Friday, January 31, 2014

I Am Forever

Genesis 16:13-14 - So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, "You are a God of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen him who looks after me." Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi (the well of the Living One who sees me); it lies between Kadesh and Bered. 

Romans 8:31 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

II Corinthians 4:18 - as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 

Dear God, I am worried. What will happen with the presbytery? Will they truly do anything as they should or will Tom be allowed to just get away with inflicting intentional hurt and becoming an abuser and a bully by not only allowing it to happen even after he acknowledged that it was wrong and then by also doing it himself? Also, with my mom. She hasn't really eaten in days because she complains about a metallic taste in her mouth, plus some situation that happened last week. And I didn't mean to lecture her about honesty, but that is something that everyone needs to learn. Tom lied to my mom and lied to others about me. Because he chose to believe lies rather than to seek the truth. And with regard to one of those lies, he was there when things happened. I did not ask her to go to the bathroom with me. I was already on my way to the bathroom when she ran into me and said she was going to the bathroom as well. I did not ask to go to her cubicle. I was willing to just chill in the bathroom until I could regain my composure. But she offered and so I went with her. I did not ask her to walk to the field with me to scream. She offered to take me there for that. I would never have even been able to walk to it on my own accord anyway because I would still get lost around that place! But Tom claimed I asked her to go with me and asked her to do all of that with me which is not true at all. He also claimed I dragged that man in which I didn't do. That man approached my car after I already started it and then he blocked me from being able to get back in my car. He offered to help. I didn't ask him to do so though. Tom lied and his lies have cost me everything. And until he shows signs of repentance, I truly cannot forgive him at all. And why should I? Because God, You don't forgive people who don't evidence repentance either. And because You also said if he was forgiven then he should be forgiving, but Tom acted not with willingness to forgive, but with hate. Tom doesn't fit the marks of a true Christian as outlined in scripture and Tom has violated scripture. Tom no longer meets the qualifications to be a pastor. Point blank. But God, I had to get this off my chest. You said You want me to trust You and not be worried, so I had to get this out of my system today. I'm trying to trust You. It so far I really don't see a lot of reasons to do so. Not after what Tom did to me. Not after he unnecessarily hurt me and crushed my heart and spirit. Not after the way he lied to me, to my mom, to my friends, to my advocate, and to the therapist about me causing me to lose therapy. Not after he lied to the person who was willing to try mediation so it wouldn't go to a lawsuit. All he has to do is show repentance by  restoring things on Facebook. And with that one action, the complaint against him would be fully and wholly withdrawn. Just like that. No questions asked. That's grace. That's real grace. That's the grace that Tom claims to believe yet failed to evidence. Only right now, he has to earn it by evidencing repentance with me. God, thank You for listening. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Our God by Chris Tomlin (YouTube)

Water you turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind
There's no one like You, none like You!
Into the darkness You shine, out of the ashes we rise
There's no one like You, none like You!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God!

Into the darkness You shine, out of the ashes we rise
There's no one like You, none like You!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if God is with us, then what could stand against?
What could stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is for us, then what could stand against?
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is for us, then what could stand against?
Then what could stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God!

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other.
Our God is Healerr, awesome in power
Our God, our God!

A New Way of Thinking

Psalm 105:4 - Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Romans 12:2 - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (ICB) - Do not be shaped by this world. Instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what. God wants for you. And you will be able to know what is good and pleasing to God and what is perfect.

Dear God, Help me learn to shift my thoughts from the problems and challenges I face to You. I want to trust You. I know I can see and hear evidence of You. But sometimes worry does cloud that. Thank You for thinking of me though. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Every Step

Psalm 18:29 - For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Psalm 91:11-12 - For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

II Corinthians 5:7 - for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Dear God, Help me trust that You will indeed right beside me on this journey. Wherever it may lead. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Best Security System Ever

Genesis 28:15 - Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

Psalm 28:7 - The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

Psalm 28:7 (ICB) - The Lord is my strength and my shield. I trust him, and he helps me.

Psalm 56:3-4 - When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Matthew 6:34 - "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Dear God, Thank You for being my shield. And for always looking out for me. I wish that the conflict with Tom would get resolved. And I am going to trust You that it will even if it is through the presbytery pulling together a meeting. I know what he did was wrong. And I know he should have to face the consequences. And he likely will with the presbytery. I would prefer a restoration because Your word says we are to aim for restoration with each other. But I don't know if it is possible since he lied and hurt me as a result of the lies and refused to try to work it out. He hardened his heart and he did it because I have autism. And that is not fair nor appropriate. God, I told my mom that I should get paid for some of the ideas I come up with it. We have been iced in for days, and today she had to go to work with one of the emergency kits just in case. She also grounded my car due to there still being a few issues on the roads. But You protected a lot of us and people showed compassion. I am sad though that that compassion during a crisis is not the norms. See, compassion is something that Tom lacked when he chose to allow the abuse and ended up unnecessarily hurting me as well by joining the abusers and the bullies. Compassion was not something I saw when his church learned that I have autism and began to do everything that they could to tear me down even more than I had already been torn down and to exclude me because of it. That was not compassion. That was not grace. Oh, if only people knew how to show the same kind of compassion they showed during the crisis of the last few days ALL the time! How much better would everything be for everyone then? God, please continue to be a shield for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Don't Worship Your Worries

Psalm 112:7 - He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Psalm 112:7 (ICB) - He is safe because he trusts the Lord.

