Saturday, March 3, 2012

Anger, Pride, Forgiveness

It's easy to feel justified in anger. Natural reaction to feeling like someone has wronged you is to get angry. Scream, yell, pout, plot, think of all the things you wish you would have said in the heat of the moment, or wish that you could take back some of the things you said in that moment. Maybe sometimes getting angry can be productive. Maybe there are times that anger can serve a purpose as a wake up call to others, or as a type of healing in order to get something off your chest. But most of the time, anger is something that just hurts. No two ways about it, it's just a hurtful emotion to everyone involved. There are innocent by standers that get caught in the crossfire of anger.
So what does the Bible say about anger? Proverbs 14:17 says, "A quick-tempered man does foolish things." Proverbs 16:32 "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." Summing these up is James 1:19-20: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." Easy enough. Bible good--anger bad. So now what?? What do you do with the anger??? Turn it over to God and turn it into forgiveness. This is not as easy as it sounds. First you have to let it go and listen to what direction God wants you to go "Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. Seems like an easy thing to do, but it's hard to let go of that "justified" anger. Want to sit back and say "but I'm right and they are wrong!" Sometimes it feels better to be the victim, play the pity card. How bout playing the Man Card instead? How about sitting up and brushing the dirt off and saying "we can agree to disagree" or saying "you know, you have a point...let's talk about how we can fix it"???? It's way too easy to let pride take over, big old ugly pride! Proverbs 16:18 says " Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." God does not have tolerance for pride and anger. The Bible says in Galatians 5:19 "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." God wants us to be the fruit of the Spirit, which is "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control." So while you feel like actions are justified by anger, know that no good comes from acts of pride and anger.
How do you forgive??? You forgive through God's grace. Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness in Matthew 18:21 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." This answer by Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness is not easy for us. It's not a one-time choice and then we automatically live in a state of forgiveness. Forgiveness may require a lifetime of forgiving, but it is important to the Lord. We must continue forgiving until the matter is settled in our heart.

Friday, December 23, 2011


We did a thing at church a while back with poster boards-called Cardboard Testimony. It was a chance to say our testimony without having to actually speak. I am not a person who likes to speak in front of a crowd, I’m actually pretty content to sit in the corner and watch others interact. Call it anti-social, call it shy, or call it Asperberger's...but whatever you want to call it, it's me :) anyway, I participated in the 2nd one that our church did. I can't remember exactly what my board said, but it was something like this:

(On the front)
Divorced, single mom
Felt lost and alone
2007-my dad died, 4 surgeries
Felt like an orphan
No hope

(On the back)
July 2007-the Harley ride that changed my life
Dec 2007-Saved by Grace, started coming to church
Child of God
Felt like part of a family

