Posts Tagged ‘God’

I was on facebook this morning and just checking in on my ‘friends’ and seeing what they are up to. Really it was a delay to the inevitable beginning of a Monday at work.  As I was skimming through the latest posts I noticed a lot of the kids from the youth group posting comments about the passage of the health care bill.  Now I can remember being a high school student and voicing my opinions on different topics and I think that is a great way to encourage the excersicing of one’s political rights in this great country.  The thing that concerned me was when some of the posts were getting hateful, and insulting, and just really petty.  And those weren’t just the kids, unfortunately there were several adults that were posting very immature thoughts.

Okay for the record I was not for the health care reform.  Did I contact my appointed representatives, yes.  Did I contact them several times, yes.  Am I scared and disappointed that it passed, yes.  But….. and you knew there had to be one…..I am going to try and show a little maturity.

I work with a lot of kids and for whatever reason many of them look at me as role model, why I have no idea.  But they do.  And because they do I have an obligation to show a little maturity.  Maturity as an American and maturity as a Christian.

As an American I excercised my right when it came time to vote for a president, when it came time to vote for representation on the state and federal level.  However my votes were in the  minority and in some of the cases the majority.  But because my votes were not the consesus does not give me the right to pick apart my leaders, with slander, and hateful comments.  I can not proclaim the great American democratic process then tear it apart when it does give me what I want.  That would be incredibly childish.   This wonderful country gives me the right to vote, to excersie my opinion and beliefs.  But when I don’t get my way I don’t get to throw a temper tantrum.   I even heard stories of people wanting to fly their flags at half mast because they are that disappointed in the vote from yesterday. 

As a Christian I have to remember even more than that in my excersie of democracy.  One is that God did not give me the right to vote, the American democratic system did.  No where does the Bible give me the right to vote and freedom of speech, or anything.  That is a privelege that I have been given by being born in this country where that privelege was secured by the blood of many men and women.  That I have to remember and keep separate.  But the second thing that I have to remember is that the Bible does tell me to respect and obey those who are put into authority over me.  Doesn’t say I have to agree with what they do, or even like what they do, but I do have to respect them as appointed by God. 
So what example do we set for the next generation? Is it one of immaturity or maturity.  When we don’t get our way do we throw temper tantrums and create facebook groups like down with the democrats, or something like that.  I hate to tell you this but we all excercised our given rights as Amercian citizens.  The chips fell down and no matter where you stood on the issue it is done.  It has passed.  Am I scared of what it will mean,  sure.  But even in my worry or fear I will set an example that has faith first and foremost in my God, because He is bigger than any government or bill or law.  And secondly in the faith of the American system. That if something works then we approve it.  And if it doesn’t then we as the people pass laws to change systems that aren’t working. Sound familiar?
Show a little maturity when you demonstrate your views on the new healthcare practices. The next generation of Christians and Americans are watching, and following our lead.

Twenty one year old Shafia and her family were outcasts in their Pakistani village.  They were poor, and many of their Muslim neibhbors scorned them because they followed Jesus Christ.  People called them chura, which means ” lowcaste sweeper” . They were considered the lowest of the low. In Shafia’s village Muslim men harassed Christian girls. Shafia’s brother Rafi publicly confronted them. Months later, he was killed.

The family wanted to prosecute Rafi’s killers, but they needed help.  A man named Masood offered to file the neccessary paperwork for them.  Masood asked Shafia to sign some papers for the case. but later, she discov ered it was a marriage certificate. Masood bragged the two were now married, and Shafia enrage Masood by disputing the marriage.

On Sept. 25, 2007, Masood kidnapped Shafia at gunpoint. He locked her in an upstairs room of his house. He beat her and raped her repeatedly.   Masood told her, ” If you convert to islam, I will stop beating you.” But she stayed strong telling him, ” Christianity is my religion, not Islam.  I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me  then kill me, but i will not accept Islam.”

After four months in captivity, Shafia found the door unlocked one day while Massood was at work. she fled to her family. The family’s situation was desperate.  They had to pay to file a legal case against Masood. They had no money, so they borrowed $217. To pay the , all 11 members of the family worked at a brick kiln, making bricks 12 hours a day.