I Corinthians 13:11 - When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Dear God, I have a lot to worry about right now indeed! Unresolved conflict with Tom and how the presbytery will proceed with the complaint issued forth (or if they will since it is one of a very serious matter that reflects character in a negative way). Social security and having to reschedule the new appointment but not being able to do anything until the field office reopens. The library stuff. Getting my CD that I pre-ordered. Getting more almond milk. Mail that hasn't run in a couple of days due to weather. Whether I can get anywhere tomorrow even because even with weather improving road conditions in many places, lots of people got stranded and now cities are either having to start towing cars to clear the roads or people have to get back out to move them themselves. See? Lots of concerns and worries. But Lord, please help me to not end up "worshipping" my worries or making idols out of them. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Capture Every Thought

Genesis 1:26-27 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Psalm 8:5 - Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

Isaiah 26:3 - You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

II Corinthians 10:5 - We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ....

Dear God, Teach me to capture every thought. Especially those that might not bring You glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


My Promise

Psalm 139:1-4 - O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

Matthew 28:20b - And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:20 (ICB) - You can be sure that I am with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world.

Dear God, It's hard to trust Your promise that You will always be with me. Especially when people like Tom promise that they will never not be my friend and will always act with grace and forgiveness, and then don't keep the promises. So God, as I struggle on this nice snowy day to see and hear You, please help me with trusting Your promise. Okay? In Jesus' Name, Amen!

The Right Road

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

John 14:1-4 - "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I will go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going."

Dear God, The road that I was sent spiraling on with the unresolved conflict with Tom that was caused by something he said and did that hurt me and then continued to hurt me as he exacerbated things is not a good road for me. And God, right now, I feel physically ill, though not because of what he did. What he did makes me sad and maybe even angry because it was hateful and injust. So God, please keep me on the road I need to be on in these coming weeks as the time nears that the presbytery will have to determine the next steps that need to be taken in light of things. I am trusting You that they will do something to help everyone even if it also means that some people end up having things change for them. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Step by Step by Rich Mullins (YouTube)

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

That Where I Am, There You... By. Rich Mullins (YouTube)

In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
And I'm going up there now to prepare a place for you
That where I am, there you may also be

If I go prepare a place for you, I will come back again
If I go prepare a place for you, I will come back again
And you know I am the Way, the Truth, the Life, keep my command
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

Remember you did not choose me, no I have chosen you
Remember you did not choose me, no I have chosen you
The world will show you hatred, the Spirit show you truth
That where I am, there you may also be

And I've come down from the Father, it's time for me to go back up
Oh, I've come down from the Father, it's time for me to go back up
One command I leave you: Love as I have loved
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Am a Tree

I am a tree
Mighty and tall
Leaves so green
Branches so strong
The wind blows me
Still I stand proud
The sun shines 
I give you shade
The sun is hot
I give you a cool breeze
The storms blow around
They threaten to uproot me
But still I stand
I am a tree

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Am a Star

I am a star
Glimmering, sparkling
Twinkling in the night
Beautiful, shining ball of gas
I am a star
Alone, I am just a speck in the sky
With others, I make beautiful pictures called constellations
So look up in the sky one night this week
And there you will see me
Shining down upon you
For I am a star

Trust Me Anyway

Psalm 112:4, 7 - Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

John 16:33 - I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Dear God, help me to see Your light even in this darkest of times. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

That Where I Am, There You... by Rich Mullins (YouTube)

In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
And I'm going up there to prepare a place for you
That where I am, there you may also be

If I go prepare a place for you, I will come back again
If I go prepare a place for you, I will come back again
And you know I am the Way, the Truth, the Life, keep my command
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

Remember you did not choose me, no I have chosen you
Remember you did not choose me, no I have chosen you
The world will show you hatred, the Spirit show you truth
That where I am, there you may also be

And I've come down from the Father, it's time for me to go back up
Oh, I've come down from the Father, it's time for me to go back up
One command I leave you: Love as I have loved
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

Sit with Me

Psalm 73:23-24 - Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.

