Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eagle Brook Church


This coming weekend, the Anoka campus will open its doors for the first time.  I am excited about it, as I have been going to this church, in other locations, for about 6 months now, and it is so cool to me that it will be right next door to me.  Little did I know that the old K-Mart that closed down a few years ago, would become the answer to my prayers, in more ways than one.

After the changes at Church of the Open Door happened that I was not happy about, I searched about for  a new church home.  I had heard of this place for years, but never wanted to check it out as I was quite happy at Open Door for about 20 years.  But now with the unwanted changes, I decided to check it out last summer.

And I was glad.  I felt at home right away, and a sense of relief, and peace.  For so long I had not gone to Open Door, for various reasons, and I actually missed going to church.  I used to hate church growing up, I thought it was meaningless.  But after I chose to follow Jesus, I found a church that I liked.  Now I was on the search again.  Thankfully, the search didn't last as long as 20 years ago.

Not only that, ever since I moved here to my own place, I had been praying for my neighbors, along with others.  I hate to admit that I get impatient with God in answering my prayers.  But when I heard Eagle Brook was building a church in my own backyard, I was ecstatic!  I couldn't believe it, how much closer could God get?  

I am trying to learn patience these days.  Sometimes I can get pretty good at it, but sometimes my moods swing, or someone irritates me and I lose it.  I guess for me, it is a day by day process. I am trying to learn to be at peace no matter what, and to be patient.  To remember that God has answered my many prayers over the years, and He has watched out for me for many years.  

Even so, I sometimes forget, or get impatient and want my way.  But I must remember that it usually works if I just give it to God and let Him do things His way.  If I take over, I usually muck it up.  But if I let Him takeover, He is faithful and will never leave me nor forsake me.  Amen.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Daylight Savings


This is what happens to me every year.  My sleep gets all screwed up.  It's amazing to me how one hour can affect me so much, but it does.  I don't know if it's depression, anxiety, or hormones.  But it is quite irritating and I question every time why we have to do this.  

So this week I have no idea what to write about.  I have plenty of what to complain about, but I don't want this blog to be a forum for complaints.  Especially when I think about how blessed I am to live in this place and this time.

So, what would you like me to write about? I need ideas!  Thanks!





Monday, March 6, 2017

Sudan


This is a picture of South Sudanese women getting food from Samaritan's Purse.  I had read on my BBC app last week that the people of South Sudan were facing starvation at epic rates.  

It never seems to end for the Sudanese.  Ten, twenty years ago they were embroiled in a civil war between the Arabic Muslim north and the African Christian south.  The lost boys of the south were coming in droves to all over the world in the hopes of a better life, after losing everything they had ever known because of the militia in the north.  I had read a book about one that wound up in Fargo, ND, of all places.  I had seen short pieces about them on news programs.  Our world was so different from them.  I couldn't imagine what it would be like.  

I made a female friend from Sudan when I was going to college at the U of MN.  She had been imprisoned for protesting the actions of the northern militia, but now she lives here.  I didn't know much about her, except about the imprisonment and how she had malaria multiple times.  I knew that she suffered discrimination at the U, despite it's supposed acceptance of all peoples.  I knew myself that the U was not accepting.  But that is a story for another day.

Now I am reading a fictional novel that takes place in South Sudan, and how there is war there.  Atrocities being committed by hateful men, against women and children.  I already knew this was happening.  Even though a supposed peace deal was signed a few years ago, it fell apart pretty quickly.  I know the South has natural riches that everyone wants, and that everyone is killing for.  Apparently it is worth millions of lives, according to the murderers.  

Most of Africa, if not all, was colonized by a European country.  By the time the second World War was over, most were out, or at least on the way out, of all the countries that they had colonized so long ago, all over the world.  

It was a race to get the most of the natural resources.  Then they just abandoned the people, when they could no longer afford to rule over them.  The people were left behind, with a broken country and a wasted land.  

Wars have been happening ever since.  

I don't know what the answer is.  People can say all kinds of trite things about it.  But there are no easy answers, no easy solutions.  

I wonder if this will ever be resolved in my lifetime.  I feel like I am world away here, safely in my apartment, typing on my computer.  

How easy we have it.  We know where our food is coming from, we don't have to worry about being massacred.  We have a government and militia that protects us.  I try to remember this when I feel sorry for myself.  I live such an easy life.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Anger


"21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1"

Last week I was a very angry person.  I lost patience with people, and said judgemental words about them.  Sometimes it is so easy to lose my patence, and idt is so easy to judge others.

I can blame my hormones, or others that seem incompetent, but as I was reminded at church this past weekend, I have to take responsibility for my actions.  I can't blame my hormones or others.

I want to be patient, I want to be compassionate.  But it is hard sometimes.  But I was reminded that it is human to think this way, and it is only by the Holy Spirit can I overcome this habit.  But at least I do want to let go of anger.  

Romans 8:1 is my favorite verse.  It reminds me that I am not alone, and I am not forever condemned.  Jesus has given me a new body, a new mind, and a new heart.  I don't have to live this way.  I can rise above it, with Him.  
The first step is to acknowledge my actions, and take responsibility for them.  The next is to trust God to help me overcome it.  It will probably take a lifetime, as some habits are easier to overcome than others.  And we go through periods of life where habits are easier to stop than in other seasons of life.  

But I am not doomed.  I am no longer condemned.  

