The Fickleness of the Internet

For those of you who have never had a website or a blog (I’ve had/have both) I’m going to fill you in on how this works.

When you want to find out something and don’t know where to go, you usually use a search engine for help. People type what they are searching for and you land on websites.  So for our example, I’m going to use the top google for this week for my website as our working example:  bsf lesson 12.

Someone types in “bsf lesson 12” in a search engine and a bunch of websites come up.  You usually click on those on the first page (that’s what I do) and that’s the goal of most website owners–to be first in the search engines so they get hits.

So you click on my site and my site tracks all of your clicks in graphs and statistics.  It’s fascinating stuff, really.  This lets me know how to “tag” my posts so I get the most hits.

I also get a list of exactly what you typed in.  This is even more fascinating to me.  I get a sense of how all these anonymous people are thinking since most don’t leave comments.  This allows me to improve my website to help the most people.

So, I’m looking today and one reads, “words of comfort for feeling sad.”  Now, this person landed on my site! Well, I’m feeling sad so I wondered what I had written for this person to land on my site because I need my own advice!  So, I click over to “Top Posts” where I can view the posts people view and one is called “Words of Comfort”.

Fascinating!  I write a lot and can’t remember half of what I wrote so I clicked on it and you can read it for yourself here:  Words of Comfort

Lo and behold it’s words from Isaiah I had been reading at the beginning of last year!  It was just what I needed to hear.

The Internet is fickle…but God is anything but.  He knew what I needed and who best to tell me but me myself!

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 3, Day 2: Isaiah 5:1-7 & John 15:1-17

Summary of passages:  Isaiah speaks of a vineyard (the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem) and describes how they have the expectations of bearing good grapes but they only yielded bad fruit.  In John, Jesus is speaking at the Last Supper, charging his disciples to go forth and bear fruit–fruit that will last and giving them the command to love one another as He has loved them.  He uses the vine and fruit analogy as well, saying, “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (verse 4)

Questions:

3a) The song was sung to and about the house of Israel and the people of Judah and Jerusalem.  It was sung by Isaiah.

b) Yes.  Who expects to plant a crop and it to fail?  God planted us and we thrived until the Garden and sin slithered in.

c) The crop was bad but the owner expected the best grapes (he planted the choicest vines, built a watchtower, cleared the stones, and chose fertile ground).  He expected to make a profit as all business owners do.

4) God expected a garden filled with delight, justice, and righteousness.  Jesus describes fruit that will last.  Galatians list the fruit of the spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  I’m inferring this is what Jesus was inferring as well.

5) Personal answer.  Mine is:  He has put people on my path who has led me to Him (parents, friends, BSF invite) and spoken to me.  He helps others know him through people as well.  He has provided all I need and want and loved unconditionally.  He has sent His son, Jesus, for me.  He has provided His word (the Bible) forever.

Conclusions:  I enjoyed the imagery of the vine.  It ties into the whole Branch as the Messiah we have been talking about.  I liked seeing it in other places of the Bible as well.

Enjoy the Journey

I was listening to K-Love the other day (my IPod had died) and heard a conversation from the hosts about enjoying the journey.

I’m trying to keep this in the forefront of my mind, especially when the kids are screaming and pouring orange juice all over my floor.  My kids are growing–fast–and as my 2 year old rapidly approaches 3, I soon won’t have a baby any more–or ever again.

It’s about enjoying every moment of every day (as much as possible and yes, I’m trying, Eckhart) before those moments vanish and become only memories.

Beginning BSF and getting back to reading the Bible daily and grounding myself has helped.  I’m calmer and less stressed.  The house has helped as well.  Now, I’m trying to live in the moment as much as possible and begin living and enjoying again.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 1, Day 4: Isaiah 1:16-20

I really don’t like the questions pertaining to what I personally can do.  9c asks what oppression and injustice in the world can I work to resolve.  My answer is right now:  nothing.

It’s not that I don’t know of any.  It’s that I got my own little world of problems I’m dealing with and really can’t dive into the injustices in the world.  Most are too enormous to even comprehend.  Take child trafficking.  Such a huge problem.  My role is to make sure my kids don’t engage in such a thing or are abducted.

As a mom, I just feel too overwhelmed to involve myself in such things.  Some may call me callous for thinking so but if I want to maintain my sanity so my kids have happy Mommy I know what my limits are and getting involved in huge problems or even smaller ones only exacerbates my stress and I can’t handle it.