II Corinthians 3:18 - And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

II Corinthians 3:18 (ICB) - Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord's glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory. And it comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Hebrews 13:15 - Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Dear God, If only Tom would have been consistent with me, then how much better things could be. But because he chose to believe untruths rather than the truth that he had already acknowledged several times, and because he chose not to work through the conflict and aim for restoration and seek peace, things escalated. He caused further damage when he violated all of his promises and his compromise. He turned ugly and is not the same Tom. And the Tom he became is not a Tom that should even be in a ministry position. And that breaks my heart. But the strangest thing is that I have been consistent in trying to show him the very same grace he used to show me and I have consistently tried to offer him the opportunity to correct the error of his ways. And really, it isn't too late because there are still two weeks left before the complaint would be made known. God, You know my heart is good in this. Please work in his heart to bring about the conversation that needs to happen. The one conversation that could actually help bring about more peace. What he did was injust, lacked grace, hateful, and arrogantly stupid. Through this, my mom has actually even begun to see You as well. She knows I am hurting yet I have shown far greater courage than is even possible for me to have. Right now, things are just so messed up. Attorneys that lack professionalism and never contact people sending inquiries be they already on a retainer due to contractual obligation or not. Agencies that claim they do things yet just don't have the resources to do the things they claim to do. I mean, really. Professionalism is a key thing to maintain if you want to make a good impression, and making a bad impression gets you called out big time. I am still not able to attend church right now. And that makes me sad. But the damage they did was so wrong and so unnecessary. They claim to believe in grace but they don't even practice it. They claim to believe in church discipline but they don't practice it. Tom claimed it was because of my autism. And if that is the case, then they basically put a big target sign on my back for all the leadership to see that said kick her until she is dead. And Tom, knowing that it was wrong, let it happen! And then he just joined right in. He knew it was wrong. He acknowledged it was wrong. Yet he still let it happen and joined in? God, I know the answer to this, but do You NOT see where Tom was wrong by his very own actions in this? Oh, wait. So that is where the complaint came in. Because Tom knew that what was going on was wrong, acknowledged that it was wrong, yet still he allowed it to happen and then joined in what he already knew and acknowledged to be wrong! And You call that sin. The repentance he needs to show is not so much with You as it is with me. I know You want me to forgive him, and if he would talk to me and restore Facebook, I could easily say I forgive you to him, but until then, I, like You, am hesitant to forgive him. I know You forgive us. WHEN WE ASK. And we repent. I am just evidencing more of You based on how You act according to the Bible. The funny thing is, the more I act like You, the more radical some people see me as being. Oh well. Jesus was seen as radical in His time, too. In response to something. I had seen about something Miley Cyrus (that girl has gone beyond Britney Spears' level of crazy) posted, but she got criticized for it big time, on none other than a page claiming to be Christian but in reality is almost as divisive as Fox News (which has no business being called news because they are too biased (hopefully they are not members of the SPJ or I would need to ask the SPJ to revoke their memberships for ethical violations)), but with the exception of one point, I agreed with her post. Jesus actually did define marriage in one of the passages where He taught about divorce. But Jesus never spoke about abortion or birth control. One reason I see is that even though He spoke about the least of these in Matthew 25, who are being even more oppressed by the republicans now than ever, is because Jesus didn't consider it possible to actually oppress the born. You can oppress the living, but you cannot truly oppress the unborn. And undoubtedly, the women who choose abortion probably felt oppressed before they made the decision (wouldn't you if you were a poor woman on SNAP because your husband was killed in war, you got pregnant by rape, but your lawmakers placed the burden of proof on you to prove it was rape or threatened to take away your SNAP benefits like they do in Pennsylvania and are trying to do everywhere now?). So the woman is already being oppressed before she got pregnant. She was oppressed because she got raped. She chooses abortion because of it. And she gets oppressed even more being called a murderer over a decision made due to stupid lawmakers who claim to be Christian? This is playing out exactly the way things were happening back when Jesus talked about the least of these to start with! As to birth control, it didn't exist as we know it back then. But anyone who says that it is unbiblical is being legalistic. Birth control is used in women like me who have life threatening anemia in order to prevent bleeding out. Pretty much, I am no longer allowed to bleed at all because of the severity of things. Major freak out, God. I lost one of the pills. Probably rolled under the refrigerator that needs replacing soon. But the ironic thing is the same people that are so against abortion are also against the Affordable Care Act (I'm not based on biblical study I did into it) which can help women who pay for insurance obtain birth control at no cost if it meets certain specifications which can actually do more to reduce unwanted pregnancies which then reduces abortion rates, against SNAP and welfare (by the way, they need to stop clumping disability, social security, and veteran's benefits (they earned those benefits) into welfare). So they are trying to have things both ways. They lost that argument though when the FDA made Plan B an over the counter drug which means insurance doesn't pay for it anymore. The majority of people who are saying they are against the ACA are the ones who managed to get assistance to pay for their insurance. Here I am, in greater need of assistance and being harassed by the marketplace because my governor chose to put politics over people in Alabama. I'm supposed to qualify for Medicaid because I have disabilities that I am fighting with social security about (all of which are in the covered disabilities guide by the way, God, so You see the problem, right - neither the churches nor the government seem to actually want to help the least of these?). Ugh! God, seriously. I am all over the map this morning because I have so much pent up emotion! Tom was and is wrong. His church was and is wrong. The republicans are wrong. And Fox News and The Christian Post are wrong. Anything that goes against Your word at any point is wrong. Tom violated Your word when he allowed what he acknowledged to be wrong to happen and then joined in. His church violated Your word when they chose to not show the grace they claim to believe in and chose not to exercise proper church discipline with me. The republicans are wrong because they keep hurting the people who are lower income while they claim to be Christians. Fox News is wrong because they are biased. The Christian Post is wrong because they post divisive things and every time they post about the president, they do it in an effort to stir up division. And the people on that page violate Your word with every attack they make on him. Romans 13 says we are to respect every God-given authority under heaven and to pray for them. Where was all this name calling when Bush was president? But a black man is now president, something I never thought possible in my life, and suddenly, it's like the Civil Rights era all over again. They will probably do the same when a woman gets into office, too. Oh, God, so many people make me ashamed to be a Christian at times. They claim to be Christians while yet hating on everyone who is the least of these. Today, I actually thank You for giving me autism because one of the best parts is my honesty and my integrity and my genuineness. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

