Archive for the ‘faith’ Tag

Every Day   Leave a comment

Last year I finally got down my New Living Translation One Year Bible and read through it.  I’ve been reading through the whole Bible since I became a born-again Christian, over 30 years ago.  It has never taken me a year to read through the whole thing — my usual time is a year and a half.  I have never pressured myself to read through the whole Bible in a year — as long as I am reading it every day than that is the most important thing to me.

But I wanted to read my Bible in a different way, so I took down my One Year Bible that I had purchased years ago.  I have enjoyed it very much!  Reading the same thing in a new translation has opened scripture to me in new and fresh ways.  Reading a bit of Old and New Testaments, as well as a little of Psalms and Proverbs every day was different and interesting to me.

But as the year went on I began to miss “my” Bible more and more.  The one with the leather cover and my initials in it. The one with all the papers stuck in it. The one with highlights and margin notes and notes from my Study Bible and notes from sermons.  I missed the feel of the pages and knowing just exactly where verses and chapters fell on the page.

So now I am done with my One Year Bible and I am back reading in “my” Bible.  Oh, how I have missed the feel of your cover and the sound of your pages turning!  Read your Bible every day.  It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get through the whole thing. Just read it every day.

My Bible

Posted January 2, 2016 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Forgiveness   Leave a comment

I read something today I wanted to share.  I read “Our Daily Bread” devotional every day.  I have been doing that for over 30 years now.  I like the little monthly booklets myself, but this popular devotional comes in other formats.

One of the devotionals I read today said, “You are never so much like Jesus, as when you forgive.”  And that struck a cord with me.  It also reminded me of something I heard in church last Sunday.  The Pastor was talking about when Jesus said, “It is finished!” on the cross.  The Greek word used for “finished” meant the debt was paid.  Not just paid, but paid for all time.  And by extension, when Jesus said that he was declaring that everyone’s sin debt had been paid.

How powerful is that?  That Jesus did that for us, in suffering, in anguish, in pain?  Thank you Jesus.

I have someone in my life that I have struggled to forgive.  This person, who is close to me, has said and done things that have been extremely hurtful to me.  I have really struggled with being around this person and being polite to them.  The things they have said cut me deeply. I have asked God for grace to deal with them, and He has granted me that.

And now I am thinking I just need to forgive.  And try to forget and put it behind me.  Because I do want to be like Jesus.  I want to be less like myself and the world and more like Jesus and the Father.

Do you have someone in your life you need to forgive?  By ourselves we can’t — but with God’s help, with the grace He provides, and remembering what Jesus did for us, we can.

Posted November 21, 2014 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Inefficacious   Leave a comment

I am in an inefficacious situation.  I have been for some time.  I have gone around and around, upside down and inside out, backwards and forwards, thinking of a way or ways to get out of or change my situation.

I have been unable to do so.  Can’t figure it out.  Nothing I think of will work.

I live in the San Francisco bay area, one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S.  When I moved here six years ago I knew the prices (everything, really) were going to be higher than what I was used to in Washington state.  I just didn’t figure on how much higher. My other miscalculation was that I didn’t realize that the salaries here would not be commensurate with the cost of living.  You would think salaries would match, wouldn’t you?  I mean – I’m not being unrealistic in my thinking that most salaries would be higher to meet the cost of living demands in the area, right?  Right?  Please tell me I am not crazy.

Everything thing here – every.single.thing. – is high.  And it keeps going up.  No end in sight – none.  Expensive.  No matter what you want to do – it is too much.  It is more than you expect.  It is more than what you paid last time.  Every.Thing.

Now normally – and by that I mean in my past life experiences – I could cut expenses, move to a smaller place, make sure I didn’t have any debt, move further away to save money, etc.  All the usual things you could think of.  Except, I am already doing all those things.  I pay less for a mortgage payment than I could ever hope to pay for rent on even a one bedroom apartment.  There just isn’t anything else I can cut or cut back on that would allow me enough money to pay rent.