” Daily in the evening we had a prayer meeting at home with my family. i felt strong in my faith when we read the  Word,” Shafia said.

Shafia and her family ar free from their debt of labor today because of Voic e of the Martyr’s fund. Mondey from the fund paid Shafia’s debt and allowed her family to purchase a rickshaw.  Now the family has a taxi business and they earn enough to take care of their needs.  With her dept paid,, Shafia is living a normal life in her village.  She still attends weekly prayer meetings and continues to stand for her beliefs.

This is a story shared by the Voice of the Martyrs, and is taken from their pulciation ” Praying for a RESCUE”. 

Check out tomorrow to hear the story of the second women, the title of the article is two women.

I am a licensed CPR instructor for the American Heart Association.   I have been licensed to train those who are willing to serve as foster parents, in the manner to perform CPR.  Once my job required that I did this basically on a monthly basis.  However things change and jobs change, and that is not a bad thing.  As I was thinking about thhe classes that I would no longer be teaching CPR came to mind.  And I started to think about what CPR really is.

Of course it is  two breaths per thirty compressions.  And checking to make sure the scene is safe.  And doing other things not neccessarily in that order.  But those are the steps of CPR, what is CPR?  The answer I could come up with is trying to resart someone’s body by maintaining their heart and circulation functions.  You breath for them, you pump their chest so that the ciruclation will continue to flow throughout their body.  Your end goal is either to  resucitate the person, or keep the person respitory functions going until trained help arrives. All in all a good thing, no one would argue. 

But my thougght process couldn’t stop there.  I began to take it a step further and think about it from a different perspective.  First I looked at it from the perspective of the victim.  If I am unconcious, am I living?  Biologically I would propbably say you were still living.  Mainly because there are only two options.  Living or dead, and if your not dead, well then you are living.  But in that moment when someone else is breathing for you. When someone else is pumping your heart for you.  Are you living?  In one sense of the word I would have to say no.

You are exsisting.  You ar functioning but you are not living.  You are not awake. You are not speaking. You are not thinking.  At the moment when you require CPR you are a biological machine that has broken down and needs assistance in returning to living.  Random thought, yes.  But that is the way that I think.  And the fun doesn’t really stop there.

I began to apply this little thought of what does it mean to be living.  And after chasing a few wild rabbits down there holes I came back to a point that gave me a shiver.  Is God performing CPR on me? 

Think about that.  Is God performing CPR on me, or you?  I am not talking about GOd reeaching down from Heaven and with a huge hand performing CPR on me as I lie in the floor of my living room.  But is He required to perform CPR because I am not living?  Have gotten to a point where I allow the routine of life to become so ordinary that I miss the oppurtunities of each and every moment?  Have I lost focus on the important things of this life? Have I allowed ‘things’ to become my god,  or my focus?  Do I trust more in finacnial securities, or legal systems, or governments than I do in my God?  If I answer yes to any of those then am I living?

My answer……no.  I am functioning. I am a biological machine that operates through this life.  I am missing that I can have a realtionship with God.  Don’t read past that sentence without really thinking about it.  I can have a realitonship with God.   I can have life and life abundantly.  Not through the things of this world, but allowing my trust to be in God.  To be in the one who sustains everything.  There is so much more to life than working and thinking.

Is God standing over me, thumping down in my chest like the do in the movies, or on one of my favorite television shows, MASH.  You know the scene you have seen them on any medical drama.  The doctor stands over the patient pounding away on his chest, sweat is dripping down from his brow, his breath is labored from the exhaustion of performing CPR on a dying man.  And he screams something like, “LIVE! FIGHT!” And then there is that scene where the patient goes on the ventilatior, and the relatives have to make the decision about what to do next. 

What is living? There is so much more to this life, than just functioning day to day.  God is calling for you to live? So why not wake up and live with Him the way He wants you to. If you don’t know Him he still reaches out to you.  And the personal part that made me shiver, I do know Him, but I still ask the question is he perforrming CPR on me? Is my faith just a function of what I do? Is Church just a place I go? Is prayer something I should do? is reading the Bible, reading a book?

Life abudant is waiting, for each one of us to live.