My point is I really don’t like these sort of questions.  It’s like 4b from Second Day.  I can’t think of one right away so I’m not going to dredge up some miniscule slight just so I can answer the question.

We all know the Bible tells us to take care of and stand up for the downtrodden, the poor, the broken, which includes widows, orphans, and the oppressed.  My personal belief is when the time comes.  There is a season in all of life and you need to act when it’s the right timing.

Bible Study Fellowship–Isaiah

Yesterday was our first day of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), studying the book of Isaiah.  I’m excited to begin.  This is my first year.

So, I began the questions this morning and I hope I get better as I go along.  I had to leave 4b blank because I am unsure how Isaiah 1:1-9 relates to dealing with a past hurt.  The passage is about how God is angry at his children because they have rebelled and speaks nothing of forgiveness or restoration.  It only mentions how his people are stupid and how there will be chosen survivors.

Maybe it’ll come to me in the coming days.

I loved the lecture, especially Principle #1: God uses committed people to impact culture today.  I’d like to think I’m one of these.

It’s also good to be reminded that you were born with a purpose in mind.  I know this instinctively but it’s good to bring it back up especially when someone else says so.

Money, God, and My Destiny

The message at church today was not new but one I needed to hear.  It contained tid-bits I had not thought of and that sheds new light on the increase of my battles as of late.

I have always believed I was meant for more.  I was meant to impact this world in a profound way and I was meant to earn a lot of money.  I was meant to be a mover and a shaker in this world.  The only mystery was how this would all come about.

When I was younger, I used to think it would be through business.  So, I trudged through a master’s degree, studying finance (a subject I absolutely hated) in pursuit of this goal.  Somewhere along the way, I began keeping a journal, writing poetry, and somehow got the idea that I’d write books someday.

Fast forward 10 years.  I’m a stay-at-home mom, living in a 2-bedroom apartment, and struggling to figure out my life’s journey.  I have written 3 complete works, all of which have been shot down as little of merit.  So I dove back into the Bible, God’s word, and suddenly things began to pop out at me.

1) I realized my life’s purpose:  to write God’s words for a broad audience in the form of Young Adult novels–in order to impact the most beginning at the youngest ages.

2) I began noticing the Devil as he has continually tried to bombard me with outside issues in order to distract my path.  One example is I have had a collection notice come my way a few days ago and I got very, very angry about it.  First, it is of no merit.  Second, it is of such a miniscule amount it seems pointless.  But I wasted hours on writing letters, plotting the demise of the business through picketing their organization and calling the media, and losing sleep over it.  But today in church, I realized this is just once again the Devil trying to take me out, distract me from my life’s purpose, and he was succeeding.  No more.  I have let it go.

3) I realized God is my God, like my kids are my kids, and He is behind me 100%.  It does not matter what others think.  He has the power to make things happen.

The lecture in church today focused on how wealth is okay, is even what God wants for your life:  to prosper so you are better able to do his work.  God wants you to have a generous spirit, to help others at every opportunity, and not to be bogged down in misery and be poor in spirit.

I believe with every ounce of my soul and being that God has called me to make money for Him and the church.  I believe my way is through the written word:  a medium that can touch countless souls and gently lead them to God’s way and purpose for them.  I believe God will prosper me in this way for the greater good of everyone I touch:  my family, my church, strangers, the world.

I started this blog in the beginning to vent my frustrations with my life.  Now, it has evolved into a permanent record of the sweat and tears that God is bringing me through to fulfill my life’s purpose, the one He has assigned me.  I cannot wait for the day when I can cry tears of joy at the success I’ve had and see lives changed because of me.  I envision sharing my story with others:  how you can come full circle, take wrong turns, make huge money mistakes, and still come out on top.  How you can raise a family through all of this.  How your family will learn through your example.

One of my 100 things to do before I die is:  to speak at my alma mater in Massachusetts.  You see, I hated it there.  I hated finance, I was a minority, I didn’t fit in.  I spent every waking moment waiting until I graduated.  I resented every moment as well.  I blamed them for my unhappiness when it was really the fact I didn’t belong there, pursuing a dream that was not God’s.  I can’t wait to speak there and talk about all of this.

I don’t want to win the lottery anymore.  I have already won it.  I am pursuing God’s calling for my life each and every day and one day my dream (and His) will be realized–the day I am waiting for.  After that, my purpose will only grow stronger and I can only influence more people.

Until then, I live with the hope God has put on my heart.  The hope of a better life for many.  The hope of dreams realized.  The hope I can make an impact for all of eternity.