One World by TobyMac (YouTube)

One time
One world
Two times
One love
Three times
Rewind
'Cause I'm a dedicate this song to everyone of God's children

Come as you are
Come just like you be
It's the bumps and curves of our history
But no blocks in the road that we can't traverse
And no wounds from the past that can't be nursed

All,hate gonna dissipate from our fate
No check, together we got a checkmate
All hate gonna dissipate and fade away
To make room for a brand new day

We got one world 'til it's time to fly
We got so it's one love 'til we say good-bye
We got one world it's enough to share
'Til we're called home and we're called up in the air we got

One world
I'll look out for you, you look out for me
One world
Together we can be perfect harmony
One world
I'll look out for you, you look out for me
One world
And I'm a dedicate this song to everyone of God's children

One world oughta be more than enough
And if it's not, is God looking in pure disgust?
Wondering what the dilly with the silly I see?
When I made each of these in the image of me 
Everyday is a chance for a new stance 
Like every song is a chance for a new dance
And everyone of is was made to reflect the light
And glorify the most high so bright

We got one world 'til it's time to fly
So it's one love 'til we say good-bye
We got one world it's enough to share
'Til the King calls us home and we're caught up in the air we got

One world
I'll look out for you, you look out for me
One world
Together we can be perfect harmony
One world
I'll look out for you, you look out for me
One world
And I'm a dedicate this song to everyone of God's children

You can come as you are
Love is yours
Love is ours
I am a witness
Sweet forgiveness
You will shine like a star
Burning bright where you are in our one world, one world
Like a star, like a star, like a star

One world
Like a star, baby
One world
And I'm gonna dedicate this song, dedicate this song

Let's come together and love
Let's come together and love
Let's come together and love
Let's come together and love, come together 

The Greatest of Treasures

Matthew 13:44-46 - The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

John 16:33 - I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.

James 1:2 - Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds....

Dear God, please allow me peace even in the midst of the unresolved conflict with Tom. It is up to You to convict him of his wrongdoing in it. Bring us into a conversation whether it be on our own or with the presbytery. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Shine!

Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

II Corinthians 4:6-7 - For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

II Corinthians 12:9 - But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ May rest upon me.

I Peter 3:3-4 - Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing--but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Dear God, I want to experience more of Your love such that it shines through me even as I am battling all the negatives things that have happened to me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Hidden Blessings

Psalm 52:8 - But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Dear God, It is so hard to trust You right now. No answers to anything, not with Tom, not with the court stuff, nothing. I am afraid. I am downcast. I am sad and brokenhearted. Tom should have talked with me, as in actually had a conversation with me before he acted. He should have acted with grace. But he acted with hate. And there was no justice nor mercy nor grace in what he did. And that makes me sad. I sent the letter I wrote that my mom wants to send to a paper if she feels the need and time for it to the presbytery to go on the record. In it, I was very honest and detailed about my experience with the bullying and the abuse I went through because of the leadership at Tom's church. He knew about some of it but failed to stop it. And instead, he became a bully, too, because he knew what they did was wrong, but instead of helping, he let it escalate and he did nothing while I all but got beaten up by them. Even his own actions were wrong and hurt more. Because he swore he was a friend. He lied to others about what happened. And I got hurt by them, too. The Tom that hurt me is not the same Tom at all. God, because of Tom, I am afraid to trust You. How can I when I am afraid that You're going to end up being just like him? Oh, how I long to believe that You are definitely better! Oh, how I want to trust You! Help me, God. And I will ask again in accordance with scripture, please bring about a conversation with Tom. Even if at this point we might not be able to have restoration, we can at least seek peace. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sometimes By Step by Rich Mullins (YouTube)

