Archive for the ‘Randomness’ Category

This and That   Leave a comment

Every time I end my reading of the whole Bible, I start over again.  And almost always, I start with the Pentateuch.  I have tried my daily Bible reading different ways, but I just like to start with the Pentateuch.  I always like the part in Genesis 2 where it says that God planted a garden.  Wow.  Can you imagine what that garden looked like?  And I’m sure (the Bible doesn’t say – this is Maureen talking) that God just *spoke*, and it came to be. He didn’t draw it out.  He didn’t consult with anyone.  He didn’t look over the land and try to make up his mind what would go where.  He just spoke – and it came into being.  Wow.

The other thing that struck me this year is in Exodus when the tabernacle and all the furnishings are finally done and they set it up for the first time. Can you imagine how fun, exciting, thrilling, and fulfilling that must have been for Moses?  Months previous he had been given the plans and exact design specifications.  For months he had watched the workmen, the craftsmen, create everything.  And finally it was the day when it could all be set up for the first time.  I can just picture him: “Now, put the table for the bread of the presence right there.  Ahhhh – yes.  Right there.”  Just a little fancy of mine; my imagination taking off where my Bible reading is taking me.

Our Pastor’s wife has gotten a word from God for each year.  She prays about it, asks for it, and each year the word she gets epitomizes that year, and what happens in it.  She encourages all of us to ask God for our word for the year.  I’m glad for her and I’m glad God speaks to her that way, but I have never gotten a word for the year.  Which is okay.  Just because our Pastor’s wife gets one does not mean everyone should get one.  But while Pastor was speaking one Sunday about a month ago, he quoted John 2:5 – “Do whatever He tells you”, and I just felt as if that was my word for the year.  Well, phrase to be specific.  And so I’ve been thinking of that and wondering what God will be telling me this year. So far the only thing I have gotten for sure is that I am not to go out looking for a husband.  No promise about whether I will ever have another husband; He just clearly told me I wasn’t to go out looking for one.  So I haven’t.

This year I will be turning 60.  Kind of a milestone. Kind of mind blowing, actually.  I can’t believe I’m that old.  I don’t feel that old.  I have learned some things in my almost 60 years … which I won’t bore you with.  But what I have learned recently, probably in the last 10 years or so, is what is my bliss.  Remember that phrase: Follow Your Bliss?  Well, I now know what gives me joy.  Bliss.  Satisfaction.  Fulfillment.  And one of those things that I am just recently rediscovering is… writing.  I have wanted to be a writer for a very long time.  In my 20’s I submitted my stories to panels of writers for critique I think 4-5 times.  And each time my story, my writing, was eviscerated.  Truly – ripped up one side and down the other.  Nothing positive, only negative comments.  I knew then I was not a good writer, but I thought I could get better with a bit of encouragement and constructive criticism.  I didn’t receive that.  So, I got very discouraged and put that idea/dream away.  About a year ago I had an idea for a story.  It just wouldn’t let me know. I listened to the old voices, “Don’t do it!  You’re no good!  You can’t write!”, but this story wouldn’t leave my back brain.  And I started to remember all the writing I had to do in college, and that my papers and reports almost always got A’s.  And that I had gotten compliments on my writing at work. Emails and instructions, mostly, but people thought they were done well.  And so I recently took the plunge and wrote my first words on my story.  I have no plans to do anything with it, and I have no idea how long it will be when I’m done.  Will it be a book?  A novella?  A short story?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  I just am enjoying writing.  I like it.  And it is turning out … not bad so far.  I’m pleased with it.  I’ve found another bliss to add to the list.

Posted February 9, 2019 by Maureen in Musings, Randomness, Uncategorized

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MODESTY   Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I asked a question of a Christian Facebook group.  I must not have phrased myself very well, as I got lots of judgmental and curt answers back.  It was pretty hurtful to me, but the question remains in my mind.

In the church I attend, it happens that the Pastor’s oldest daughter leads worship every Sunday.  She also does other things around the church, and from my observation (and listening to worship) she does a fine job.  She is a lovely (inside and out) woman of God who seeks after Him and is using her gifts for Him.  She has graduated college and is an integral part of our church.

The … what do you call it?  Issue?  Problem?  Question?  I don’t know what to call it so I will choose issue since that comes first alphabetically.  The issue is she wears very tight pants on the platform.  Pants that hug her body so closely you can see everything.

Now before you jump in and judge me and call me an old bitty, please understand that I have shopped with and bought clothes for young ladies.  Being a lady myself, I have seen the clothing available in stores and I see the ads on TV and other places.  I know, I fully understand, how hard it is to find modest clothing for young women.  Even ladies as young as grade school.  It is hard for me to find modest clothing, being a plus-sized middle-aged woman.

