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Happy Easter : The Cross

I usually have a Easter Dinner on the Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ in the form of a feast.  I usually spend Good Friday in reflection mode respecting the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. I’ve spent so many Easter Long weekends in church for as long as I can remember. It’s the story of Jesus and what he did on the cross that is recognized in Christianity as the greatest love of all. I’ve learned through it how to be humble even when life starts to crumble.

I think the story of the cross is a valuable one even if you’re not into Christianity. It teaches many valuable principles. I always feel like Easter is a time for me to build a closer relationship with Jesus, and realize what’s important in life.

I know were all excited for this long weekend. The majority of people are preparing for Easter Egg Hunts with their children, celebrating the Easter Bunny, Going on trips, and eating lots of chocolates. I’ve done all that too. I’ve also participated in trick-or-treating and parties on Halloween although it wasn’t really part of my Christian upbringing. I’ve been on my own faith journey.

I think we all go through a different growth process in our walk with Jesus, and in the end it’s for God to judge. I admire people like Mother Teresa. She created a lot of controversy like many of those in the christian faith. She also built a legacy of what it means to be humble.

Here is my reflection on what it means to be a Christian taken out of my diary:

Dear Diary, 

As a christian. This world is your battleground. You are a warrior for GOD. You are a soldier in a army (God’s army.) You are defeating an even bigger army (Satan’s army.) The earth was cursed by God with sin and death when Eve sinned in the garden of eden. The earth was given to you to tempt you to join the other side. The earth is your temptation to hold onto. The bible was given to be your staff, your sword, and your vessel. Your life was given to be your journey of faith and hope. Your challenge is ministry, and obedience to GOD. Your job is not judgement, but ministry, and prayer. You don’t know whom GOD chose. Sin was created to be so much more fun, and give you an easier life. Standing up for the cross is what you need to do each time sin tempts you. You have no shame in it. If you have a little bit of shame in Jesus, and the cross you must question your intentions. Ask yourself: Why should he have died for you? Answer: He shouldn’t of. Ask yourself: If he died for me… why? Answer: He still did. Answer: Because he is a God of love for those whom he chose. 

There are many people who question themselves every day because they understand the cross. They say: “Jesus, why did you choose me, and if you did, why me?”

 When you can finally ask yourself that question. You understand salvation is not something to find comfort in. You understand that as Ephesians 2:8-9 says it is a gift and only a gift. You don’t need to put on a show for everyone. You just need them to see through your actions and your words where you stand. You need to stand firm in your faith, and your beliefs. Your salvation remains between you and god – not you and people. Everybody made their mistakes, and everybody sins. Sometimes you will slip, but you have to remember to repent. You have to remember to ask forgiveness not just from GOD, but from those whom you hurt. They may hate you, but you must show respect regardless. People may hurt you, and break your heart. You must show respect regardless. You must set the example. The example Christ set for you. 

 They may wonder why you’re being so easy on them, and they may laugh. Remember your past, and Jesus died on the cross, and was easy on you. Remember he gave you the gift you didn’t deserve. If people don’t see your attitude. They won’t see your faith. When you fight for GOD, and God’s army. You will get mocked, spat on, laughed at, hated on. In the back of your head you will remain humble always remembering God’s promise. 

 God’s promise of eternal life, and you will continue to fight for your GOD. If your life is too comfortable. You have stopped fighting. Remember you’re a warrior. When Jesus died on the cross. He died for you so that you could live. So why do you think he would let you have a comfortable life? Get out there and let him lead you exactly where he needs you. He gave his hardest battles to his strongest warriors. His strength is already in you. You must first have faith in yourself so that he can put his faith in you. 

 Remember, it doesn’t matter who hates you. Critics will always be there. As a christian – you have no time to hate because in your heart you know you already have Jesus. 

 ”The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart.” (Psalms 51:17) 

I’ve had a busy month working on projects for all sorts of things. I’ve had an emotional month as well. I think having something to keep at the center of your life is so important. I keep Jesus at the center of mine. Happy Easter!!!!

Struggling With Faith

I go into my solitude sometimes. I get down on my knees and I fold my hands together. I close my eyes. I meditate and I start saying my prayers.

