Thursday, March 14, 2013

So and so...

“Uh boy, here comes so-and so.”

We've all been acquainted with so-and so, at one time or another.  You recognize them, try to sidestep them, and before you know it they pounce on you.

Someone once told me that he had actually hid in his closet, while so-and-so banged ruthlessly on the front door and began tapping windows, just to make sure no one was home before he actually left!

I laughed myself silly at his antics. When my laughter died down, I said with a straight face, “Seriously, he can’t be that bad.”

“I’d rather hide in my closet!” he yelped.

Tears of laughter streamed down my cheeks, once again.

“No, really… he’d sit here forever and grumble about all his problems and you wouldn't get a word in edgewise! They’re the same complaints over-and over.”

I had to admit I feel the same way about one of my so-and so’s , though I’d bite the bullet and answer the door, not hide in the closet!  Don’t you just love those conversations that always have a “poor- me” ring to it?

We should all mind our grumbling.

The children of Israel were one big camp of whiners. Poor Moses! If I were him I’d have been whining about the whiners! Teach us Lord, that casting our cares on you does not mean a free complaint department somewhere in Heaven.

And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned among them. Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! ~ Numbers 11:1-4         

~Blessings, Diane Velikis

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pesky Thorn

Ever lose yourself? I mean completely tune out what’s going on around you? The craziness of the world just slips by, and all you want to do is escape.

You feel as if you need to be alone, and your craving for privacy trumps chocolate, bar none.

Living with chronic pain does that to you. My arm muscles begin to spasm out of nowhere, and I feel as if they’re being torn from their sockets. Headaches from neurosurgery on my neck on three separate occasions, resulted in plates implanted, that connect my neck to my spine.

A chronic infirmity, or as the apostle Paul said, “a thorn in the flesh,” changed me. It debilitated me, to the extent that I can say the pain feels like a messenger of Satan to torment me, to rob me of joy.  

I am so able to relate to Paul of Tarsus. I have Paul beat in the prayer for healing department, he only asked three times—I’ve asked a gazillion.  Paul was so much wiser than I. He heard his answer the first time.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." ~ 2 Corinthians 12: 9

So Lord, now that I finally get it, I surrender all to you, and like Paul I can boast. My infirmities drenched in Your grace ain’t so bad after all. ~ Blessings, Diane Velikis

Saturday, March 2, 2013

When You Thought Nobody Was Looking

A few days ago I was parked and waiting in my car for my daughter when I had noticed a man and woman with two young children emerge onto the parking lot. A little boy, no more than four years old, was screaming bloody murder, his wails grew closer during his ear splitting tantrum.

The weather in Pa was freezing, too cold for me to get out of my warm toasty car. Imagine my shock when I observed the little boy nearly bare-chested. Mom had his arm in a vise like grip while the rest of his body twisted and turned slipping off his clothing in the process.
The father spat on several cars in the parking lot, and the mom cursed like a sailor, above the boy’s shrieks.

I felt like Nick from the Great Gatsby. I sat there wondering how on earth does the rough-hewn behavior of the parents, teach the child to be anything less than crude and obnoxious.  
Don’t those parents know that it’s better to have a millstone around their neck? We all make mistakes when raising children, but in this case I don’t know who needed the scolding more, the parents or the child?
Even though we may never meet again, the folks who crossed my path that day, were shown to me for a reason. They obviously need serious prayer, and they have been in mine ever since. Wouldn't it be great to see that family transformed by the power of God, who's mighty to save!

Do you ever wonder who prayed for you when you thought no one was looking?
 ~ Ephesians 1:17-18
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and
revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Friday, March 1, 2013

When not to be an Archeologist

I recently read of a dig in Peru’s main sports center which resulted in the discovery of eight skeletons dating from at least 700 years ago and three others twice that old. A bit ghoulish, not to mention of dismal importance to me, though I’m sure it brought ecstatic joy to the group of discoverers.

Sometimes when we bring up old hurts, wounds, and disappointments, we are like archeologists on digging expeditions. We rehash the hurt, build the walls, and distance ourselves. Eventually we bury our miffed opinions, until the next dig.

This happens in a lot of families, to a lot of friendships, and even in Christian circles.
What if we were able to dig up and see the person’s heart? I mean really see… the way God sees it. The way the archeologist found hidden treasure.

