November 21, 2014

Worship Where and How You Can

Jordan River (from Wikipedia)
Naaman, a commander of the Syrian army, asked Elisha the prophet to heal him of leprosy. Naaman followed Elisha's instructions to wash seven times in the River Jordan and he was healed. He believed in Jehovah, but Naaman didn't have the ability to worship with other saints. In fact, Naaman would have to worship the Syrian idol Rimmon when he returned home. The king of Syria required it. Would God forgive Naaman for worshiping false idols?

Naaman begged,"When I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant [me] in this thing" (2 Kings 5:18). He feared that he would be breaking a commandment, but he had no choice to bow down to other gods. The prophet Elisha told him, "Go in peace." God knew that Naaman worshiped Him despite having to worship another. Naaman also brought soil from Israel home with him that he would worship on.

Many of us find situations where we aren't able to worship how or where we would choose to. God knows our situations and accepts our devotions. In the midst of other worship, we can spiritually worship God how we choose. No one can stop what's in our hearts and God the knows the heart.

Most religions have elements of truth in them, and we seek that truth within that belief system. I see truth and characteristics of God in most religions. Most of us worship the same God, but in different ways. Some pagan gods have been twisted from the reality of the true and living God, but still have elements of Him.

We can find and worship God in no matter what situation we may be in. He knows our hearts and will guide as to truth on our journey back to Him.

November 19, 2014

Uptight Guardian Angels

"Smiling Grandma..." by Steven Depolo
I pray for guardian angels to protect my children, my nephews, and nieces. I pray angels for other children in need. These angels know who we are, though we may not know who they are.

My paternal grandma seemed like such an uptight woman. She put plastic on her couches when my siblings and I came over and she tried to contain us in one section of the downstairs. She liked order, cleanliness, and quiet--the antithesis of my brothers and me. Perhaps my view was skewed since my grandma passed away when I was twelve years old.

A few years ago I wondered what my grandma would think of my rowdy, messy, unruly sons. I realized that she loves her rowdy great-grandsons. She no longer has OCD as a spirit. In fact, she has taken over as their guardian angel.

My grandma is a guardian angel over my children, and her many other great-grandchildren. She sees the present danger over her great grandchildren and she warns us when someone threatens them. Maybe she cushioned my insane boy who jumped off the top bunk. She must be a busy angel.

November 10, 2014

The Abuser's Favorite

Child molesters groom their victims before touching them. The children often enjoy the extra attention from an adult, so the children may develop a special bond with their abusers. They begin to care for the pedophile despite the abuse.

The special bond may continue for years. The pedophile has a faithful, if not terrified, victim. The favorite child will lie about the abuse whether out of fear or loyalty. Some grow up and defend their abusers. They'll play the obedient part and praise the abuser.

The adult favorites will sacrifice other relationships to maintain loyalty to their abusers. Some willingly expose their children to the beloved abuser, and their children sometimes become the next victims. The adult children may even put the relationship with the abuser above other close relationships.

The adult favorites stunt their personal growth because of the unhealthy relationships. They put others at risk. Somehow, they need to realize that they are missing out on so many of life's blessings. They can continue loving their abuser, but create boundaries. The favorite can break the cycle and encourage their abusers to repent.

This is not an easy journey to take alone, so the favorites will need help from God and others. It may take years to erase the unhealthy conditioning and establish healthy relationships with others, but the pain and healing will eventually bring happiness.

Links to Blog Posts I Liked

I like this one about being strong women of faith. We don't need to measure ourselves to worldly standards.

This article discusses a woman who felt she was guilty after her cousin violated her. She enjoyed the attention to a small degree, but she was not at fault. She learned she had nothing to repent of.

Biter Baby

"The new multi-bite interface :)"
 by Oleg Sidorenko
My youngest is at the toddler stage where he bites. I remember my other two boys biting, but my youngest excels at it.

Last night, I was talking to my sister on the phone and holding my toddler at the same time. My son bit me several times and I yelped. I finally put him down. One bite left an impression on my arm for a couple hours. Today I have a bruise.

My son is a cannibal!

November 04, 2014

Stopping Desire to Hurt before It Worsens

"SIN" by april
We've all found ourselves frustrated with children. It's a normal reaction. My children know how to press my buttons. Sometimes, we may cross the line of annoyance and hurt our children. This is the time to nip it in the bud!

We may need extra help to overcome a desire to hurt others. So many people can help. Talking to another adult, counselor, or religious leader can help. Sometimes, we just need to take a break to regain our equilibrium. Pray for help too. Do what it takes to change now.

Like a Caged Animal

"get out of my Photo!!!" by chefjancris
Abusers hate when they lose control. They do everything within their power to maintain their power, but that doesn't work on everyone. Eventually, someone will push back and their secret will become shouted upon the rooftops. This is when they feel like a caged animal.

Animals feel desperate in cages and attack even when someone wants to help. Abusers sometimes become more careless or more aggressive in their attacks. They do not want to be caught! But they don't see that being caught is actually a freeing experience. Now they can be released from the cage of their sins.

When abusers are held accountable, they can use that opportunity to repent. They will have access to professional help. They can come closer to their Savior and suffer only a fraction of what they will in the eternities.

Jesus Christ said that "It were better for him a millstone was hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones" (Luke 17:2). Abusing a child is a serious offense. Only Jesus can remove that millstone.