Forgotten

When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me. Psalm 27:10

Forgotten

Forgetfulness hurts. We’ve all been forgotten and know the pain of expecting someone to remember — to show up, call, write, ask, make time — and coming up empty and alone.

One of the common things seniors deal with is forgetfulness.  I have always been a forgetful person to some degree.  I think my forgetfulness comes from being too busy.  I forget where I leave my phone, put my keys and sometimes, you will be shocked, where I put my last cup of coffee.  Oddly though, I am great at remembering conversations and details of things I write.  I remember the location in my notebooks of where I write things.  I can give you details of where in a notebook something was written, how far in the notebook it is, whether it is on the right or left page, top, middle or bottom of the page. The one thing that I try not to forget is people, especially those I love and call a friend or family.

Everyone reading this has probably felt forgotten at one time or another.  Maybe you were not invited to a special event, you were not included in something special or not informed of something that you wish you had known about.  I think it hurts us most when it is a family member or close friend whom you feel has left you out.

Our schedules are so busy that often these things happen, not out of spite or hatefulness but out of busyness.  I do believe that they dynamics of family has changed over the years.  Checking in on my mom, even dropping by each day was a daily event for me.  No matter how far away I lived, I called my parents every day just to check in, stay up on their lives and I never missed a holiday family get together. Now before you make excuses that this is because I am woman, my brothers did the same thing.  I think this still represents some families today, but even in my own family, I have seen a shift of how families interact with each other.

Maybe your family doesn’t “hang” with you like you wish they would.  Maybe you feel alone.  Maybe you feel like no one remembers you and you feel like you don’t matter.  God never forgets His children.  He doesn’t need a memory on Facebook to remind Him of you.  He doesn’t need to scan his box of old photos to remember you.  He doesn’t need to keep a picture of you hanging on the wall to remember you. He NEVER forget His children and that means you.

Though you may feel forgotten today, your Father will never forget you nor forsake you.  You can rest in the Lord today knowing that not only does He remember you but he loves you.

Don’t Be Spiderman Be You

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The Book of Galatians is written by the Apostle Paul to the Galatian churches. In chapter one and chapter 2:1-10 Paul is telling everyone who he is, why he has authority to speak to them, how he was chosen by Christ and how the other apostles had accepted him.

Chapter 2 verses 11-21 Paul confronts Peter about what he was doing wrong. Peter was telling the Gentile Christians that they had to behave and follow the customs of the Jews Christians in order to be saved. Paul said that was not biblical and he told Peter that he was a hypocrite. When Peter was alone with uncircumcised christians, the Gentiles, he would eat with them but when other Jewish Christians were around he would not eat with them. Jewish law stated that Jews were not to eat with those who were not circumcised. Paul ask Peter “Since you are a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?”

This scripture made me think of Spider-Man a fictional superhero appearing in the early 1960’s American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a high school student behind Spider-Man’s secret identity. Peter was self-obsessed with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness as Peter Parker, while Spider-Man was the exact opposite.

Peter became Spider-Man as a result of a bite from a radioactive spider that triggered mutations in Peter Parker’s body, granting him superpowers. In the original Lee-Ditko stories, Spider-Man had the ability to cling to walls, superhuman strength, a sixth sense (“spider-sense”) that alerted him to danger, perfect balance and equilibrium, as well as superhuman speed and agility. The character was originally conceived by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko as intellectually gifted, but later writers have depicted his intellect at genius level. Academically brilliant, Parker has expertise in the fields of applied science, chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, mathematics and mechanics. With his talents, he sews his own costume to conceal his identity, and he constructed many devices that complemented his powers, most notably mechanical web-shooters to help navigate and trap his enemies along with a spider-signal as an flashlight and a warning beacon to criminals.

Once we are saved, we have supernatural powers, just like Peter, AKA Spider-Man but even bigger and better powers. Our “spider-sense” is the Holy Spirit. In Mark chapter 9 the Apostles tell Jesus about a man they saw healing someone. The disciples were upset and complained to Jesus because this man was not a disciple. Jesus tells them to stop complaining because you don’t have to be in the inner circle to perform miracles, you just have to perform the miracle in Jesus name.

Many Christians are living a Peter Parker life self-obsessed with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness when the Bible says we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). To put it in Spider-Man lingo, we have been bitten by the Holy Ghost Spider. With that bite came the power to do things in Christ name and to perform the greatest miracle, the miracle of leading others to salvation with a promise of eternity in heaven.

In the Spider-Man movie Peter does not want everyone to know who he was so he created a mask and added tools to expand his abilities, i.e. the web. Peter Parker wanted to live two lives just like Peter in todays scripture. Peter Parker protected his identity with his mask, and Peter in the scripture hid is identity by changing who he was based on who he was with.