What if deep down that person desperately lacks self-esteem, way more than you can imagine? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with building them up, than to try and make them feel guilty?
 We need to stop taking things so personal, and realize who the enemy of our family and friendships is. The lack of discernment has become a pandemic.
~Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dirty House, Tells Tales

Watching the show Hoarders was blood-curdled disturbing to me. I wanted to put on my rubber gloves, face-mask and have oodles of garbage bags at my disposal. I gaped with disgust and tried to imagine that somewhere beneath all the filth lays hidden potential.

What in tarnation causes people to reach such a secret pathetic state? Its one thing to have a chaotic mess from time to time, but it’s quite another to have settled into one. Not just an average-run-of-the-mill mess—I’m talking biggie.

Weird psychological conclusions baffle me. Squalor syndrome,Diogenes syndrome, Havisham syndrome,Plyushkin syndrom,and who knows what other drome. They live with tons of rubbish, and vermin!

As usual, the Holy Spirit whispered “Imagine what sinners without Jesus looks like.  Imagine the mess of man. Imagine the mess in the world.”

We are all sick from sin. Man can call it any other fancy names, but the truth be told we are all hoarders of bad habits and a sinful nature, and we all need an intervention—Jesus.

Luke 11:25 - And when he cometh, he findeth [it] swept and garnished.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Need A Hug

Have you ever driven around not realizing that your tank was on empty?  The gas light begins to flash and you gasp after catching it in the corner of your eye.  I’ve maneuvered under that situation many times.  I was more focused on the things that had to get done. Buying fuel stopped the clock, when I could be much more productive—a  drats moment, indeed.

 A life on the go changes drastically once you become disabled. You realize that you can’t function like you used to. Simple tasks become burdensome, difficult, and in some cases impossible to perform. You went from running in a marathon, to a sprinter, to the person who holds the flag, and yells on your mark, get set, go!

Your first lesson in bravery and patience begins when you have to prove to the mockers (Social Security System) that you are in fact disabled, and not a lazy con artist.  Next it’s with the rest of the world, and yes, even some members of your Christian family.
You hear the gossipy whispers.  “She must have done something bad for God to punish her like that. She’s been cursed with a disability for a reason. I’ll pray for her.”

Then, there are the bolder ones who will tell you to your face, ( in love of course) “You've been cursed with disability for a reason. You should pray more, and God will fix you. (and if he doesn't, you don't have enough faith)

Psst... great way to make someone feel like they are doomed!
Thank God He doesn’t make me feel that way! In fact, never in my life have I felt more radical a need to depend on Him!

I’ve learned that a Christian life does not guarantee absence from pain. I’ve become much more tender-hearted towards those who are suffering. Brokenness comes in many forms, and my sense of purpose is hidden in Him, my flesh really has little to offer.
The truest form of disability is a lack of compassion. May my heart stay forever close to Jesus. Honestly, a man of sorrows while on earth.

My rant is over now. Blessings~

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-10


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Simplify is Not so Simple


Is it just me, or is it true that the more we age, the more we realize how much simpler life was back in the old days? I’m at that crossroad, and the best part is yearning for that unpretentious life. The worst part is arriving there and downsizing.

There’s so much stuff to do!

There is the exhausting occupation of preparing to place my house on the market, not to mention the dreaded challenge of decluttering.  Did I forget to reference both my husband and I are facing physical challenges?
I know this is not just one of my bright ideas, because it’s going to require a lot of God back-up to accomplish.

The actual fun part, (for me anyway) is being creative when sprucing up the amenities to be showcased, but that’s just the beginning.  As a Realtor I know I’ll need to cover all bases, not just the cosmetic ones. There’s an over-flooded market of homes with few qualified buyers.  
But that’s when God shown me Isaiah 43:19 and this time it jumped at me.  “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Since we cannot take anything in this world with us when we leave, it's so much more rewarding to give things away now, besides, they have a way of becoming high maintenance. It's time to put my dust rag down. 
Pamela Kern helps us keep a clear perspective with a list of "Six of the Things That God Won’t Ask on That Day."
1. God won’t ask what kind of car you drive. He’ll ask how many people you drove that didn’t have transportation.

2. God won’t ask the square footage of your house. He’ll ask how many you welcomed into your home.
3. God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet. He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.

4. God won’t ask what your highest salary was. He’ll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.
5. God won’t ask what your job title was. He’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

6. God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived. He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors.

Do you desire the simple things in life? Have you decided it's time to downsize?