Sometimes the night was beautiful
Sometimes the sky was so far away
Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close
You could touch it but your heart would break
Sometimes the morning came too soon
Sometimes the day could be so hot
There was so much work left to do
But so much You'd already done

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit for me
He was a stranger in this land
And I am that, no less than he
And on this road to righteousness 
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond Your reach

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

And I will follow You all of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow Younall of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
(Sometimes the night was beautiful)
And I will follow You all of my days
(Sometimes the night...)
(Sometimes the night was beautiful)
And I will follow You all of my days
(Was beautiful)
(Sometimes the night was beautiful)
And I will follow You all of my days
(So beautiful)
And I will follow You all of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
(Oh God, You are my God)
And I will follow a you all of my days
(Oh God, You are my God)
And I will follow You all of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
(Sometimes the night was beautiful)
And I will follow You all of my days
(Sometimes the night...)
And I will follow You all of my days


I Will Catch You!

Deuteronomy 33:27 - The eternal God is dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And thrust out the enemy before you and said, Destroy. 

Romans 8:38-39 - For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dear God, I want to believe that nothing can separate me from Your love, but boy, how some people think that they can tear me away from being able to worship You. Tom and his church leaders sure did a lot of wrong and injustice in what they did and the way they did it. God, I am not ready to take the leap of faith yet. But I am willing to take a few baby steps closer to You. Just DON'T LET GO!! Oh, and God, these next three weeks are going to be filled with a lot of anxiety as I am. OT sure what will happen when the presbytery addresses the complaint against Tom for what he did. I sent them the piece I wrote about everything that I have experienced though at the hands of Tom and the other leaders there. And although the piece has neither been sent to its original addressee yet nor published, it gave me a voice I never had before. God, please don't leave me. And please bring the conversation that needs to happen with Tom. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Step By Step by Rich Mullins (YouTube)

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Am Water

I am water.
I give refreshment.
I give life.
I give coolness on a hot summer day.
I clean away the bad, the impure, the unclean.
You can bathe in me.
You can clean things in me.
You can swim in me.
You can drink me.
You can cook with me.
You can enjoy me hot or cold.
Water.
Five little letters that can do so much.
Enjoy me.
Refresh yourself with me.
And listen to me as I babble along.
I am water.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Am a Fish

I am a fish.
Swimming, swimming all the day.
Breathing water.
Fanning fins.
Swimming left, swimming right.
I swim all day.
I swim all night.
If I quit swimming, I quit breathing.
If I quit breathing, I turn upside down.
Life is no more.
So here I am, a fish, swimming, swimming, swimming.

Embarking on a Journey

This is definitely going to be a writing year. Book in initial phases. Will most likely be offered to some churches free of charge or for a minimal discounted charge. It will be painful. But mostly because it will be me having to answer some questions about autism and try to express things clearly. Inspired by many things including recently reading The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida. Will be sending letters or e-mails to key sources. The book has been on the mind for awhile now. It now has a motivating factor and more purpose. At what point do I need to procure a publisher? And have someone help me write my proposal? 

Trust My Way

Isaiah 55:9-11 - For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your way as and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Dear God, I read the above verse and have to wonder then what is going on? Because of Tom and what he did and how he did it (he still has not evidenced repentance which is a requisite to receive forgiveness as You have made abundantly clear in scripture as well), and because of Your scripture that says we are to aim for restoration and seek peace, yet he has not been obedient to Your Word with regard to the conflict between us, and furthermore, the leadership at his church were and are bullies who abuse the least of these, I have to wonder if Your plans really are for the good and not evil. No offense, God, but it's just not making sense. Unless Your plans are that the presbytery WILL step in, bring all the pertinent people and me and my witnesses to the table, get to the bottom of things, and remove Tom and some of the other corrupted leaders from that church. God, why are You being so mysterious here when what I really need is answers? Answers that, right now, only Tom can provide? Answers that I need in order to either move forward or keep trying? God, right now, I do feel like You are hurting me, too. And it's not fair. If that is not Your intention, then please bring about the conversation some can get the answers I need and get unstuck. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, January 17, 2014

I Am Still Here

Psalm 27:8 - You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord, do I seek."

Jeremiah 29:13-14 - You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Dear God, I am looking for You, but where did You go? I am having trouble seeing You in all this unresolved conflict with Tom. My spirit is crushed. What he did was just so overwhelmingly wrong and hurtful, filled with so much hate. God, please help me. I can't seem to find You. And no one seems to truly care. If they did, it seems they would intentionally reach out to me. But maybe that is the real problem at Tom's church? No one intentionally loves anyone or cares for anyone. Because if they did, the Tom I got to know would NEVER have done to me what he did. NEVER EVER. But God, I am not the only one that has experienced the failures of OMPC. And in their failures, they are intentionally hurting people. They lost the real focus. Which is supposed to be about You and what Jesus did for everyone. Jesus' ministry was all about intentional love and intentional mercy and intentional outreach to those in need. Not just rich people who could pay for the ministry to be furthered, but more so poor people who were hurting and sick. And I am sure there were people with autism back then, too. And Jesus would never have excluded them like OMPC does and did. According to what Your Word says though, the people at OMPC who hurt me and the Tom that hurt me are goats. But God, again, where are You? In Jesus' Name, Amen!