God created you to be you. He tells us in the scripture how we should dress, act, talk, raise our children, treat our family, treat others, fellowship with other believers, obey our pastors and elders and so much more. He didn’t create us to look alike, act alike, talk alike or even love alike. For example He tells us to love our neighbors, but he doesn’t give us specifics of what love looks like in action. I may love my neighbor by cooking or grocery shopping for them. You may love your neighbor by house setting their pet while they are on vacation. But the instruction to love our neighbor is the same instruction for both of us.

I challenge you today to take off the mask you may be wearing as a Christian and use the power that is within you. Maybe you are not wearing a mask but you are not living a christian life all the time. As a Christian you are not self-obsessed with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness because with Christ you can do all things and you are a new creature. Old habits are hard to break but you can break them with Christ help. You can do all things with Christ who give you strength. So ask Him to help you be that new person He says you can be. Stop acting like you are not saved when you are with those who are not saved. As a matter of fact let your light shine.

Like Peter Parker, Christians must learn that “with great power there must also come great responsibility.” Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Commit to be YOU starting today!! I believe in you! You an do it!!

Two Are Better Than One

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Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

 

I grew up in a generation where most of my neighbors were family and so were my best friends.  The one thing about family, in my generation, was that family was forever.  In-laws were called family not in-laws and Sunday dinner at Grandma’s and family reunions took place regularly.  Adults were called Aunt’s and Uncles and everyone was called granny, regardless of how old or young they were.  The older women gave their opinion to their grown daughters and daughter-n-laws on raising children, marriage, cooking and cleaning and no one got mad or at least didn’t show it.

In my youth, I saw very little fighting between the adults and when it did happen, they were right back at Granny’s house the next Sunday for dinner with the rest of the family.  All was forgiven and everyone was back to normal.  Why?  Because family was important. Cousins were our best friends, outside of school, because they were who we saw the most and played with all the time.  The younger Aunts and Uncles were more like our older cooler friends who steered us in the right direction than the adults they represented.

Today, so many people do not have the luxury of growing up with family near by.  Granny’s are called a number of different things and Aunts, Uncles and even mom and dads are called by their first name.  Cousins aren’t best friends because they rarely see each other due to distance and busy schedules AND there is no Sunday dinner at Granny’s house for most families.

I work at a local pregnancy center where I am blessed to meet so many couples, both young and old.  Many who come through the center are in a crisis, but no all.  When we ask if they attend church or know the Lord, the amount who say no is staggering.  There are a variety of reasons given for not attending church, from un-belief  to I used to believe/go to church, but don’t anymore.

We always find a way to share the gospel with those who will give us permission to do so.  Many of our patients are alone in our town.  Transplants.  No Granny’s.  No Aunt’s.  No Cousins. And for some, No friends.  This scripture comes to my mind so often.

You see life is hard.  Would you agree?  We all have ups and we all have downs.  The Bible says we will have trouble in this world, John 16:33. God is always with us so we are really never alone, but God knew from the beginning that man needed another human with him.  Genesis 2:18 ESV Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” It is not any different today.  We all need someone.

Now listen, my lady friends.  I know that some of you have been burned by other women so you don’t trust them.  I know that some of you don’t have those cousins, aunts, moms or granny’s nearby to be there to advise you in troubled times.  So as hard as it may be, I encourage you to find a Christian woman friend that you can lean on.  I say Christian friend because you and she and the Lord make three.

Friends may not stick around forever like our family, however a true friend for any amount of time is a blessing from God. Don’t look at it as you can’t trust women.  Look at it as God has taken your friendship with that person to it’s height and He is moving you on to a new level of friendship with someone new.  I am speaking from experience as I have been hurt, stabbed in the back, turned on, spit on, lied about and gossiped on by some of those who were once my best friends.  My hurt, and maybe yours too, was a double whammy because my best friends were Christians.  Each time I was in disbelief that God allowed it to happened.  In my past, I have sworn to never have best friends again in order avoid the complications that comes with them.

BUT, I am here to say that you do not need to be alone, nor do I.  If you have friends, hurt is going to be inevitable but God will always be there to help you get through the hurt and restore your faith in friendship.  A local church is a great place to find friends and support.  In those churches you will find imperfect people who are tying to be the best Christians they can be.  They are not perfect but they love the perfect one, Jesus Christ.  If you don’t have a local church come visit mine, The Body Church, in Rock Hill, SC.  Ask other people what church they attend.  Visit every Sunday until you find one that feels like a family.  Church is more than a check off box.  If you find a good one, church is about Christ and family, church family.

My prayer for you today is that you find that best friend that you can stick to closer than a brother and you that you both invite Christ to be your best friend too.  I will end with this quote from Joyce Meyers,

Don’t waste your time being upset about something you can’t change. Begin again and do it better this time.