kept a roof over my head, even during all those years when I wanted nothing to do with Him.

I need to focus on that, send up my praise and thanksgiving, and let my faith grow as I go through this process a step at a time.

And I need to get away from “I have to trust Him” and get over to “I get to trust Him”.  Faith in God is a privilege!  I don’t have to shoulder my own burdens, I can cast my cares!  He is with us always and helps us deal with our earthly concerns, He isn’t just leaving us down here to fend for ourselves.  We don’t have to go this alone.

Promised Land, here I come.

 

 

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