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Archive for April, 2014|Monthly archive page

Government

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2014 at 3:00 am

jesus-is-king

The 2012 election and the commencement of the Christmas season inspired this entry, which I wrote Sunday, December 2, 2012, around 12:15 in the afternoon.


For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 (The Living Bible)

 

Lord, the ‘government will rest on Your Son’s shoulder’ now and in the future, yes? So no worries about who’s in control in terms of our President and Congress, yes? I know we must do our due diligence and vote and speak up for the disenfranchised and those who do not have a voice. But even when we lose our battles, we must remember that Your holy, faithful, loving Word says, “and the government shall be upon his shoulder.”

What does Charles Stanley say? “Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.” We need to remember in the midst of battles won and lost in our governmental smack-downs what exactly it is we’re fighting for. Healthcare rights? Reproductive rights? Tax breaks? Marital rights? It seems to come down to equality—among the young and old, rich and middle class, gay and straight, and mother and child.

But Satan has us all in a tizzy, fighting each other, when he is our common enemy and our only enemy. Because we are not fighting for equal rights. We are fighting for our souls—which have a lifespan of eternity, by the way.

The truth is we all have equality already. Jesus made sure of that when he hung on that cross on Cavalry to give every one of us the same advantage: Come one, come all, and come as you are. Now that’s the type of Leader we can all support. I mean, really, show me another leader who’s taken a nail to the palm for you.

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Obedience

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2014 at 3:31 am

I wrote the following journal entry on Sunday, November 24, 2002, around 11:30 at night. I’m not sure why I was pondering obedience, blessings, and rewards. Perhaps, being six weeks into my 30th year, I was thinking about adulthood.


 

What is the purpose of obedience? What is the result? What is the reward?

Obedience builds character, strengthens the relationship between the “commander” and the obey(or?). It humbles the one obeying. The one who obeys learns about self: discovers talents, builds skills. Obedience protects.

 Is there a reward?

When we obey the Lord, we always reap blessings. I wouldn’t call it rewards, though. The Lord does not reward our good deeds and our obedience to Him. We cannot earn anything from Him. He doesn’t require us to work for His love. Instead, He blesses us.

What is the difference between reward and blessing?

Rewards are earned. Blessings are given. If we do not obey God, we are sinning. And because God is a Holy God, He cannot associate with sin. Let’s compare the Lord to a parent, since He’s our Father, anyway.

A man who works as a schoolteacher calls his teenage sons and asks them to please have the house straightened by the time he gets home from tutoring some students. He’ll be home in three hours. Before he made the phone call, he picked up some NHL tix, which he had ordered a month ago.

On his way home that evening, he is so excited to present his sons with the tickets. But when he gets home, the house is messier than when he left that morning, and the boys are on the couch watching TV. He’s so disappointed. He can’t give them the tickets now. It will seem as though the father is rewarding his sons for their disobedience. He had no intention of giving them the tickets as a reward for anything. He wanted to do it simply because he loves them.

And that is what a blessing is: a gift from God just because He loves us. But when we disobey, we tie His hands and cut off what goodness we had coming to us anyway—just because. We are then obliged to seek forgiveness and repent.

Why is it so difficult to obey? Why don’t we obey?

It’s uncomfortable. We’re afraid. It doesn’t make sense. We’d rather do it our way because we think our way is better. We find other things to do instead of what we’re being asked to do. Temptation.

How do we obey?

With the grace of God—in faith and trust. We obey because we know He loves us and would never do anything that isn’t ultimately the best for all of His children.

Gorgeous Creature or Godless Monster?

In Dear Lord on April 16, 2014 at 7:17 pm

I wrote the following sometime between February 2000 and March 2001 when I was a less mature Christian. I had one of those jobs you read about in books or see on TV, except I was the quirky sidekick, not the star. My role: advertising coordinator. The publication: Harper’s Magazine. The scene: SoHo, NYC, pre-9/11. I never finished the piece because a coworker or a boss or an intern probably interrupted me. How dare someone disturb my unproductive, self-indulgent musings when I’m at work!

After you read, let me know: Do you identify with any of it?


To be gorgeous
Even beautiful

With long, luxurious, shiny, thick hair
Perfectly clear, tanned, toned, soft skin

A button nose
Full, bee-stung lips
Big, sparkling, light eyes

Thin, sleek arms
Ample breasts
A taut, flat tummy
A tiny waist
A firm, little tush
Long, slender legs

And also to be without a huge ego…

If the Lord had made me a gorgeous creature,
would I also have been a godless monster?