No Shortcuts

Habakkuk 3:19 - God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

John 21:19 - (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, "Follow me." 

II Corinthians 4:17-18 - For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Dear God, The mountain really is steep. And the path is long and winding. It is scary, and I keep stumbling. My heart is heavy with fear and grief. My energy is low. At times, I feel as though this journey will never end. And it makes me afraid. Please, please help me. Don't let go. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


No More Boring Days

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Phillippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks. And God's peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is so great that we cannot understand it. (ICB)

Philippians 4:19 - And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Dear God, You say I am to pray and ask You for everything. And sometimes I wish You would just hurry and be more clear about things too. For I know that based on scripture, we are to aim for restoration with everyone, particularly those who are fellow believers. I know that we are to seek peace with one another, and we are to show grace and love and forgiveness and mercy and tenderness and even at times justice. And as much as I wish I could do that with Tom, he also needs to do the same with me. So I will simply ask this because it is in line with Your word, please bring about a conversation so that these things can be done in accordance to the scripture. I am worried because I don't know what will happen at the presbytery level, but I am going to try really hard to trust You on a level that is next to impossible for me to do that they will form the committee to help get to the bottom of things and maybe even to help truly resolve things. God, I will also ask for clarity of mind as I embark on a big challenge this year along with many others that I may not even know about yet in order to put together a book that will challenge and guide every church in America in the coming months and years. It is a book that I have been thinking about doing for a while, but until recently, I didn't understand just how much it was needed. But in response to The Reason I Jump, it is one that needs to happen. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Don't Worry by Rebecca St. James 

On the corner of Fifth and Broadway
I was walking to the grocery store on Third
I saw a man up on a box
He seemed a little unorthodox 
He was preaching up a storm
As I walked on by he said

Don't worry about your life
Cause if you hold it too close
You'll lose it
Don't worry about your life
So won't you let go
Before it's gone

A little further on I saw a beggar on the street
He asked for change and then gave me his life story
Says he was a millionaire, made some bad decisions there
Now a dollar fifty could feed him for a week
And he said

Don't worry about your life
Cause if you hold it too close
You lose it
Don't worry about your life
So won't you let go
Before it's gone

Then I see the birds 
I watch them fly
They've got everything they need
They show me why I can be free
Knowing You will care for me

Finally at the grocery store
My mind is filled with many thoughts 
As I bump into a girl I knew from high school
She said, "What's different about you girl?"
And I smiled and said, "This is what I know is true
And I'll pass it right along to you"

Don't worry about your life
Cause if you hold it too close you lose it
Don't worry about your life
So won't you let go before it's gone



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Don't Rehearse Your Problems

Joshua 1:5-7 - No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Dear God, It is hard to not end up running through things that have happened when you are one of those people who is determined to not have repeats and yet you cannot determine what went wrong to start with. Maybe if that is the case, then maybe I should trust that the reality is not that the problem is on my end on the end of the other person after all? Which would make more sense because the reality is that I did do everything I could to resolve things with Tom, but he refused. Although his refusing to resolve things is wrong in light of scripture directing us to aim for restoration and seek peace with one another as is their refusing to handle things appropriately in accordance with scripture, and reflecting on things further, their excuse was the fact that I have autism (Tom kept saying I was using it as an excuse when the reality turns out that he was the one using it as an excuse and they were using it as an excuse to exclude me, when I use the autism, it is in regards to explanation now that I have better understanding of why I do certain things the way I do them). Well, it is still wrong what they all did. But God, it really is hard to not relive the problems because there was NO closure, things were not handled well, there was a sudden shift from a loving and gracious Tom who genuinely cared about me to a hateful and abusive and bullying Tom. And it has left me in utter confusion. And fear over what will happen next. Please God, give me courage and rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

We Won't Be Shaken by Building 429 (YouTube)

This world has nothing for me
This life is not my own
I know You go before me and I am not alone
This mountain rises higher
The way seems so unclear
But I know that You go with me so I will never fear
I will trust in You

Whatever will come our way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we'll rise and sing
That we won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
No we won't be shaken

You know my every longing
You've heard my every prayer
You've held me in my weakness 
Cause You are always there
So I'll stand in full surrender
It's Your way and not my own
My mind is set on nothing less
Than You and You alone
I will not be moved oh

Whatever will come our way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we'll rise and sing
That we won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken

We will trust in You
We will not be moved 
We will trust in You
And we won't be shaken
(x3)

No we won't be shaken

Whatever will come our way
Through fire and pouring rain
We won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we'll rise and sing
That we won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
No we won't be shaken
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
No we won't be shaken