I am not criticizing her.  I am not shaking my finger at her saying “Shame!”  I am not looking down my nose at her saying, “She wouldn’t be wearing that if she were MY daughter!”  Remember – she leads worship.  So she is up on the platform every Sunday, both services, front and center.  She is elevated (physically, because the platform is higher than the chairs), and naturally we all look at her while she and the other folks sing songs and play instruments.  So it is not as if I can avert my eyes.  I am not staring at her, nor am I oogling her.

For me, it boils down to this:  Being the worship leader means she has to be above reproach.  She has to be an example.  There can’t be a hint of impropriety.  Yes, I used that word.  Almost, she has to be a paragon.  Yes, this puts a lot of pressure on her.  It is unfair, really, that so much pressure should be put on her, but that is the way it is for people in leadership roles.  They lead.  By example, my modeling.  And I don’t think it is just my middle-aged brain that thinks by wearing tight clothing on the platform she is stumbling in her duties of showing modesty and being above reproach as a leader.

She is a young lady just out of college.  No doubt with student debt to clear.  She works at the church so she is not making a lot of money.  She is living in our church subsidized housing.  I doubt she has a lot of money to spend on clothing.  She very likely is wearing the only clothing she has available to wear.

I don’t have money myself to buy her clothes, even if I thought that was appropriate for me to do.  My original question to my Facebook group was “What would you do?”  Among the many “mind your own business!” and “she’s not hurting anyone!” I got not one single concrete answer as to what others would do.

So, here is the other thing that bothers me about all this.  The answers I received from the under 40 Facebook members of that group pretty much followed the theme of “She’s not hurting anyone!  If it doesn’t hurt anyone, there is nothing wrong with it!  She should wear what she wants!”  And, it surprised me.  It surprised me because: who are you to judge whether it is hurting someone?  How are you to know if it is hurting someone?  How are you to know if someone in the congregation is struggling with lust?  With sexual sin?  Who are you to know if there is someone in the congregation that looks at that lovely young lady in her tight pants and stops thinking about worship and starts thinking about unsavory things?  Yes, it is true that it is unfair to judge or lust after a woman simply by what she wears.  However, whether it is fair or not, it is reality.  It happens.  And we are foolish if we do not take heed and remember that.  We are foolish, I believe, if we say, “I can wear what I want!  If it bothers you then that is your problem, not mine!”

In the New Testament, Paul writes a whole chapter about not causing others to stumble.  Read 1 Corinthians 8.  And if you are a leader, standing up where everyone can see you Sunday after Sunday, I believe you should be even more careful about leading anyone possibly astray or possibly causing them to stumble in their walk.  For me, that is the bottom line.

That is what I think, and how I feel.  I have thought about this for a year, and I still have no solution.  I believe God has made it clear that I am not to say anything.  So, I continue to pray about it.  But I fear there is a whole generation of women who firmly believe they can wear anything, do anything, and not think about any consequences or how it might affect others.

Posted October 2, 2018 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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DEEP THINGS   Leave a comment

I haven’t written on here in a long time.  I’ve been going through some deep things over the past months of this year.  I feel God has been working on me, in me, through me.  I ask every day for His will to be done in my life and you can’t pray a prayer like that without things happening.  I’ve been under spiritual attack pretty regularly, and while that gets tiresome it also tells me I’m doing the right thing(s).

I put a profile on a dating web site.  After praying about it for a few months, I took the plunge.  Ug.  Yep, it was pretty much not a good experience.  As a lady in her late 50’s I had no trouble attracting men, but they were not men I was interested in.  For one thing, I am not looking for someone in their 30’s.  And someone who lives across the country from me is really not a practical option.  Even when I put it plainly on my profile, I still got lots of interest from people on the east coast.  Sigh.  I connected with a few men, but none of them stood up to scrutiny, and by that I mean they all turned out to not be Godly men.  And I am looking for a Godly man.

Well, actually, I’m not looking.  I’m praying about it, but I am done with dating web sites for now at least.  Our Pastor’s wife says often: (I’m paraphrasing her)  If you want a different outcome, you need to do something different.  So I am not doing the web site thing and instead I’m searching for wisdom.

My health is much better this year than last year, Praise God for that.  I’ve been able to do craft things I like and enjoy.  My family is doing well, and the job is going great.  For all that and more I give Praise and Glory and Honor to God.

 

Posted August 28, 2018 by Maureen in Being Single, Randomness

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MISSED?   Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Over the New Years weekend I drove 7 hours from my sister’s house back to my apartment in another state.  My brother-in-law was in the car with me for half that trip; I was dropping him off at his mother’s so he could drive her to her winter spot in Arizona.