Would I have had to pay a price for such a gift?
If something tragic were to happen in my life,
would I then have earned the right to beauty?
Or is beauty some consolation prize?

 

Dear Lord,

Please help me stop wanting what I can’t and shouldn’t have. Or please give it to me, along with the ability to handle it. I know I’ve failed each time You granted me freedom from fat and kissed my face to make me shine like a light. I abused what You gave me. And You took it away.

But so many beautiful women misuse and abuse their beauty. Are they not Yours? Do any of them care that women like me feel terrible about themselves each time I look at their pretty photos? I know they say those pictures are retouched and that the women’s breasts and noses are surgically enhanced, but I don’t feel any better knowing that I’m all real—because I also look real! I WANT TO LOOK LIKE THE FANTASY! I WANT TO BE MY FANTASY’S FANTASY! I know it’s possible for others. Look at…

Motivation

In Dear Lord on April 16, 2014 at 5:24 am

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is someone actually reading this? Cool. The following “Dear Lord” journal entries, recently unearthed during a move from the Garden State back to the Sunshine State, motivated me to update ellepop. WARNING: The letters are raw, as in you will find punctuation, grammar, and general writing errors—because they are first and only drafts. My purpose for posting my emotional guts and foibles to strangers is to find out: Do you identify?

 ______________________

Wednesday, November 24, 2009

Dear Lord,

I don’t even know where to begin. I’m so scared, unmotivated, and overwhelmed. There is so much I should do with my life—this life you gave me. I’m wasting time—and I have a lot of it. I know this down time is part of your plan for me, but I just feel so ungrateful. I also realize that I have free will, that is, what I choose to do with my time.

While I so want to commit to something, whether it’s the gym, OA meetings, DBSA meetings, Habitat for Humanity, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, I know my history. I am inconsistent and unreliable. I can’t even rely on myself.

Oh my goodness! I failed to include church in my list of would-be commitments. What is wrong with me? Maybe that’s what’s wrong me, that I’m not truly putting You first. This just came to me (from You?): Is my laziness these days a way for you to show that the oft-used but Biblically unfounded axiom “God helps those who help themselves” to be inaccurate?

What do I say I want? First, I do not want to be embarrassed by my life. I want to be able to take pride in it. Do You not want me to have any pride at all? I’m certain You want me to be productive, though, at least regarding the building of relationships. I know that relationships are the most important thing to You, and I thank You for that. I just do not have it in me to care. I consider doing something, anything, and then I ask myself, ‘Why bother’? It’s like when I was in 8th grade, where my motto was, “Who cares? Blow me away with a shotgun!”. How scary and telling, eh? That was a sure-fire sign of my bipolar illness.

By the way, I am making myself write now. I’d rather be eating bread and watching some meaningless sitcom. I do not want to write because I feel so much pressure to create something worthy, something that would impress others and me. Maybe that is why I choose not to live my life. Maybe I’m concerned about doing everything the right way, including going to church. Hmm…maybe not. What really stops me from starting my day is getting showered and finding something comfortable and appropriate to wear. Of course, if I’d commit to exercising and eating healthfully on a regular basis, I would revel in starting my days. I’d enjoy celebrating my femininity and how cute I am. I know that I’m “fearfully and wonderfully made,” yet I fail to act on this so-called belief of mine.

What is it I say I want for my life? I want to commit to the following: attending church services, Overeaters Anonymous meetings, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and the gym. Specifically BodyPump, Athletic Conditioning, BodyJam, BodyFlow, and BodyCombat classes. I want to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity once or twice a month and for Big Brothers Big Sisters maybe 4x a month. Maybe at some point I can become a sponsor and support person for OA and DBSA, respectively. Service, service, service! That’s what it’s all about!

As for eating, I’d like my diet to look like this: egg beaters or whites with chopped tomatoes and/or red peppers with an orange and green tea for breakfast—and maybe a skim tall vanilla latte two times a week. My snack would be a piece of fruit—banana, apple, or pear. For lunch I’d have a salad (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, roasted red peppers, light dressing) with an ounce or two of grilled chicken. My snack would be a an activia strawberry fruit yogurt. And for dinner, I’d have either salmon or tilapia with either broccoli or green beans and maybe a small side salad. That would be Monday through Friday afternoon. Then, from Friday at 6 p.m. up til Sunday at 6 p.m., I could eat whatever I want. However, I’d not overeat. I want to cease overeating, but I know I cannot do that without You, Lord. I believe the very first thing I need to do is commit to getting my day started by taking a shower first thing in the morning. Breakfast and meds would follow that. Then I’d go to work, then the gym or a meeting, come home, and prep for the next day and/or straighten my home.