If you would like to see the sermon that I heard that helped me, here is the link: https://eaglebrookchurch.com/media-resources/weekend-messages/the-struggle-is-real/

Monday, February 20, 2017

President's Day


I don't know if anyone noticed, but during Obama's administration, there were never protests about how he is not our president, there were no accusations of fake news, and the media fawned over him and his family and rarely said anything bad about him.

Let's set the record straight.  Fake news have been around since the fall of man.  It's a fancy word for a lie.  Our president is our president whether we voted for him or not.  And I thought family members were supposed to be protected from verbal assaults.  Finally, there is such a double standard between the parties.  When Trump was accused of sexual assaults during the campaign, what about the many similar accusations about Clinton?  

No party, religion, or other group of people have a monopoly on fake news, or on being all good or all bad.  Everyone (most) has some good and some bad. Judgement should be applied across the board, not just against people we don't like.  

And fake news to one may be truth to another.  Sometimes it seems that if someone doesn't like something, they can cry fake news.  What they are doing taking something out of context.  They are twisting something to fit their already set agenda.  

Okay, I think I've said what I have wanted to say but have yet figured out how to do so.  So what do I do?  
First, when I am on Facebook and I don't like what someone is sharing, but I still want to be friends with them, I click on the top right arrow of their posting, and it will ask me if I want to hide all posting from said website.  

Second, I try to get my news from various news media that balance each either out.  I have my local fox news app, USA Today app, and the BBC app.  So I have local, national, and international news.  I like USA today as it does have opposing views sometimes.  And I like the BBC app as it is well known for news and journalism, and it informs me about  what is going on in the world.  But I recommend that people find what works for them, for this is one of our rights, a free press.  

Third, I remember that our country is the only one of it's kind in the world.  We are a republic with the rule of law, which is based on our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  And we have checks and balances, such as three branches of government, two main parties, and two houses of congress.  We have the same structures in all our states, and each type of government, whether local, state, or federal, have specific responsibilities with boundaries set in.  

So no matter who is in the White House or the Capitol, these most important documents keep things in check.  It's not a perfect system, but no system is.  But I think it is a good one, and I am darn glad I was born in this country, where I have freedom of religion and freedom of speech.  Whether people like it or not, I am independent, and damn glad to be that way!  God bless America! 


Monday, February 13, 2017

Baptism


This past weekend my church had baptisms during the service.  I have never seen baptisms during the service, except when I was growing up in the Lutheran church.  Where I got baptized as an adult at Bethel Evangelical Free in Fargo, ND, that was also not during the service.  So at first I was irritated that they had this during the service.  I usually like to walk out during special events at services.  Maybe because they were so much a part of church growing up and I never knew the people nor cared.  Which is sad to admit today, but that was I way I was.

I cried when the first two young girls did it, I assumed they were sisters, and as they came up from the the water, they hugged each other.  Some just smiled, others cried, but all were cheered by the congregation when they came up.  And for the first time, I cared about these people I didn't know.  I remember how meaningful my own experience was so many years ago.

My grandma Gladys came, as she and her husband Bill were my godparents.  Before the baptism, we could say a little something.  I don't really remember what I said, but my grandma seemed to like it.  The experience was meaningful as I chose when I would be baptized.  I wanted to share with everyone that Jesus was my Savior and Lord, and He was the One who transformed me, and gave me hope.

Now after all those years, I look back on the turbulent life that I have led.  I wondered if any one that knew me as a child could see the change in me.  I wondered it myself, could I see it?  The word that popped into my head was hope.

I had no hope growing up.  I had no idea what was wrong with me physically, and I didn't understand until years later that I had a mental illness.  I just thought I was going crazy.  I was lonely and bullied in school.  I just hated my life and everyone else.  

Now, after all those years, I love my life and everyone else.  Okay, some people I could stand to live without, but I think that Jesus transformed me.  He gave me hope.  He gave me help.  He gave me love.

And because of all that and more, I can rejoice with others who rejoice, I can have compassion on others without hope.  I can love myself as I am, and I have accepted myself.

True, there are times that I feel sorry for myself, especially when I get my period!  But usually, I am a happy single woman who loves to learn and teach others.  

So I am happy that I got to share in the experience of baptism at my church.  It made me feel a part of something bigger.  Even as the introvert thatI am, I still seem to need this.  And I will always need Jesus. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Superbowl




I rather enjoyed this year's Superbowl.  I especially loved this video (link above), with one of my favorite Johnny Cash's songs.  And I loved Lady Gaga's performance.

I had steeled myself for political statements made right and left, as they were last year during Beyonce's performance, which I found offensive.  But I was pleasantly surprised.

But of course, the news and social media had to politicize it to demonstrate their view that all these videos and acts throughout the game were jabs at Trump's latest executive order.  

Whatever one may think about his order, this is not how I viewed the show.  Not even when those three ladies sang a patriotic song before the game, which I thought they did a fabulous job of it. 

Apparently, they were from the musical Hamilton and they somehow tweaked the song to reflect some political statement.

Who knows, really.  Who knows what is fake news and what is not?  Can't we just enjoy the game and music without something politic shoved down our throats?  Can't we just enjoy the game for the sake of sport, the music for the sake of art?  Why does every thing have to be so political nowadays?

I used to be political myself, until I realized that it just made me angry.  I don't want to go through life being angry all the time.  I can write what I really think on this blog or on Facebook, but I'm usually just preaching to the choir, and it is getting more and more difficult to disagree on things.  

For once, couldn't we just agree that the Superbowl is a tradition to bring people together, even those who, like me, don't  like football?  For once, can't we be united instead always divided?  

Is that too much to ask?