“Dear Lord,

I’ve strayed far from you. I know you are a God of Grace. I know you are a God of Mercy. I know you are a God of forgiveness. I know you are a God of love. Please forgive me for the mistakes I made yesterday. Please have mercy on me for all my imperfections. Please grow me into a person who lives accordingly to your will. Please give me courage. Please give me strength. Please give me hope to face tomorrow. I just want to be the best person I can can be. In Jesus name AMEN.”

I open my eyes and I read over my poem that I keep with me through all hard times. Through every heartache, and every heartbreak.

Tele-phone-ing Jesus

by, Irene

I’m just sitting here at home.

Silently, I’m all alone.

Waiting by my phone. You got me waiting by my phone.

You got me checking. You got me checking my missed calls.

You got me counting. You got me counting our downfalls.

I keep on checking. I keep on checking my in-box.

I keep on texting. I keep on texting your in-box.

I keep on focusing, trying to distract myself with school.

Player, don’t you know – you got me looking like a fool?

You got me calling – wondering why you haven’t answered mine.

You got me stalling – asking did our love run outta time?

 Here I am still chasing ; all this time you have me wasting.

All this time I spent forgiving ; now it’s time for me to start living.

Time is up – it’s time for you to go.

All your act was only show.

All this time you had me thinking

My life just slowly sinking.

My life just fading slowly away.

My dreams wishing for one more yesterday.

Player, don’t you know? It’s time for you to go.

Yesterday, I picked up my phone.

I was attempting to dial your phone.

Someone answered ; it wasn’t you.

He told me he understood what I was going through.

All that time I spent knocking, knocking on your door.

All that time I spent begging, begging for more.

This man told me he was doing for me, what I was doing for you.

This man told me he was doing for you, what I was doing for you.

Now I don’t need to cry no more tears.

Now I don’t need to have no more fears.

Now I don’t need to feel alone.

With love, and protection, he’s filled my home.

All I need to say is THANK-YOU JESUS.

All I need to say is I LOVE YOU JESUS.

So now I’m praying for you instead.

No more troubles running through my head.

Now like an angel – I’m going to shine.

It was JESUS on the other line!

 

I had to find forgiveness for you because I knew the way Jesus always found forgiveness for me. I was raised in the church but I’ve always felt driven away by them – no matter which one. As a child I went – it was easy to memorize every verse in the bible. I’m very good at memorizing. It was easy to do good works. I have no problem doing the motions. It was easy to pay attention to the sermons, and show up every SUNDAY. My heart wasn’t in it.

Growing up in a religious home – I’ve read the bible probably more than most people. I’ve listened to it. It’s all my father ever played in his house on his surround sound speakers. I just often found it boring. I found it an obligation. I often found myself more confused than blessed by it.

Every church I go to seems to say they’re the only right church with the only true doctrine. Every single church I’ve gone to – I found something that doesn’t make sense. I prayed on it. I read on it. I did daily devotions. I was still confused. Pastors and Leaders in the church often act like they save people. They treat parishioners as if they have power over their congregations and that the parishioners should make an idol out of them like a God or a Celebrity figure.

Pastors can preach the bible to the best of their knowledge, but nobody understands it 100%. In the end it’s GOD who opens our eyes as we read through it and he gives us knowledge about who he is. Hopefully through doing our daily devotions we will come to know him and Christ as our personal lord and saviour. In the end it’s GOD who decides. God knows who is standing for him and who is standing against him.

The churches I went to always drove me away, and that’s when I didn’t have standards any-more. I didn’t have fake morals to lead my life. They worked for a bit ; eventually the discipline the church had on me wasn’t working any-more.

I was only doing the motions. My heart wasn’t in it. Baptism didn’t purify me – it was only a symbol. The church shouldn’t be able to have that kind of control over us and our lives. We should be able to live a CHRISTLIKE life without the church watching us 24/7. I believe when the church isn’t around us ; that’s when we know what our desire for JESUS really is.

I know I myself have messed up so much in my life. There was a time I hated GOD so much and I asked him: “Lord if you really exist – Why is my life so miserable?” I rejected his presence in my life completely. I became atheist, and that way I didn’t have standards to live by. This lifestyle I started to live made temptation more accessible and more acceptable.