And in order for my boyfriend and I to marry and live together I will have to leave the home I am sharing with family members and share a mortgage with, and rent somewhere.  Except that I cannot afford anything within a 40 minute commute of where I work.  If I don’t mind a 4 hour commute every single day – well, then!  I have lots of options.  Tons of options!  And I’d be dead in a week.  I cannot possibly handle a 4 hour commute every day.

In Psalm 84 it talks about going “from strength to strength”.  I have often found comfort in those words.  The Lord leads my steps.  God directs my path.  I may go through valleys, but always there is something to strengthen me along the way.  An oasis.  Rest.  Peace.  Strength.  The felt love or presence of the Lord.

And so it is now.  I am betwixt and between a rock and a hard place.  But I do not despair.  I do not stay discouraged.  No – my Lord sustains me. I move from strength to strength, seeking God always and asking for His will in my life.

Posted July 30, 2014 by Maureen in Musings

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Faith   Leave a comment

I have the gift of faith.  I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not believe in God.  It is often hard for me to explain my faith to people, to express my faith in ways that people, especially non-Christians, can understand.

I’m in the midst of reading a series by one author, and the two central characters in these stories have three kids.  Their oldest is a pretty devout Catholic, and she was explaining to her (born Jewish, now atheist) father about how she gets through the really hard times in life.  In the story, one of her good friends just had her parents murdered.

“Oh, I’m different.  I have all this support.  I have faith, I’m in a community of believers, I have all kinds of rituals and practices that would make something like that bearable…….. all this would have drove me bananas if I hadn’t had the faith.  I mean, death is not the same thing, if you do.”

The Bible says all we need is a tiny bit of faith, and God can do the rest.  Faith as small as the period at the end of this sentence.  He can do the rest.

My faith has gotten me through many things in my life.  I am so grateful for the power of God, who can do all things in me and through me, because of my faith.

Posted April 30, 2013 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Part of my own Exodus   1 comment

In the second thru fifth books of the Bible, we read about how the Israelites left Egypt, wandered through the desert, and were brought into the Promised Land and finally settled down.  It is an epic true story – filled with all those human things that are still with us today.  Sin.  Rebellion.  Worship.  Love.  Killing.  Plagues.  Whining.  Complaining.  Compassion.  Acts of God.  Miracles. 

The Jews — the chosen people of God — dragged their feet, complaining and whining and looking back, all through the 40 year journey they took through the desert.  And most of us are no different today.  Certainly I am not!

Coming up soon will be the day my son would have been 30.  He was killed 12 years ago, so to everyone but perhaps me and his father he will forever be 18.  But I still think of what he might have been.  What he could have been.  How our relationship would be, was he alive and turning 30.  Every year that comes brings me another year further from when I last saw him and talked with him.  It is said that time heals all wounds, and it is true I have been healed of the horrible aching emptiness and loss that racked me for years after he was killed.  But ….. the sense of loss, the looking back, the feeling that something is missing — has never left.  I think about him, want to talk to him, miss him.

One of the things an exasperated God kept telling the Israelites as they wandered was “Remember, but don’t look back”.  God didn’t want His people to forget what they had in Egypt.  Nor the way they had been treated in Egypt.  He didn’t want them to forget that awesome journey through the walls of water when He parted the Red sea, or the way water sprang from a rock (a rock!) when they had cried out to Him how thirsty they were.  No, they were not told to forget, nor were they expected to.  But — God said — don’t look back.  Keep moving. 

So I am on my own Exodus.  With all my own times of rebellion and whining and feet-dragging, but also joy and worship and peace and oasis refreshing.  I am on a journey.  To a time and place I can’t see, that is far from my days of motherhood and seeing and talking with my son every day.  And God promises to be with me on that journey.  He has already been faithful in thousands of different ways, and I know He will be until the end of the journey, whenever and wherever that may be.

