June 24, 2015

My Goody Bag Stinks!

I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:25 NLT

As a child we are taught what to do and how to do it.  It is our parents, or those with whom we are placed helplessly, which form the mesh of moral fiber upholding the weigh of every thought we conceive. It is out from this generational goody bag where we must begin to discern: What goodies do I want from this gift bag or is really a goody bag at all.  The truth is most of the stuff we have in our pretty cellophane  is nothing more than a mess of broken feelings, opinions and knowledge which have little to do with God's truth. They are memories formed out from good intentions, and possibly, usually, good intentions gone wrong.  The fact is, usually when we rely on a goody bag without holding it accountable to God's good ways, it is more of a trash bag in need of being separated into waste and recyclables.

At some point the child becomes the next generation and they are accountable for the gift bags they extend.  This maturity / wisdom begins with a grown up perspective: Just because "something" brings me happiness does not mean my feelings are aligned with God's will: if a person, place or thing is really good for me and trust worthy. Neither does it mean that our feelings of unhappiness are accurate in whether something is truly good for us or not.  The point is, just like a child, instinctively we do what we believe will make us happy.  And what makes all of us happy is to have people around us who enjoy us, see how special we are and won't ask too many questions which make us squirm, or shake us up.

This is where we left off:

Without being shook, we will never realize we can be shaken.  If we do not know we have a need, we can not ask for help.  When we do not need help, we never look up for God.  And with out God we are mere mortals......and mere mortals come to an end in this life. 

Let's merge these two tracks: When we are doing what we believe to be good, even expected and we are not receiving the appropriate outcome, it creates confusion. It is as if someone is holding out a "goody bag" but there does not seem to be any good thing within it.  Or maybe we feel that the bag is being withheld and given to others, when it rightfully is our turn to have a grab.  When our happiness gets interrupted our happy train comes to a halt; because a train cannot run on two tracks. It is at this intersection we must pause and ask: what is the truth here, which way should I pursue. This verse from Jeremiah is a KB cornerstone:
This is what the Lord says: 'stand at the cross road and look,  ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls'.  But you said,  'we will not walk in it'. Jer 6:16
Usually we do not pause, we go full steam ahead till something causes a major road block.  God calls it a stumbling block, the narrow path which we and all our goodies cannot pass through.  He lovingly warns us that our words and actions must equal, or we are not being honest with Him, others or our self.

What happens when a persons words and actions do not equal?  Well......it hurts others.....and it hurts the relationship.  It changes everything: them, you and the good that God had planned for you; because you are not asking what the good is and generously giving it.  We hide these things even from our own heart, we allow our heart to become deceived; we harden our hearts to our unrighteousness, paint it pretty, talk it up and point it out with a bit of flair.

If we continue down this path, it will soon become hauntingly ugly.  Our efforts must become dedicated toward: deflection, manipulation, creating a distance between the sweet relationships and activities God has blessed us with.....if we want to continue to believe we are doing what He considers good, that is.  As long as we are doing something good and can give honor to God is it really manipulation, are we really withholding or stealing their goodies? Is it really something another person should speak up about?  What about those who might be benefiting from our motives and who do not really question why they are receiving a goody bag, should it be given elsewhere?  Is it their place to question a gift?

We will pause here for the day, I pray for wisdom and discernment in each of our lives.  May the grace of God and His Righteousness bear witness to each of us this day.

In Christ, Kisses,

© Candace Huffmaster 2015, All Copy Rights Reserved
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°

June 2, 2015

Not Again, Are You Kidding ME!

This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.   ~ Hebrews 12:27

As you know it has been almost an entire month since I have been able to pause and post.  Each year when the school systems release their students, it is reminds me of a race: the starter shooting his pistol and the runners fleeing their mark for the open lanes. Never-the-less when I do return it is always with matured comprehension of what I felt was already understood.  This year has been no less insightful / challenging.

After years of dealing with similar situations, and / or the same families, over this stretch of time, I have come to realize, the crisis is not usually with what's happening, but rather with the individuals thoughts in the midst of what's happening. (Do not confuse this topic with making a safety plan and leaving an abuser. click the Emergency or The Cause Is Love tab on our website for resources.)

As we have discussed often: Usually God does not change our circumstance or environment; he changes us in the midst of a troubled and chaotic world. Think about how similar events continually happen to us.  But our frame of mind, attention and environment will be altered in someway every time; much like the movie Groundhog day.  Each nuance creates an opportunity; the opportunity we run off the mark for is our choice.  God is mindful, merciful and gracious to not allow temptation to overtake us; but we will have another time, if necessary to pass the test. (1 Peter 1:6)

God lovingly put obstacles in the middle of our pathway.  These are not because He is mean or angry with us; it is to train us up in the things we can not know otherwise.  His ways are not of this world; which means He must find the way which refocuses our attentions toward His kingdom.  Obviously, we can have knowledge and think that is enough.  But without unpacking it and trying it out we only get to know His words; not the person who said them.

Without regular diverse challenges, we humans have a tendency to become too confident in the assessment of our own proficiency.  Without knowing it we go rogue as we try to make it to God.  God never intended to make it difficult or dependent on our own abilities to cross into His Kingdom.  He sets multiple challenges to give us practice, stretch our faith and trust muscle. It is in the challenges where we realize our natural frailties.  If we become weakened to the point of shaking, God just may be given an opportunity to show off His supernatural capabilities. At least that is His will in our time of need.  

Without being shook, we will never realize we can be shaken.  If we do not know we have a need, we can not ask for help.  When we do not need help, we never look up for God.  And with out God we are mere mortals......and mere mortals come to an end in this life.

This is enough for today; God rest our souls in His peaceful presence, both now and forever.


© Candace Huffmaster 2015, All Copy Rights Reserved
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°