Courageous by Casting Crowns (YouTube)

We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous
We were made to be courageous 

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we're watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away

Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

We were made to be courageous
And we're taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we'll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

This is our resolution
Our answer to the call
We will love our wives and children
We refuse to let them fall

We will reignite the passion
That we buried deep inside
May the watchers become warriors
Let the men of God arise

We were made to be courageous
And we're taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we'll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Seek justice
Love mercy
Walk humbly with your God

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand

We were made to be courageous
And we're taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we'll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

We were made to be courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Come to Me by Jamie-Grace (YouTube)

I had a dream I was standin' on the shore
Two feet planted in the sand 
Soakin' up Your glory yeah
Saw You walkin' from a distance
Without a hint of resistance
Had Your arms open
And a warmth in Your eyes
You took my hand and You whispered

Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden
Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll givmeyou hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden now

I woke up to the weight of the world
Right back into reality
And all that's goin' wrong
Cuz in the midst of the chaotic life
I try to find peace of mind
But You've been there all along
And even now I hear You whisper

Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from the burden
Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden

I feel the weight, I feel the weight is slowly liftin'
As you close the distance
And I know, it's gonna be okay when I hear you say
Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
Oo I'm gonna carry your burden
Come to me when
You're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden

The weight is lifted now

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Don't Look at the Waves

Matthew 14:29-30 - He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 

Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Dear God, I am afraid. I am more worried than afraid. I know that at this point in time, it looks like that the only way things with Tom will be dealt with properly will be for the presbytery to do something. It doesn't make it any less painful or scary or uncertain though. What he did was wrong. Period. He has not evidenced repentance for his own role in things and he has caused a lot of real damage not just to me emotionally or relationally, but to others as well. To progress that had been made and that he KNEW existed and was real. God, I am scared. And I feel alone. But I extended more grace than he deserves and gave him every opportunity that I could. So now comes the hard part. I don't even know when the presbytery will meet. All I know is sometime next month. I struggle to trust You because of what he did to me and the way that he did it. I struggle to believe. I want to, but I am too afraid because of the hurt he caused me. Like Peter, I am afraid. Lord, help me! In Jesus's Name, Amen!

Walk On the Water by Britt Nicole (YouTube)

You look around 
And staring back at you
Another wave of doubt
Will it pull you under?
You wonder

What if I'm overtaken?
What if I never make it?
What if no one's there?
Will you hear my prayer?

When you take that first step
Into the unknown
You know that He won't let you go

Chorus:
So what are you waiting for?
What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities they try to hold to you
You know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all
It takes 
And you can walk on the water too

So get out
And let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste
Don't wait
Don't you turn around and miss out
On everything you were made for
I know you're not sure
So you play it safe
You try to run away

But when you take that first step
Into the unknown
He won't let you go

Chorus

Bridge:
(Step out)
Even when it's storming
(Step out)
Even when you're broken
(Step out)
Even when your heart is telling you, telling you to give up
(Step out)
When your hope is stolen
You can't see where you're going
You don't have to be afraid

So what are you waiting for?

Chorus

Loving Pastor Is Using This Box to Save the Lives of Babies – Incredible Story of Faith, Hope and Most of All, LOVE!

Loving Pastor Is Using This Box to Save the Lives of Babies – Incredible Story of Faith, Hope and Most of All, LOVE!

All I can think is if only every church in America would even just start locally loving both the children and the adults with special needs, how much of a blessing would that be! Intentionally loving them. Not rejecting them over meltdowns. Not rejecting them because they act or speak or think differently. Just intentionally loving them. These people understand Matthew 25! Wow! These people are doing exactly Jesus would do! Wow! Totally wishing I could be a part of this!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Need to Pretend

I Samuel 16:7 - But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

Romans 8:38-39 - For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dear God, I want to trust that nothing can separate me from your love but Tom and Oak Mountain's leadership hurt me such to the extent that it makes me feel as though I have punished just for having autism and according to what Tom told my mom, it is in fact that I am being punished for having autism. They punished me because I had a meltdown that could have either been avoided or curbed if Tom would have just done the correct and talked with me. God, You know my heart. And You know I would love to see them repent for the injustice that they have caused me and the hurt they have inflicted on You as a result. For if having autism is a sin, then You are a sinner because You created me to have autism, You purposed me to have autism, You designed me to have autism. God, I don't feel loved right now. I feel hurt and angry. And I know that my anger is a righteous anger because what Tom did was wrong, and what those leaders did was wrong. They violated scripture, and that's wrong. They hurt one of the least of these, and they hurt You. And that's wrong. What they saw was a meltdown. They refused to look past it to the hurt of a broken and sad and confused heart and spirit. One that Tom hurt more. And they broke it when it was already broken. And that caused more damage than what was necessary, especially when Tom broke his word and broke his compromise with no justification. And I have people who have already agreed that he had no justification. But he refuses to listen to the truth. And he already caused more damage because he spread the lies further. God, You tell me that I should forgive, but I can't forgive someone who is unrepentant anymore than You can. Show me Your love though. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Expect Surprises!