I had asked my church for prayer about the trip, because my brother-in-law is an atheist and I have heard him say some hostile things about Christians.  We were going to be sitting next to each other for 5 hours or so and I asked for prayer about what to say or not say.

To be honest, I had forgotten about the drive with him or the chance to witness to him or talk to him about his beliefs…. until the morning we had to leave.  I had prayed about it ahead of time, but I was having so much fun relaxing and enjoying myself that I forgot all about it until we were on the road.

Once I remembered, I started thinking about what I could say.  How do I bring up the subject of faith, and his own beliefs? In my head, I starting singing that chorus:

Come Holy Spirit, I need thee
Come sweet spirit I pray
Come in thy strength and thy power
Come in thy own special way

And as it turned out… we talked about various things, but faith wasn’t one of them.   And I’ve been wondering ever since if I failed, if I missed an opportunity. Or, if it all happened the way God wanted?  I still don’t know.

One of the reasons I doubt is because I know in myself that I always try to get along with people.  I always try to find some middle ground, some common ground, with them.  I listen to them and I am respectful.  And I think that characteristic in myself means I miss opportunities.

I am the way God created me.  I have always been this way, so I do believe it is the way God wants me to be.  But, I think it is not ALL He wants me to be. I think I can be more.

Posted January 9, 2018 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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Joy?   Leave a comment

Our sermon this morning blessed my heart.  Pastor was giving us a word for the Christmas season, from the book of Nehemiah.  As a side note, I love the book of Nehemiah.  Years ago we had an adult Bible study on it, using a book titled “Hand me Another Brick”.  It is an excellent book – I recommend it.

He was in chapter 8 this morning.  The setting was after the wall was completed.  It was the day of the New Year celebration, and all the people had gathered to hear Ezra reading the book of the Law.  As he read, the words were explained to the people.  The Bible tells us that the people praised the Lord, but also as they heard the words Ezra was reading, they started weeping.  They were convicted in their hearts of their sins, and the sins of their fathers as they heard how they were supposed to live and worship God.

Nehemiah consoled and encouraged them.  “This day is holy to our Lord”, he said.  “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength“.  (my emphasis) You may have heard those words before.  You may have said them, or taught them.  This morning Pastor reminded us that the joy does not come from us.  We don’t have to have joy before we can get joy.  The joy is a free gift, from God.  It is God’s joy.  He doesn’t wait until we are perfect to give it to us.  He doesn’t wait for our lives to be trouble-free to give it to us.  It is a joy we can have today, for today is holy.

This holiday season, you may not be feeling your best. Your life may not be at a high point right now.  God says to receive the joy.  Receive it on faith if you have to, but receive it.  It is a free gift He gives willingly.  Enjoy the joy.

 

Posted December 17, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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There are books… and books   Leave a comment

I have a Kindle that my dear husband got me a few years ago.  I totally love it, and read anywhere from 5-10 books a month on it.  Every once in a while I will read one of my actual paper books I have.

This month I finished my Kindle books early, so I decided to go through a series I really like, reading each paper book in order.  (Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Vorkosigan” series)  I can’t put these books down!  This is a series I have read — at least 3 times all the way through.  I can’t remember exactly.  I know what’s coming.  I know the dialogue.  There are no surprises.  And yet — I can’t seem to put these books down!

Is it the actual tactile thing of holding a paper book in my hand?  Needing a light to read, since I can’t rely on a backlit screen?  Turning actual pages instead of tapping a screen?  I am not sure what.  But I am enjoying these books just as much as the first time I’ve read them.  Books are books, but sometimes a book can be more enjoyable in a different format.

Posted October 20, 2017 by Maureen in Musings, Randomness, Uncategorized

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DIRT / CLEAN   Leave a comment

I got my car washed last weekend.  My white car.  (her name is Shadowfax).  My white car that hasn’t been washed in months.  Yes, she was pretty dirty.

For the past week it is like I have a new view on life.  I can see!  My windows are clear!  Clean!  And my backup camera is showing such a clear, sharp picture now!

I truly had no idea 1) how dirty my windows had gotten or 2) how it had affected how I saw things outside the car.  I had grown used to the dirt.  I thought it was normal.  It was something I accepted and just kind of worked around or ignored.

Kind of like sin.  It seeps in.  It grows slowly.  We let a little in, and don’t confess it.  And more gets attracted to the first part.  And before we even know it, we are used to the way things are in sin.  They seem normal.  We can’t see how dirty we are, we just think everything is fine and pretty much the way things have always been.

Until we confess our sin(s) to God.  And we ask Him to cleanse us and free us.  And suddenly we can see how dirty we were.  We can see how clean we are now that the sin has been forgiven.

 

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

Posted July 14, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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