Remember — but don’t turn back.  Keep moving forward.

Posted March 7, 2012 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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On the Edge   Leave a comment

Do you remember that Indiana Jones movie (“The Last Crusade”) where Indiana was following the clues to get to the holy grail, and he had to step blindly off the side of a sheer precipice?  There was nothing there – he couldn’t see anything – but he had to get to the grail.  He had to take that step, that first step, that would lead him to what he sought so badly.

Yeah — that’s what I have felt like.  Taking the first step is very hard.  But each further step along the path to a closer, deeper relationship with the man I’m dating is also hard.  The potential for hurt grows.  The potential for joy grows.  The potential for irritation, the potential for happiness. 

What I’m finding is that it is hard. No doubt about that.  But for me, going slowly, a little bit at a time, allows me to be comfortable, to feel safe about my feelings, and it also gives us a chance to know each other.  And that part is easy. 

I’ve already taken the first step.  We’ll see how many more steps I end up taking.

Posted October 23, 2011 by Maureen in Being Single, Musings

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Witness   Leave a comment

I was raised in a large Catholic-Irish family.  We went to church on a regular basis.  Being raised in the Catholic church instilled in me a deep reverence and respect for God and His church.  I don’t remember a time in my life when I did not believe in God – the creator of the heavens and earth.  Our heavenly father and his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

When I became an adult I married a Catholic man.  We went to church together and had the same faith, but our marriage ended after a few short years.  I was invited to a Christian Singles group by a friend.  Wanting to adult fun things without doing a bar scene, I started attending the group.  I noticed most of the people there had something I didn’t.  I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I wanted it.  I enjoyed the group a lot and met some really terrific people.

One of the people I met was a man named Ed.  I stopped by the house Ed shared with others one evening at his invitation.  It was not a date – we had been talking about books at a meeting and Ed had said he had a lot of Christian books.  Having been an avid reader since I was in the 3rd grade I was fascinated that there were Christian books out there.  I was eager to read them.  Ed let me look through his whole book collection, and I eagerly pulled books that caught my eye until I had a pile on the floor.  He eyed the pile and remarked that some of those books were kind of heavy reading, and was I sure I wanted to do this?  I assured him I did.

One of the first books I read (probably because it was also one of the shortest) was “How to Live Like a Kings Kid” by Harold Hill.  In that book was a “sinners prayer”.  A simple prayer of confession and belief, asking God to forgive me and asking Jesus to be my personal Lord and Savior.  THAT was it!  This was the something that others in the group had that I didn’t.  I knew this was what I was looking for.  I said the prayer to myself, sitting at the kitchen table in my apartment by myself.

Immediately I felt a peace come over me, and love flow through me.  The knot of anxiety and fear and doubt that had been a part of me and a lump in my gut as long as I remember was gone.  Smiling, I continued reading. 

Since that time I have sought God, and found him.  I have discovered the names of the gifts God gave to me before I was born, and I have tried to use them to bring glory to His name and spread His love.  I have continued to grow in my faith and knowledge of God and his Word.  I have not always walked closely with God, but my faith is a strong rock, my bedrock on which my life stands, and even if I should forsake all else I cannot ever forsake my faith and belief in God, the creator almighty, maker of heaven and earth and everything in them. 

I thank God that He forgave me my sins and that I have accepted Jesus God’s only son personally for myself as my Lord and Savior.  Do you want the same thing?  Do you also want to be free and forgiven, to have joy and love?  Say this prayer, or use your own words to say these words:

“I confess that I am sinner and that nothing I can do or say can take away those sins.  I believe in the one God, the creator of everything seen and unseen.  I believe that God sent his only son Jesus into the world as a man, who lived and then died on the cross and was ressurrected.  God please forgive me of my sins.  I accept Jesus into my heart and life as my Savior. Reveal your Word to me and help me to use the gifts you have given me to bring glory to you.”

Posted December 6, 2010 by Maureen in Christian

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