Archive | January 2014

Kinda Like Mario

mario[1] Once again,  I am more than likely going to show my age!  But … Who remembers … Pac-Man… Galaga… Space Invaders… Centipede……Mario Brothers!!     Oh Yeah… THOSE were the fun games!    We could, and would ,spend a whole roll of quarters at a time at the arcade or the foyer of our local WalMart store on any given Saturday afternoon or hot Summer day,  trying to beat our last score.  We were on a mission to see what level we could make it to, or ultimately… our goal was to  get our initials entered as the highest score,  so everyone who played it after us would know exactly how good we were !

We  started out by placing our quarter in the slot of our favorite game.  The once quiet machine would suddenly come to life by playing the theme song.  We then would begin to psyche our self  up by getting in to our famous position and grasping  the controls in a very strategic way in order to conquer that first level.   As we played,  we would move our little guy through the many obstacles that were already in place to try to keep us from getting to our goal.  We would jump over them,  smash them, kick them out of the way or blow them up…… and then….all of a sudden…. an enemy, of some kind would, sneak up out of no where and try to destroy us in some way.  Now we are not only jumping, smashing, kicking, and blowing up simple obstacles, but now we have to deal with some things that are actually trying to wipe us out!!!

Once they “knock us out” or we miss a jump and fall to our “death”…. the game always likes to taunt us with the “whammy” sounds that announces to you ….and anyone else in close proximity that…… you failed… you died… you have lost this round!!    But…. that doesnt stop us!!!   Ohhhh NO… with a pocket full of quarters we pull out another one and place it in the slot once again…. very determined and wiser than before …. we know exactly what to look out for.  We know now when to duck… when to jump and when to look out for the sneaky little enemy that will be popping out from that bush, that cloud, that tree…. and we will NOT let that happen again!!!

VICTORY!    Level one has been beat!
Level two…
Same little guy… different scenery… different obstacles…different enemies….!   This level is harder and once again… we go only so far before hearing the disheartening sound of the “whammy” sounds announcing once again… we have lost.   Thankful again… for the quarters we have stashed and the wisdom we have gained we… press on …. for “one more round”.
Eventually… the quarters run out…. or maybe our time…and we have to walk away from the game…. but in the back of our minds…we hear Arnold saying….  “we’ll be back”!   We WILL be back.  The wisdom and the strategies will play over and over in our minds while away … we seek out the “cheat codes” and study them, so when we get to make the run again… we will be that much more ahead to breeze through those first several levels to take on the highest level…with fewer and fewer quarters… and much less time!

Isn’t it funny how life can parallel a game?

We go through  life in the same way…. we get up in the morning with a new outlook on life….tootling along our own way… dodging a few obstacles… making decisions… some good… some not so good… and then out of now where it seems…..”whammy!”   We get knocked off our feet and slammed to the ground!  Sometimes it is a big fall … sometimes a relatively small fall…. but it will always leave us with a choice!   Do I walk away from “the game”?   ….. or…. do I dig deep down into my stash of determination quarters?!
When I choose to put another quarter in this game of life and get back up on my feet…. I know more… I have gained wisdom on what to watch out for…. when to dodge, jump and duck!!!  I also realize that there is an enemy out there that does not want to see me succeed and make it to my goal!  So… I keep a closer watch out for him.  Sometimes… Some… “things” take longer to get through than others…but each time… I get a little farther … a little faster … than before.  I also have gained enough wisdom to help those others that may be just starting their “game of life” that I can offer them some insight on what is laying wait just beyond that obstacle to help them finish “level one” a little faster and easier than I did.

VICTORY!!!   Level one has now been completed!!
Level two….
New Level…. New Devil!

Although the challenges… the scenery… the path is different… we have gained some much needed skills and wisdom from the previous level.   We tend to get stronger… and wiser…. more agile with every victory we receive.   Some require several attempts… some… not so many!    Sometimes we have to walk away from the game …. for awhile…but …. we never give up…declaring…. “I’ll be back”!    We continue to plan our strategy….study up on the “cheat codes”… the Bible… Sermons… Songs … and when we are put back into the game………

Oh My!!!

I do believe I can see…. not only my initials… but my entire name… written…. in the Victory Book of the Lamb of God…. NEVER to be removed!!