That’s the best that I can remember. But I think the point is pretty clear. On the front you put where you were in life before God, and then on the back you put how your life has changed since God entered. That makes it sound like He wasn't always there...He was always there since the day I was born, just waiting for me to notice He was there.
So, to explain why it took me 29 years to realize He was there, I have to explain my upbringing. I was raised with a very vague understanding that there was a God. I remember being told very little about Jesus, and the concept that there was some 3 part spiritual being was totally out of my grasp. I remember thinking of God and angels as what we see in cartoons or Monty Python movies...some big, bearded guy on a cloud with a lightning bolt, ready to smite at a moment's notice. I was always fascinated with Greek Mythology, so my view of God was a combination of what I was taught at the Kingdom Hall and my imagination of what Zeus looked like. To me, they were the same.
Then, as I got older, I used to believe in the whole "coexist" idea, that there was a God, but He had many different names, all the many religions were right. Picture a wagon wheel with the hub being God, the spokes being all the different religions. In my opinion at that time, all roads led to God if you believed. I really didn't know that I was on the path to Hell until I was about 29 yrs. old.
I don't remember how the conversation was started, but after dating for about 6 months, Dave told me that he was a Sunday school teacher. It wasn't that he was hiding it; it just never came up in conversation. I didn't even own a Bible, and that wasn't ever a subject that was talked about. It was December 2007, and I had just come home from the hospital after having surgery #1. I started asking questions about God and Dave was answering them. He moved my couch over so that I could look at the computer while he looked up bible verses and explained things to me. We both have talked about how we don't even remember most of what we talked about, how he knew exactly where to find the answers to all my question, but we talked for hours.
At that point in my life, my best friend was wiccan and was dating a guy within her beliefs and they were telling my about different rituals, tarot cards, worshiping gods and goddesses, and basically anything you could think of that would be against God. Without me even knowing what was happening, it was like a spiritual war was going on in my living room any given day. She was doing everything she could to turn me against Dave, focusing on little things and blowing them out of proportion so that I would see how bad he was for me and my kids and how I needed to kick him to the curb because he wasn't good enough for me. Whenever she would come over when Dave was visiting, you could literally feel the tension in the air, it was so bad at times that I felt like I couldn't breathe, or think straight, or even focus on anything. Now I understand what was happening-but at the time I was so confused.
Dave took me to a Christian store and bought me a bible and I went to church with him at this little country church with a handful of people. I instantly felt like I was part of something wonderful when I walked in the door. I still didn't understand a lot, but I knew that place was something special.
The next day I was back in the hospital ready to have unexpected surgery #2 and it had barely been a week since the last one. Before Dave left that night to go home, he said a prayer with me, which was something that I had never had done for me before. After he left, I was scared, surgery was to be first thing in the morning, and I felt this sense of urgency that something was missing. A restless feeling, it was an awful feeling-and it sounds crazy, but around the edges of that awful feeling was a feeling of something light and wonderful. I thought a lot about what we had talked about over the last week, read some of the verses we had highlighted in my new bible, and around 3 in the morning, I knew what I had to do. And once I accepted Jesus, I wasn't scared anymore, I could feel that light and wonderful feeling all around me, holding me secure and carrying me through.
I made it through the surgery with some trouble, but after a day or so, I felt like a new person. I was up walking, had no pain, and couldn’t wait to wake up every day and read something new in my bible. Then, another setback landed me back in the OR for surgery #3. It was hard to not get discouraged, but Dave helped me through. Every day after work, he would be up there to see me in my hospital room, ready to read to me when the medicines made my vision too blurry. This wonderful man, who was so scared of hospitals and sickness, was comfortable sitting in a chair by my bed with his sock feet resting on the bed, just reading me verses and answering any question that I had.
After a week being held hostage in a hospital room, I finally got to go home with some strict instructions of what not to do. It would have been easier to make a list of what I COULD do. My friendship with my wiccan friend was strained, the few visits that happened after the surgery were very uncomfortable and thankfully just stopped.
Fast forward about a year or so, and that little country church became my family’s home church. I had tried taking the kids to a church close to our house-and it was a wonderful church. Great kids programs, a lot of their friends went there, but I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I found myself dreading getting up on the mornings I couldn’t go to Bethel, but got them to church anyway ‘for them.’ So we all started going to Bethel. The kids were bored at first, but quickly found their way. They now help in the nursery during services, or children’s church, my son helps in the 2yr old and under class for our youth program. They had no trouble feeling like the belonged at Bethel, and can't wait to go to church every Sunday and Wednesday. Both of them were saved and baptized this year. And now I know that the children God gave me will always be with me. There will be a day when we won't be together here on Earth, but I know that we will be together eternally because of His love.
It’s interesting how timing works. We didn’t know that day in the summer of 07 that a motorcycle ride would change our lives so much. God’s plan is always a perfect plan, and always happens on time. Circumstances don’t always make sense, and may not seem to be a good thing at the time, but they happen for a reason.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

quiet example

He was born in a barn and raised on a tractor. It wasn't an easy life for the boy called PJohn, but when asked, he didn't complain. He grew up to be one of 10 kids, two of them died as children, but he always spoke of them with a softness that didn't match his gruff exterior. At the age of 3, he lost his father, and by the time he was 12 years old, he was a middle school dropout. Not because he was a victim of the system, or because he was a "bad boy", but simply because his brothers and sisters needed to be provided for. At an age where most children now are learning cheat codes for a video game, or thinking the world is unfair because they don't have the newest technology toy, PJohn was working so his family wouldn't go hungry.
Fast forward a few years, PJohn found himself in Germany as a member of the United States Army. At the ripe old age of 17 years old, he was "eager for duty." He was always looking out for everyone else first. During his time in the Army, he did and saw things that he never discussed with his children. He left here a kid who thought he was a man, and returned as a man who wished for his childhood back to erase the memories. Never one to enjoy a pity party, he soldiered on, too stubborn to let an unchangeable past affect his present and future. When asked if he was angry or bitter, he'd smile and say "Why? Why be bitter or angry over things you can't change? Live life in a way that when you go to bed at night, you aren't ashamed to look at yourself in the mirror." Hard work and humility, all wrapped up in a strong, quiet man. Calloused hands and no nonsense attitude, but always ready to crack a joke and quick to smile. Some would say he was hard to get to know, but truth be told, he never met a stranger. He worked hard to provide, but was always ready to give the shirt off his back to anyone who was in need. He wasn't perfect, but he did strive to be. He was always a man of few words, when he spoke-there was wisdom. But when he was quiet, the example he set spoke volumes.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Songs that I love