How do I make all this happen? First, by putting YOU first, that is, praying and studying Your Word. Second, planning. I must create a night-time routine, which must include preparing my clothes. Heck, I could even prepare my clothes for the week on Sundays or just a few days at a time. I’d also have to prep my meals. I’d have to wake up early enough to have breakfast at home. (No more eating and driving or eating at my desk!)

I must plan my work and work my plan! But, as I said, You must be paramount in my life. Oh my goodness! Here I go again, forgetting You! My morning routine would be to awake, read Your Word, then go on with my day. At night, I’d study Your Word at bedtime.

I’m shocked at myself at how much I want to be on a schedule! I never thought I’d dislike this free time. I need to be more like some of my family and friends, but not exactly, of course. I think a lot of my problem too is that the fear is gone. I’m no longer afraid of getting fat. I’m no longer afraid of not paying my bills (sort of). I know You’ve got me covered. But at the same time, I know You want me to be relationally productive at the very least. I need to get myself out there! But I just cannot do it without You, Lord.

That’s all for now.

Love, because You first loved me,

lori

  ______________________

Friday, November 27, 2009

Something is definitely different today, Lord, and I have to attribute it to You. All this food around, and I don’t want to eat it. The bread is actually safe from me for once! I have no idea what the next 24 hours are going to bring, I don’t know if I’ll binge again, if I’ll have no desire to do anything, but at least today is a victory. Heck, every day is a victory with You, Lord. Today was an easy battle to win, as if I almost didn’t have to participate in the fight. Oh, I also did not take my meds today. I know I really should, and I do not plan on skipping them again (I never actually do plan on skipping them). The point is that You are the Constant. Roommates, jobs, states, meds—they’ve all changed in my life and have not heeded the same results. There is no formula for my life. I have no routine to keep me routine. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”” –Psalm 46:10

I cannot inspire myself, Lord. Only You can inspire. I know You have plans for my life, and they certainly do not begin and end with me eating, watching TV, and sleeping. I gave You my life a long time ago, and I am trusting You with it.

I feel so even-keeled right now, not on a manic crazed quest to write my life’s work. I feel hopeful in a very grounded way.

So maybe this time of a whole lot of nothingness is an object lesson to all those looking in, all those who are skeptical, that You’re not only available to those who are getting themselves out of bed every morning, available only to those who have schedules and routines that they adhere to consistently. You are available to all who call on You, to all those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord, that Your Son hung on a cross and died for our sins so that we may live eternally with You in heaven and not burn eternally in hell with the enemy.

You are available to sinners who long to change but cannot change themselves. No one can change themselves. Only You can change us, Lord. You are the Creator; we are the creations. May all who are observing my walk with You in any capacity see that all the good in my life is directly from You. All the “bad”? That’s You allowing my character to grow, You are making me more like Your Son.

Jobless, unmotivated, overweight, alive but not living—they can see it, Lord. They can see it because I know there is so much more to my story, and my story does not only affect me. None of us lives in a vacuum. We all affect one another. And I thank you for that, Lord.

My writing in these past two entries doesn’t sound very inspired, I know. But I don’t need to impress anyone, Lord—not You, not me, not anyone. You didn’t put us on this earth with each other to impress one another. You put us all here together to love one another, particularly through service. How would my losing weight serve another? How would my getting a well-paying and fulfilling job serve others? What about if I consistently attended church, support group, Greek class, and workout classes? THAT’S what I need to focus on and figure out.

Lord, my only prayer right now is that You make me consistent for Your purposes.

Thank You, Heavenly Father.

love, b/c u 1st loved me, lori  🙂

  ______________________

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hi, God!

Well, I’m going to shower and go to the gym now for two classes: BodyPump and BodyCombat. Umm…maybe I should just do BodyCombat, now that I think of it. Anyway, I’ll take my meds in a few minutes before I shower. After class, I’ll reward myself with a chai. Yummy!

  ______________________

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Did not go to either class. That’s okay. I still love me. Well, I’m trying to love me—but not be in love with me. 🙂 God is sooooooooooo GOOD!