Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Extreme? Perhaps.

"... the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize--a [a]share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion]."   Matthew 11:12 (Amplified)

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So. Let me tell ya. That verse, above, keeps flying to my head because lately it seems I'm surrounded by doubtful, negative, wimpy people. Christian people, sadly, ones who believe...

... if the economy is awful then their own family's economy will automatically be awful, too...

... and because crime is increasing, they're practically just waiting for Crime to walk through their own front door...

... and if they heard a bad story about a certain state then there's no way they'd ever move to that state...

... and Life here on Earth is meant to be a suffering cesspool and only Heaven will be a place to enjoy...

... and on and on. Even Tom is worried that we'll take a monetary loss on our next house--and we've not even moved in yet!

Well, I keep telling Tom to "knock it off and get some faith why don't ya?" I even covered my ears (then ran for my computer headphones) when I heard him saying, again, such doubtful stuff to our financial advisor over the phone this morning.

But I can't exactly do those things when other Christians in my Real Life and in Blogland bring their fear-filled, we're-all-gonna-die approach right to me.  No, but I can take some tactics.

Like, I can refuse to spend a lot of time with Doubters. A little time, ok, (especially with those who want to change, like my sweet husband), but doubt spreads like disease, you know, and I refuse to catch that disease. Fear acts like disease, too. Start spending your days sitting in circles swapping fear stories (or parked in front of CNN on a catastrophe day) and suddenly your thoughts are colored black. And weigh 20 pounds extra.

And I can, ok, read headlines, but not their whole stories crammed with gory details. Or  I can watch the news only when Grace sits beside me, comforting my heart the whole time, but skipping the news if, instead, it haunts my hours and spoils the joy of the Lord--zapping my strength.

Frankly, it's up to me to remain strong (and sane!). Yes, my joy ultimately comes from God, but also ultimately, I can lose it, myself. And I can sabotage my joy by holding onto unforgiveness, fear and doubt, instead. It's either joy or my 'right' to hold onto fear-based junk--it can't be both.

"The violent take it by force..." And if saturating myself, my hours, with good, uplifting teaching and avoiding certain disease-spreading people and newspapers or broadcasts sounds extreme to you, oh well. It's my way of taking the kingdom of heaven by force and it sounds extreme, ok. But I'm determined not to wimp-out and become a worried whiner during these most crucial, trying years in all of History.

I've come too far to allow torpedoes of negativity to sink me now.



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"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."  ... Proverbs 4:23


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Would you like to have an encouraging Bible verse sent to your email box each day? Go here. Scroll down a bit in order to submit your address.


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Did you enjoy the old tv show, Emergency? Tom and I did and yesterday we began watching an updated-version type called, Trauma, by way of Netflix instant streaming (Kevin Tighe even appeared in one episode as an old paramedic-turned-captain and that was quite cool).We're enjoying it a lot, though we've had to close our eyes a few times during some of the more extreme injuries of accident victims. (Not recommended for the faint of heart....smile...)


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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Debra,

This was a great post - something that God has laid on my heart in the last few years. That of not watching too much tv - the tv and radio I do watch are mostly limited to shows such as Joyce Meyers, Marilyn Hickey, James and Betty Robinson. Or either game shows (my husband likes those), old movies from the 30's, 40's and 50's - or shows that are more uplifting - mostly I try to fill my mind with good and pure and lovely things. I know this is mostly escapist tactics - but I have found I had to do it for my sanity. My Mom watches the CNN or news shows like it - plus shows like Judge Judy - it is all so negative. Sitting in front of catasphope tv is what your mind becomes.

I was raised in a negative household where fear reigned from negative thoughts. I found through many of my years since being at home, I have turned to those thoughts instead of transforming and renewing my mind.

In the last two years, my husband lost his job and is in a job where he is paid commission only - so I am trying to dwell on the positive and not take from the negative. My Mom will ask me questions on such things as Casey Anthony and I know such a limited amount - she just kind of stares at me like "what?"

Anyway, I don't know if you remember me or not - but I wrote you a couple of years ago when my Dad passed away and yours did, too.

I pray your move and all of that will go smoothly for you.

Willa

Debra said...

Thanks for understanding, Willa--not everyone will. (And yes, I do remember you!) :)

All the things you described are what I, too, do to keep my sanity, more so than ever as times get tougher in our world. Some people may call it escapism, but I like to call it choosing a different form of help, one which works for me and helps keep me up and not down (I know you know what I mean).

Thanks for your comments and my very best to you and your husband as you, too, are facing different times. It always amazes me at how many others who read my blog have lost their jobs, too, recently! Keep up the good and lovely thoughts (no matter what anyone else may call them...smile....) Debra

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, seems to me that we need to handle things (like what TV shows we watch) as best suits our personal makeup. With high blood pressure and way too much empathy, I know NOT to watch things with trauma in them!! I am trying to keep my blood pressure down. But facing reality does not necessarily cause it to rise, tho' people's remarks might sometimes. The ants in Proverbs 30 teach us, right? They know winter will come and food will be scarce...so they work like crazy while they have it available. We cannot totally prepare for life, but we might be able to for a few things. One friend often reminds me of her grandparents who went thru' the depression. Up until it hit, they only canned enough for the next year; afterwards, they always canned at least enough for 3 years. It was 3 years almost without food they experienced. I have noticed in life, among kin, etc. that some folks really cannot learn, except by their own experience. And I am now of the opinion, that we should let them be. It is how they learn and we should not try to rob them of that opportunity. Ah, live and let live? It seems we often find ourselves married to someone quite opposite from us. A purpose for all things.
Have fun moving, Elizabeth

Rita said...

Your new life is exciting. It will be fun and a great time to bond with hubby as the two of you find a new way to live in a smaller home. I'm so happy for you. I just retired and so I'm going through things and tossing them out, giving away or fixing them so I can use them if need be. It is so good to have this opportunity. I've never allowed myself to buy Starbucks frappuccino coffee drink. I bought the 4 pack today and mmmmm good. Something new and I will not crave the frappe at the coffee shop anymore. I'm satisfied with just a 1/2 a bottle when I want it. Allowed myself this fun treat. Also have my sewing machine working again and ready to make a zippered bag for my purse. Life can get better if you want it to. I could also tell you many not so good things but I'm not going to. Have a great evening!

Odie Langley said...

As a rule I have two TV shows that I try to catch every day after I get off work. Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune. I like to think that they improve my mind and are entertaining to me. I have enough negativity at work so that is my therapy when I get home.

Anonymous said...

I agree. These days the last thing one needs is negativity. When I read that your husband is worried that you will take a monetary loss on your next house and that you have not even moved in yet..I had to smile because
I had the same comment from a friend when she found out where the house I bought was located...in a rural community and she's already seeing me putting the property for sale and making no money on it and I haven't even moved there.

I am well aware that if ever I decide to sell it will not be easy because rural living is not for everyone and the house is old but hey...I want to enjoy it and live in the moment at this time. I have enough on my plate with packing and all...

Nice post Debra,

Marie

Morning's Minion said...

Good thoughts you're sharing. So much of what affects our lives is not of our doing and beyond our control--somehow we have to create a space in the bigger realm where-in we manage to function and be [reasonably] sane. God doesn't always send us perfect and immediate solutions--but He gives us courage to be sustained through the troubles. He also can give us the wisdom to make the best choices in any situation.