I pushed my family away when I needed them the most. I was so miserable, so unhappy. There were days I was overwhelmed with depression. Life was a lot to bare, and I didn’t want to deal with it any-more. I wanted to escape.

Even in church I felt I couldn’t go to the people in there. They didn’t make me feel worthy of being there. I’m not the type of person who continues on in a place where I feel unwelcome and unwanted.

So WHAT DID I DO? I did the next normal thing people do. I surrounded myself by people who were like me and were willing to listen without judging me. I became my own worst enemy caught up in all the peer pressure. I found myself attracted to drama and attracted to pain. I was having pre-marital sex with men who didn’t love me. I became a handful to deal with. I was always in tears and I always felt like a victim.

I tried to be strong and hide my tears. I hid my pain in void fillers and empty relationships. I didn’t want to be anybody’s burden. I felt alone and depressed. The more I left GOD. The more I lived it. The more acceptable it became.

Society accepted it, so I guess it was okay (at the time.) I felt like the people I surrounded myself with were the only people listening to me. I felt like they were the only people who cared. I felt better like I had friends but they weren’t real friends. I couldn’t talk to them about anything because I didn’t want to be the center of anybody’s gossip.  I know how people could use prayer as gossip.

I know I haven’t always lived the best life. I know I’ve made my own set of mistakes I’m not proud of. I know how hard I tried to be nice to everyone, but the truth is, a real friend never is. A real friend tells us the truth, and tells us stuff we need to hear, not stuff we want to hear. That I wasn’t. Those are the kind of people we often push away.

Those are the same people who look out for us through the toughest times. I thank my family every day for that! They never been fake with me. At the same time sometimes being a friend is showing people tough love, and sometimes we have to let people make mistakes so that they can learn to appreciate life more. We need to be ignorant and just pray for them and let GOD do the rest.

I’ve had to overcome a lot of depression in my faith journey. I’m not perfect, but I’ve come a long way from where I was. I know everything that GOD puts us through is for a reason. God will never put us through something we can’t handle. God tests us in many different ways. Somehow, we always seem to fail God’s tests. God always knows what he’s doing even if we don’t.

I’ve learned that life is never easy for anyone. I think sometimes GOD makes our lives so miserable to see how far we will go to stand by him or stand against him. Sometimes our lives are unhappy and God puts us through things because he wants to know if were willing to stand strong in the test he has for us.

God wants to know we will never quit on him. We may preach stuff and we may teach stuff. When god comes to test us he will test us to the end of our limits to see if our faith, trust, hope, belief, and strength is really in him. At the end of the day we need to learn to have faith in the one who created us, and that he will always pull us through it.

Disobedience to GOD will only lead to more misery. No matter how bad our struggles are. We need to have the desire to do what’s right, and GOD is a loving GOD. Once we put our faith in him – he will guide our path and maybe he will bless our life, and by our example help to bless someone else’s life as well.

God is an amazing GOD full of grace, love and compassion once you understand him.

I Am A Dreamer

 

I was a little girl in the fifth grade growing up trying to find myself. My hair was brunette, and always cut into some hideous mush-room cut. I looked like a little boy. It was so uneven. It was humiliating. I embraced it. My mom wasn’t exactly a hair-stylist, but she gave me home-made hair-cuts. It was all we could afford. I appreciated it.

I never liked dolls. I hated barbies. I liked playing sports in my backyard. I liked playing with toy cars and making them race each-other. I liked playing with marbles. I was a tom-boy. I was so ridiculously weird. This has made my life a little complicated.

You wouldn’t know all that looking at me today. I learned how to become a classy looking lady who embraces make-up, high-heels, and beautiful dresses. I come across women who hate me and judge me for my outside without knowing my inside. I come across men who feel rejected by me and tear me to pieces because I can be so choosy.

It often makes me wonder why people take rejection so harshly when rejection is all I’ve ever known. It’s like I’m a mean person because I don’t want to live in places of hurt I’ve already been. It’s like I’m a mean person because I have empathy and in the end I know I still have to stay loyal to my dreams. It’s like I can never win.

It often brings me right back to that little girl. The little girl who dreamed of the day I’d have friends. The little girl who had none. I remember waking up every day knowing that I was going to school to another day of being bullied. I rarely ever stood up to my bullies. I always took it. I always showed compassion. I always showed forgiveness.

