Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Just Never Complain

“I just never complain, that is the key.”

Someone said this statement to me last weekend. The topic does not matter; it applies to all situations, right? When he said it, I took a pause. I was thinking, Hm, I bet that takes a decent amount of restraint.

How does the idea of NEVER complaining grab you? I know the scripture, in fact just last week I repeated it myself so many times that I declared it my mantra:

“Do everything without complaining or arguing,” Philippians 2:14

It does not say to do SOME things without complaining. It says EVERYTHING, do everything without complaining and arguing.

Knowing this, what about when something seems exceptionally complain worthy? How can I learn to completely submit to scripture and not complain ALL the time? I’m not a huge complainer, to be honest, but I have my moments; I am definitely a ‘work in progress.’ I think the key is for me to recognize that this does not mean I don’t have an opinion. I can express my opinion in a way that is pleasing and non-argumentative. If I was unable to express my opinion? I would NOT fare well.

Some of the time I call complaining, venting. I just realized this is just another word for complaining. Will I ever really feel like I don’t need to vent? Man, I’m just not sure. When I really think about it, my best venting experiences - the ones that really help me feel better - happen with just me and Lord. I go running, or to the gym, on a long hike (nature always clears my head), I read scripture or listen to worship music. When I complain to someone else, I never feel really good and nothing gets resolved.

Another point, I just thought of, changing my perspective and choosing to see the best in all situations, choosing NOT to complain - at all - would leave me little to need to vent. Epiphany. That really is what God wants us to understand and grab with both hands. We can find contentment in most situations, if we allow ourselves.

I had Jury duty on Tuesday; 6 hours in a small room with 81 other people. The man next to me was snoring. At one point I said to myself, I think I found a place I hate more than the DMV. Then I realized it was not that bad. The snoring man was older and it was really sweet to see him sleeping. I got a lot of stuff done that I did not have time for at home. It was nice. It was a lot better than the DMV because I did not have to worry about losing my place in line, pay for anything, and no one yelled at me. Oh see that, I just complained about the DMV. I declare the DMV - off limits. :)

“I just never complain, that is the key.”
I’m doing it! Who’s with me?

Monday, June 28, 2010

He Made Clothes

I have been doing a bible study by John MacAuthor titled, Twelve Extraordinary Women. The first chapter is all about Eve. As a part of the study I read about creation, the fall and the curse, once again. However, this time God’s word revealed something to me that I had never really seen, with open eyes, before.


Even those that don’t know and have never read the bible know the story of creation: God made the world, made man in his own image; God saw a need in Adam so he made Eve. The only rule they had was not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The serpent deceived Eve, she ate the fruit and gave it to Adam, he ate it; they realize they were naked and made clothes out of fig leaves. Then, the Lord came to the garden. Uh oh.


Yes, God comes to the garden to discuss why his only children, who were living in perfect existence, did the one thing he asked them not to do. Eve blames the serpent, Adam blames Eve and the serpent, well he says nothing, but my guess is that he must have been just as smug as could be because he accomplished is goal. God, being the loving father that he is must punish the disobedience, therefore, laying down the punishment or curse. This is the scripture:


14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring
[a] and hers;
he will crush
[b] your head,
and you will strike his heel."

16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."

17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."

20 Adam [c] named his wife Eve, [d] because she would become the mother of all the living.


God delivers his ruling. He has to feel really disappointed and a little angry, right? After all, He gave them everything and they broke the ONLY rule. The serpent, Adam and Eve receive some understanding how their decision to be disobedient will affect them negatively from the moment they sinned and for the rest of their lives and the lives of all of their descendants. There is no doubt that they were feeling pretty horrible, too.


What happens next is where my revelation occurred. God is loving; he’s altruistic, and the next line of scripture proves it:


21The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”


He made them clothes!!


He does not need a few days to “cool off”. He does not leave them to continue looking ridiculous and uncomfortable in their fig leaf contraptions. He does not tell them how to make clothes. No, he takes the skin of an animal and makes them garments to prepare them for the future they were about to face outside of Eden. He meet them in their need and provided for them. This was an act of extreme love (actually, all of it was, but that is another topic) and grace!


Can you imagine being Adam and Eve at this time? Were they like, “No, Lord, really, we like the leaves. It’s okay, we’ll figure it out.” Then God made them perfect clothes and, of course, they were so soft, and lovely, and just awesome. Did Eve say to Adam, “After all we’ve done? Look at how the Lord God is still caring for us! How can he still love us so much?”


There is no end to His amazing love for everyone, even those that don’t believe in Him. He’s that amazing. I often wonder if we are even able to really comprehend this kind of love.


He made them clothes!


He sent His son!


Thank you God.

Friday, June 18, 2010

That’s so CREEPY

Centaurs:


Anything that is half human with hooves creates the kind of creepy response in me that most people reserve for spiders. I’m so glad they don’t exist for real, even if Craig illustrates them all the time like they are real, just to get a response out of me. He’s the best.


Doctors that wear scrubs in public:


Sometimes I hang out in a coffee shop right across the street from a hospital. Occasionally, a team of doctors come in wearing surgical scrubs. This really creeps me out. There just HAS to be human parts of some sick person on them some place; I’m pretty sure I saw something fleshy on the back of one of the doctors once. Not really. But, just because its not visible does NOT MEAN its not there.


Walking a cat:


Have you ever seen someone walk a cat, on a leash? There is nothing natural about it. The cat’s all jerky and weirded out. My only response is, “That’s so wrong!” If you want to take something on a walk, get a dog!


El Camino’s and thick mustaches:


What is it, half car, half truck? What does it want to be? It’s so creepy. I really can not explain it, but when I picture someone driving an El Camino I always imagine the same person: a middle aged man, receding hairline, the shirt he wears is stained and too tight and his shorts are too short. He sports a thick mustaches and reeks of cheap cologne and cigarettes. The floor of his car is covered in empty beer cans that have been crushed into submission. You don’t want your kids around this man, if you know what I mean.


If you’re reading this and own a El Camino. I’m sorry. Not only that you own a El Camino, but that my imagination is so cruel to you. However, am I right? I really want to know.


Giant Sun Fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium:


Have you seen this thing? It’s as big as a Volkswagen Bug (but thin) and has a HUMAN buldgey eye. I’m sure it has two of these human-like eyes, but its so big you can only see one eye at time. A huge human eye, that does not blink, on a fish is down right creepy. It creeps me out so much that I can’t stop looking at it, because it won’t stop looking at me. *Shutter*


Alligators/Crocs:


Do I really need to explain? Creepy, RIGHT? I have nightmares. I’ve never moving back to Florida!


People that break out in song and dance:


Okay, I’ve never actually seen this happen, but since Glee is on, I imagine how much that would creep me out if I were some place like Yellow Wood and people started singing and dancing in full Broadway fashion.


Wait, that would be AWESOME!


What are you supposed to do when people sing Happy Birthday to you? Just wondering.


Since we’re talking about singing, don’t you hate it when your at a nice dinner and they come over and want to play a song for you while you’re eating? I HATE that. It’s so uncomfortable. Then you’re supposed to tip them and I never have cash and I don’t know what song I want them to play because I really just want them to leave but they keeping asking what the lovely lady would like to hear and why is everyone looking at me? It’s just horrible. Horrible.


OH! This is a late addition, but I also find Origami Worlds really creepy. See why here.