I've been inspired by Jessi's blog Notes from a Scattered Mind: Five Things on Friday - Terrible Music Edition">to make a list of songs that I can't help but crank up the radio and screech along to until my voice is hoarse. I'm not sure if I can keep it at just 5 songs since music has always been a big part of who I am, they are, in no certain order...

This song always stirs up emotions. I remember hearing it on the way to a funeral visitation for a friend taken way too early. Summer of 1994, 16 yrs old and thought we were invincible and had our whole lives ahead of us. Nick, you are always loved and never forgotten.

Song # 2

One of my all time favorite movies introduced me to this song. Not sure if it was my teenage love of Christian Slater or the compelling plot line of Pump Up the Volume, but I have always wanted to be a radio DJ. :)

Song #3

I can relate to so many aspects of this song....and...

Song #4

Song #5

No words to describe this choice. Has to be an all time favorite for me!

Song #6 (knew I couldn't just limit it to five songs!)

a list of my songs isn't complete unless Bob is on it :)

Song #7

must have this on the ipod at all times

Song #8

this version of the song was a life saver during many rough times

Song # 9

Here are some others that I just have to mention :)

This is the last one I'll put on here, even though I could go on and on with this. This song is very hard to describe. There have been many rough patches in my life, and this song has helped pull me out. Those words seem too flat to really describe what this song means to me-but it's the best I can do.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


today i learned about anger. i have always lived life as a somewhat invisible person. i don't like to be the center of attention. true story, i was in a room and my mom walked through and asked where i was...i was on the couch looking at her. my sister demanded attention. i don't think she did on's just how she was. my mom looked at me a few months ago and said "after having your sister, i just didn't have the energy for you" it wasn't an apology, it wasn't said in a sorrowful was just the facts. was i hurt? yes. was i sad? yes. was i angry? i thought i was...until today. i have always considered myself to be an angry person. i sat down with my preacher today, upset and confused, because i know that i should be slow to anger, yet i live an angry life. he laughed at he said that i am very controlled if i'm so angry. so we talked a little about a situation at work that recently happened. (long story short-i had a great idea, someone was trying to take credit for the idea. managers are involved on my behalf because i don't care if my name is on it, but they do.) so he told me that we needed to look at the definition of anger. i learned that i'm not an angry's ok to stand up for yourself. sometimes it's important to MAKE yourself seen instead of just being content to hide behind others. so here's hoping that i can learn to stand up for myself. not worry about what other people might think of me if i look at them and say "No" i'm going to learn to the take the compliments and move on instead of trying to "aw shucks, it's no big deal" my way through life. i have been placed in a wonderful job with great opportunities, and i'm there for a reason-if i keep doing things to change protocols with the patient's best interest in mind, then it's all good. i learned today that i AM slow to anger, i cautiously move forward in a reasonable manner...that doesn't equal angry. it's not such a fine line after all...who knew?

Friday, December 11, 2009

personality quiz

Results of Your Type A Personality Test

Personality Type
Your score = 32

What does your score mean?

You seem to be in the middle between the Type A and Type B personality. In this case, the middle ground is good. Your attitude to life is more of the "smell the roses" kind and you know how and when to relax. Nonetheless, you realize that picking up a challenge and competing a little bit for your place in the sun can add some spice to your life. The equilibrium is important, so don't let your hostile, aggressive, and competitive alter ego take over too often. Generally, you are easy to be around, and people tend to feel relaxed and comfortable in your presence. Yours is a very healthy attitude towards life.

here's the link if you want to try it...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I can understand a lot of things in life...i deal with death at work almost every day. what i can't understand is what could make a 12yr old decide to take their own life. one of todd's friends died yesterday. the rumor is that he was found in his room after he hung himself. what could possibly make a 12 yr old child decide that was the only answer?