I remember the days I’d go home crying, burying my tears into my pillow cases. I’d open up journals and I’d start writing. I’d wrip up the pages and throw them out. I’d hide out in my books and I’d read. I felt like the characters in the books became my friends. I fell in love with the fantasy world that so many authors created for little girls being bullied like me. There are so many authors who don’t even realize how much of a gift they are for those of us who had to endure bullying.

I read and I read and through my reading I learned about people. I had a dream. I had a vision. I dreamed that one day I’d find my place in the world. I never had nice clothes. I always wore hand-me-downs from my older sister or clothes my mother purchased at a thrift shop. She never had the best taste in fashion. She still instilled into me the attitude of gratitude and what it means to be grateful for what you have. I never got to have the nicest gadgets all the other students in my class always had. There were days I was envious. There were days I was jealous.

I’d always run home: “Mommy, can I have this?”

and she’d always reply: “No, we can’t afford it.”

I was pretty much a loner. The ugly kid in the class. I look back remembering how I was made to feel, and every day of my life that little girl has never left me.

I still remember us setting goals and on those goal sheets the assistant teacher made us write. I remember the assistant teacher got to me and I wrote down: “I want to be an author.” She looked at me and how lonely I felt in the world. She took her red pen and she wrote: “I hope one day I see your name on a book.”

I’ve carried this dream with me throughout my life even when most of the time I think I fail at it. It’s the only thing that ever stays with me. Friends come and friends go. Boyfriends pretend to love me, and boyfriends leave me. I cry sometimes thinking: The world is so unfair.

It’s in those tears I learned to pour my heart out. I never saw myself as a writer. I saw myself as someone with a hobby. It was my way of not dealing with the world. As a little girl. I learned the world could be quite cruel.

I grew up. I got a makeover. I made friends. The friends I made were not genuine. When I got hurt in my teenage years. I wasn’t hurt for being bullied. I was hurt because I was being used. I was a vulnerable spirit living in a world I wasn’t prepared for thinking that once I was noticed the world would be kind to me. The world actually made me feel more empty.

Disappointment after disappointment. Failure after failure. Betrayal after betrayal. Break up after break up. It went on into my young adulthood. I started feeling sorry for myself wondering what I was doing so wrong? I started attracting pain and pain started attracting me. It was my normal.

I found rock bottom. If you’ve been there you know the desperate state you’re in. I just knew in my heart there was a better way of life. I looked for it and never found it. I found a bunch of friends. I wasn’t fulfilled. It’s like I always felt like a part of me was missing. I always felt like I was compromising who I was. I started hearing everybody around me telling me how I was never good enough to be them. It was like I was trapped in a box of other peoples dreams instead of my own. I started to believe the lies. I started to think I need to change myself so they will like me. I realized the harder you try at anything. The more people who will come to break you down. I kept getting broken down. The destructive patterns just wouldn’t stop.

I thought I was able to do it by myself and I had to learn that throughout life we all need teachers. We all need people who will mentor us and show us the ropes. I often thought about the American Dream and running away to Hollywood. I think we all have those dreams sometimes. Hollywood is just the screen. Everything that we become starts with who we already are. It just becomes magnified once we start living in our purpose.

I had to accept that I wasn’t perfect, and that I had fallen down. I fell down into the mentality of playing the victim card. Playing that card always attracts the wrong people. The people who prey on our vulnerabilities. I had to remind myself that the past is not the future. I had to continue on in the girl I already was and embrace her. There are so many things in life that are put there to destroy us, to put fear in us, and we need to know who we are so that who we are is always enough.

Now I know what it means to be a dreamer. It means to live up to people who already been there and allow them to teach you how to grow. It was the day I understood that – I had a different attitude towards everything. The hard part about this different attitude is you look back and you see the people who treat you like you’re a competition, and it’s not a competition. There is a path and a lane for everyone. Sometimes you look back with empathy and other times you move forwards with dignity. I learned you can’t please everyone. People will hate you if you put yourself first. People will hate you if you put yourself last.

That’s never the end goal. The end goal is to fight so hard for your dreams that you’re in a place to give back. You can’t give what you don’t have. I think so many times we try so hard for the image. We forget to create the lifestyle.

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