Faith

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Faith… Trusting and believing in something you can not see, feel or even touch. And hoping, no, knowing that it is there. One dictionary described it as putting your full weight on something. Interesting right?!

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We exercise faith everyday. For example, we step into elevators  with no thought to how they are made, if it will hold…unless fat people get on, if we’ll make it to the top or bottom safely. Our concern for safety comes when our faith is tested or rocked! Like when the elevator jumps, skips a floor…or worse, when it stops. Then we look at the fat people, scan the capacity sign and question Otis’s manufacturing abilities. I know, I’m one of the people they look at. It’s at that very moment that many decide never to get into an elevator again. That’s because fear has set in, the faith had been tested and it didn’t seem to work. At the very least, it didn’t work properly…
   I have been living life as a Christian since 1993 and I have seen many phases of my faith, belief, ideology… etc. In twenty plus years I’ve gone from crazy new “believer” that wanted everyone saved, to, wanting the same thing but present it differently because I’m much older now. For example, I fearlessly walked in a bar once to pass out flyers and talk about Christ. I would go to basketball courts etc. Other christians would sometimes frown upon my boldness. I didn’t care.
   Now that I’m old enough to be staring retirement in the face and…just slow enough not to duck a punch add to that, the current direction our country is going. I’m more likely to strike up a conversation first. I’m also quickly approaching the other side of life…
   Faith, now, takes on a whole new meaning. Before I stepped on the elevator without thinking. But I’ve experienced the jumps, floor skips and stops. My Faith has been tested…heck, it’s been rocked!
  This has been a most trying year. I celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary 3 weeks ago. But there wasn’t much celebration. From the beginning, our marriage had an uphill climb. We a “blended family” as the experts call it. So there were those challenges. But we championed those hurdles. Then came finances, unemployment, debt, illnesses etc.
   But this year, dear reader, has been strange indeed. Items in the last sentence are still hanging over us. But for some reason the start of this year began with an argument that hasn’t seemed to receive its course correction. Every effort to fix it, didn’t/doesn’t work. Piled on top, are the issues of our children, even the grown ones, which seem to be at every turn. So, as you parents know, every time you think we can get back to us…another disaster shows up and the space between us gets wider. And it did…hints the lack of celebration.
   Though we cannot afford it. I found myself searching for lawyers to end what has already ended. We know so many couples, too many, whose marriages have ended for less…what made me think we could do better than them. You know, in an age of electronic distractive devices. When a couple aren’t talking to each other, these devices make things worse! Anyway, like those who chose not get in another elevator because of the bad experiences. I too thought of, as I just said, it was time to call it quits…

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Did you that faithfulness is not a good thing? The bible teaches that it is impossible to please God without faith. Yeah but! Is my response too.
6¬†And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”-Hebrews 11:6.  Yeah but!
  
I recently spoke with my sister, catching up on our families. She too has had a rough year. She questioned God on His “not giving us more than we can bear…” She reminded me, as I told her how I’ve lived this life for over 20 years and didn’t know how to nor did I want to quit, that too many people don’t sit down ask God, “why?” and wrestle with Him for the answer Or wait, they let the issues drown out the answer, whether it be wait or move on and drown out their faith.
   If you read chapter 11 of Hebrews you’ll find a running theme. The people described in the chapter faced incredible odds and each one chose God and chose to serve Him above their circumstances. Some like Abraham, whose obedience was counted as faith, please God immensely even in their imperfection. They were blessed because of their faith.
   Blessings don’t always mean money. It could be your health. The ability to work as another verse says.
  Walking and living by faith isn’t easy…far too many have the misconceptions about Christians, that “they are weak and need a crutch”. That’s a fallacy, there’s no statue for us to hold and prayed to… There’s just Faith. We’re called “stupid” because of it and it takes and awful lot of strength to hold on to what you believe, just like the strength of character to hold on to your marriage…and life.

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My computer died last week with no money to replace it. I was a third into my my novel and in the middle of updating my current book, when this happened! ( currently using my phone) Dear, reader, I don’t know what you face but I’ve told you what I’m facing. I am quite sure that I don’t wish to give up even though the elevator stopped between floors. To get to where I’m going, I need to step in it again and again. I have chosen to hold on to Faith in the face of adversity. Believing that my creator, who knows my needs, will bless me because of that faith…and turn my adversity into victory.
What will you choose…?

On Holiday

It’s that time of year again! You’ve worked hard and enjoyed the extra free Monday’s off. But a 4 day weekend doesn’t quite cut it. Especially when everybody else is off too, it just doesn’t seem that special. So what do you do? You take off a week or two and you vacate your home!
Turn in your papers, call your travel agent, click on Trip Advisor, search for that “All” inclusive deal and get as far away from home and your boss as possible…
Psst…I’m doing right now, shh… don’t tell my wife that I’m working though. We needed this time away from the city. Unfortunately, we brought the entire clan with us, so we’ll have to wait for a winter weekend getaway, to be alone. We have decent kids, however, there’s 6 of them and 2 grand kids. I know what you’re thinking, we had too much alone time, so it’s our fault it’s a little crowded. Oh be quiet….
In Deuteronomy, a book in the bible, parents are instructed by God to teach “our” children about Him…

“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.¬†Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 6:6,7 (NLT)

Walking with the Lord or should I say, having a daily relationship with Him is difficult in a crowded and noisy city. We New Yorkers, tend to rush around a lot. You tourists can make things worse at times…you hear stories about the big city and think that rushing about, pushing your way on to a train is what we do here. Sorry, it’s not. Our rushing is more about navigating through hordes of people going to work at the same. At the end of the day, we are tired and just want to go home! We really don’t like being cramped but most of the offices and jobs are on a tiny island called Manhattan.
So, we city Christians, pop in our ear buds for a quick time of worship, we whip out “Our Daily Bread” for a quick quiet time alone with God and while we’re looking out the window for our stop, we are also praying for our family, friends, coworkers, boss and other things. That’s all done in a 30 – 60 minute ride to the office. So, we really don’t get the time we need to sit with our family and talk about Christ. You do the best you can on the weekends…
Then once a year you get a vacation from daily life…but you’re never on vacation from God! For us, right next to that great summer read is our bible or bible app. Before or after breakfast is our family quiet time…a time to draw close to Jesus. Then off to the amusement park or whatever the plan is. As instructed in Deuteronomy, our talks don’t stop there, they continue throughout whole day, the whole week. It’s like refueling your gas tank after a long trip…we live in a busy city with a busy life, so any vacation away from busyness where we can refocus our attention is a good vacation.
Though we are away from home, On Holiday…we are never far from God.