Monday, August 18, 2014

Whatever Is Negative, Whatever Is Positive

Do you know what one of the most annoying words in the English language is? WHATEVER! Can you hear it in your head right now? Maybe used in frustration - "WHAT-EVER!!!"- emphasis on both syllables.Or maybe you're picturing a teen rolling their eyes & grumbling "what-EV-rrr." And it can also be a very hurtful word when words, ideas, etc., are being dismissed & so is the person.

There's also the older version of "whatever". Do you remember "Whatever floats your boat". Used over & over, this too can become very annoying. But generally, it was not used in a stern, negative far as i can remember. 
Or, if you are a country music fan, you might remember The Statler Brothers & their humorous love song.:

Statler Brothers

I'll give you
Whatever bangs your shutter,
Whatever melts your butter,
Whatever, whatever pops your corn,
Or blows your horn.
Whatever peels your banana,
Whatever plays your piano,
Whatever, whatever mows your lawn.
Let's go on.

Whatever it takes to make it better for you,
Whatever it takes to make you happy, I'll do.

Whatever lights your candle,
Whatever turns your handle,
Whatever, whatever fries your chicken.
Let's do a little pickin'.


Whatever cocks your pistol,
Whatever toots your whistle,
Whatever, whatever sails your boat,
Or gets your goat.

Whatever plows your garden,
Whatever begs your pardon,
Whatever, whatever bakes your bread.
Let's go ahead.

Whatever you want, you can always count on me.
Whatever you need, you know I will always be.

Whatever slays your dragon,
Whatever paints your wagon,
Whatever it takes to show your stuff,
That's enough

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me (Paul), or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Probably, Paul would not agree that "whatever" was one of the most annoying words. Instead, he wrote that "whatever" was a word that summed up all the good things in life. And he instructed to use the word in considering all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Then he finished with the instruction to think about these wonderful qualities & put them into practice. In return, you will receive God's peace.

How do you use the word "whatever"?  I admit that i have used this word in an annoying way - a negative way. But have you ever thought that "whatever" can present us with a spiritual opportunity? We can use "whatever" as a dismissing - i'm going to ignore you, your ideas, you - etc. Instead, how about turning "whatever" to the positive side by looking for the positive side of people & circumstances. The choice is up to each one of us. 

One way to apply the positive side, is to make a list of things that are excellent & praiseworthy gifts from God... books, music, family, friends, etc. Then reflect on how these things enrich your life. Then think about your annoyances - or "whatevers" in your life. Ask God to help you to replace the annoyances with the thoughts of  "whatever" is lovely.

I think last night - or should i say early this morning, God was preparing me for this post today. I usually wake up when my pain pill wears off & that happened about 1:15 or so this morning. I got up, took another pill, went to the bathroom & came back to my recliner/bed. And, as usual, wasn't sure if i would be able to go back to sleep. When i can't get back to sleep in about an hour, i usually think "whatever" & get up. But last night, in my mind, i was singing, "Heaven came down & glory filled my soul. When at the cross, my savior made me whole.....". I don't remember exactly where in the song that i fell back to sleep. I just know that a negative "whatever" was turned into a positive "whatever".

(Today's post is dedicated to my friend Chris. She knows why.)

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Want What We Want When We Want It.....BUT....

As humans, we do tend to want what we want, when we want it. It's true! We sometimes grow impatient. So, we try to get it by ourselves, rather than wait on help, & things turn out bad. That has happened to me more times that i can remember.

Many of us are asking God for help, in many ways. We do our best to wait patiently for His perfect timing. But in the back of our mind, we sometimes think, maybe i should just go for it. Do you realize that when you don't wait for God's answer, you are doubting  Him? Not trusting Him? We really CAN trust that God is working on our behalf & has our best interest in mind.  Is there something that you feel, that if you could have  it in you life right now, your life would be so much Better? (If only____.)

There are times with prayers that God seems to answer "no"....or at the very least "not now". For me, right now, i'm waiting on having my second hip replacement surgery. When i first saw my orthopedist, i had to wait 6 weeks for my surgery. So, when i go back in to have my stitches out, two weeks after surgery, i knew i wanted to get the second one done. Imagined how shocked & yes, frustrated, i was when i found out that i would have to wait ELEVEN weeks this time, for surgery. But God opened my eyes & made me see that by waiting so long, if i keep up my exercises, my right leg (with the old hip) will be stronger to begin with. Which in turn, will make for a quicker & easier recovery.

"Then He touched their eye & said, 'According to your faith will it be done to you.' "
Matthew 9:29 (NIV)

You need to believe that God will answer your prayer. Are you willing to surrender you will for God's will? That means that you give up your own ideas of how things should be. You need to have faith & trust God & His will. Also, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in how to pray. If you lack faith, then ask God to help your unbelief. In Mark 9:23-24, the father said, "Lord I believe; help my unbelief!" Jesus DID answer this prayer. He just needed to ask.

"Every good & perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17 (NIV)

I have seen God's gifts in my life. And i have learned to wait - as patiently as possible - on His perfect timing. I've learned to keep my heart & mind open, for His "no's" & "not yet's". And believe me, life is a whole lot better since i've learned this. I don't worry, because i know that God will take care of it. I'm not stressed , because i know that God will take care of it. And i always ask for HIS will to be done in ALL things. Because i know that HIS way is ALWAYS THE BEST WAY. You can have this too! Ask Jesus to help you with this. As in the preceding paragraph, you just need to ask.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Could You Have Done More?

This morning, i received an email from a long-time friend & learned that her mom is in the final stages of Alzheimer's. This, of course, saddened me. I know that her mom hadn't been well for quite some time & my friend has been a very courageous & long-term caregiver for her mom. This brought back memories of myself. I think most of us, when we look back at a situations like this, we tend to remember that we did do for these loved ones, but we could have done more.  And i am no exception to that. I could have done more. But i didn't & now, that's water, long under the bridge. I did what i thought i could do & all i did was done in love.

"Three things will last forever - faith, hop, & love -- and the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

Whether it's a parent, a family member, a special person that is loved, we can all do better.  As my mobility remains not so mobile, i may not be able to spend much time with certain loved ones, but i can do the next best thing. I can pick up the phone & call them. I can write a note/letter using a real pen & paper....or send an email. =)  

"Love each other in the same way I have loved your"
John 15:12b (NLT)

We are commanded to love as we have been loved. I do understand how hectic life can get  & i understand how time can get away from us. But i must strongly remind you that life is short. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Is there someone you need to spend more time with?

"The most important thing that should totally absorb our lives down here is the practice of REAL love. Why? Because love lasts. Love will be the only thing that matter in eternity."
Jill Brisco, author of Love That Lasts

Reading this quote, i hope that you all realize that this includes every one in your life. From your children, to your spouse, parents, grandparents, other family members & friends. Schedule this time into your life, if you have to.....write it in you planner. Here's a few suggestions to get you started:
* Write a little note & leave it in an unexpected place for someone to find
* Give time, make dates, with no strings attached - lunch, movie, or just sit & chat away from any distractions.
* Touch is a great way of showing love too, especially if someone special is older & has lost their spouse. Hold their hands, give them a REAL hug. This is good for everyone!
* Affirm & always be encouraging & complimentary. Tell them at least one positive thing that you believe about them.

I'm not really sure where God is taking me with this post today. Usually, i have a pretty good ending flowing about now. =) I just know that this is what He has laid on my heart. If you've read my posts before, you probably already know that before i start writing i ask God to give me HIS message & HIS words, that the post will touch someone's heart. And at this point, i pray that my list of suggestions to get you started will open your mind & inspire you to make time for those you love.