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Is it really Judging?

judge-gavel-370x229[1]Our Ladies group on Wednesday nights have been working through the videos and the book “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman for several weeks now.  If you haven’t read it…. OMGosh… you should!!  The whole series has made me…. and the other ladies… look at our relationship with God with much deeper and more serious convictions.   I find my self constantly checking my actions at the moment…. and my day in whole …. asking myself… were you a “fan” or a “follower” with that action…..with your day?

I think it is a good thing to keep ourselves in check.  Too many people…..Christians specifically … are too …. well…. “worldly” with their walk with God.   Of course when you study things like this… you find yourself not only looking at your own life, but also looking at others in your life with that same question….   Now many will stop me right there and say…..Now  Teresa…. we are not supposed to “Judge” people….!   That has ALWAYS made my blood boil!  More often than not we use that word to simply mean… “back off… I don’t want to know that I am doing something wrong….and how dare you bring that to my attention!”

We humans do not like to be corrected…. more so now, it seems.   We don’t like to be told we are wr…well… you know…. we just do not like to know that we are wro…. ok…. NO One likes to feel that pain we get when we find out from someone, or from God, that we are WRONG!   It is not a good feeling…. and I, for one, hate it more than most anything.  My heart aches deep… I feel that numbing feeling from my toes to the end of my hair follicles…and that sweaty feeling…. yeah… it is NOT a good feeling at all….. BUT…..after the initial shock has taken place …..  afterI have de-ruffled my feathers and taken the time to analyze it…. I am usually better off knowing that I shouldn’t do that again …. I make the adjustments… apologies… or what ever needs to be done and move on…..THANKFUL  that I more than likely just missed some horrible consequences just down the road and around the corner!!!

The Definition of Judge from Websters says:
:  to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
:  to sit in judgement on : Try
:  to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
: govern, rule —used of a Hebrew tribal leader
:  to form an estimate or evaluation of; especially :  to form a negative opinion about <shouldn’t judge him because of his accent>
:  to hold as an opinion :  guess ,think  <I judge she knew what she was doing>

The first definition…. “to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises”…. is where most of us need to remember what we are actually doing since none of us are actually in a court of law sitting on a Bench.
An opinion…. 1 a :  a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.
Opinions….
We all have them..they are ours…. we own them… they have been formed over time by the way we were raised… the books we have read… the movies we have watched…. the people we hang around with…
So…If you are “judging” me for something I am doing … then I should assume you are just forming your opinion based on your knowledge of the situation.  I will listen… analyze the situation…and then I will exercise my right to “judge” your opinion through careful weighing of the evidence laid before me.   I will then either respond with change or disregard your “judgement” and go on with my life accordingly.   No one holds any power to pass sentencing by their “judgement”  except God.
However….
There is something we should be aware of.
We are human, and our opinions, over time, can get altered, and so we sometimes… well… many times… need a nudge to get us back on track.   That “nudge” could come in the form of a “judgement” call from a friend… brother or sister in Christ… a message we hear at Church….even a non believer could “nudge” us back on track.

Hebrews 3 :13-15
You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
14For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
15Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”

Warn….Websters define Warn as:
a :  to give notice to beforehand especially of danger or evil
b     :  to give admonishing advice to : counsel
c    :  to call to one’s attention :  inform

Warn each other every day….call to one’s attention….. That is not judging…That is a life saving, ” tornado siren” going off to warn you of up coming dangers !

I agree,  however, that it does have to be out of love …other wise,  those words may become nonproductive and could turn those away, rather than towards, God….but….Like a tornado siren…we have been made aware that there is a definite possibility of danger ahead and we have the right to choose what to do with that information.   Do we take shelter… turn around and go the other way… or just sit it out… thinking that this is just another empty warning and take the chance we will be spared from the damage?

We can not afford to get offended!!    Realize,  not every word or “judgement ” or “opinion” will be accurate…..learn to sift them…disregard what doesn’t apply and meditate on those that do apply.  But if it does apply…. APPLY IT…… I would rather someone warn me I am going or doing something that leads me away than wake up one day too far away to find my way back !!

Thank you God for sending those sirens in my life to keep me nudged back into the right pathway by judging my actions… daily!!!

  • Proverbs 12:15 (AMP)

    The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to counsel is wise.

  • Proverbs 18:2 (AMP)

    A [self-confident] fool has no delight in understanding but only in revealing his personal opinions and himself.

  • Ecclesiastes 7:5 (AMP)

    It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.