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I Peter 2:21 - For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Dear God, I want to believe that You are with me no matter what and that the safest place to be is by Your side. But when Tom did what he did in the way he did it, even though most people would assert that it was in fact unnecessary and injust, he shook me up in a bad way. It makes me afraid to trust anyone, especially You, because I can't see You. Tom said repeatedly that he would NEVER do what he did yet he did. And the thing is he sits there and talks about grace all the time yet in the one moment that grace was most needed, he didn't show it or act with it. I want to show grace and be able to withdraw the complaint, but I can't until and unless he talks with me and reinstates Facebook. His actions were unjustified. And hurtful. Period. He made excuses for why he did it. And You know what God? They are the most ridiculous excuses ever! Because essentially his excuses sound like a third grader who says, "I don't want to be friends with the new kid because she has different color hair than me or because she wears thrift store clothing to school or because she eats differently or because she is in a wheelchair or lives on a different side of town or whatever...." Any excuse is wrong though. The hurt he put me through was not necessary. And it didn't evidence grace. How can he talk about something yet not demonstrate it equally to everyone? That's called hypocrisy. And You hate hypocrisy. You hate lukewarm. The Pharisees were hypocrites. God, I want to trust You, and right now that either means that Tom and I will talk and I will get to withdraw the complaint because he reinstates things, or it means that the presbytery will go forth with the complaint and he and I will eventually face each other in that format. But either way, I need closure or biblical restoration. I cannot emotionally handle another church until that conversation does happen. Because his church leadership is hypocritical too since they talk about discipline but don't actually do it or apply it equally to everyone and they talk about grace but don't treat everyone equally with grace. The way they act is grace only applies if you are rich and beautiful and have no special needs whatsoever. God, I am sorry for being honest. But You created me with autism and rigid thinking such to the extent that I cannot just sit back and watch anyone break the rules with anyone no matter what and I have to tell people and tell the truth. What they choose to do with the truth is up to them. It's why we always caution new people that if they don't want to know the truth then don't ask me anything because I will spill it and I will call it like I see it or experience it no matter who gets hurt in the process. But God, since You created me this way, there must be a reason for it even if I don't know yet what that is. But if they punish me or hurt me because of how You created me, then are they not essentially punishing You because You're the Creator? Logically speaking that is. Oh dear God, please just bring about the conversation. And help me find a place that will truly love and accept me for me, for who You created me to be exactly how You created me to be, autism and all. Or open the door to a home or other setting where I can invite people in and we can just have a Bible study/church group without fear of rejection for anything, not even our meltdowns and our fidgets and our love and our joy and our compassion and our passion. Churches often just want to see what they want to see, so even just one mistake to them is more than enough, but the thing is they look for mistakes so that they can perceive things how they want to. They don't seem to care about the reality or the truth. Tom knew who I was and he saw the positives in me until one conflict happened and then he chose to ignore the truth and hurt me more and that was unnecessary because all we had to do was talk about things and it would have easily been resolved! Everyone that has any vested interest in me KNOWS that is the truth too. And they all agree that what he did and how he did it was wrong. Period. God, You want me to trust You? Then please bring about the conversation with him. And I will trust You to do that. Because You supposedly have my best interest in mind and You know my heart and my heart's desire right now, and You know I cannot move forward until the conversation happens. So that's where I am trusting You. In Jesus's Name, Amen!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Start with Me

Exodus 33:14 - And he said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

John 15:4-7 - "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

Dear God, Since You gave me autism, then You know that it is not only hard to trust You but also to not know what everything will be like in my day. Unpredictability is scary! Help me with the unknowns. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Let Go

Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Colossians 4:2 - Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

II Peter 1:3-4 - His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become par takers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Dear God, I want to trust that You are in control of everything, but then I question it because Tom unnecessarily hurt me. And the way he did it makes things that much harder and worse for me. All the while, he sits there and talks about grace this and grace that yet nothing he did with regard to me showed grace. Real grace would have actually talked to me when he created the conflict. Real grace would have kept the promises and the compromise he made regarding Facebook. Real grace would talk to me even now in order to maybe either work toward restoration as the Bible says we are to do in both Romans 12 and II Corinthians 13:11 or to provide true closure. Real grace would not have ever done what Tom did nor in the manner in which he did it. Tom knows nothing about real grace as evidenced in the way he mistreated me. Neither does his church as evidenced in the way they abused me and repeatedly violated scripture with regard to me because they hate people with special needs and they hate You and the work Your Son did. I'm sorry that they hurt people instead of actually ministering to and with them. God, I have a confession. I actually half hearted lay wished that lightning would strike Tom's house last night during the storms. I know it's mean, but that's how bad he hurt me. The pain he caused me is unjustified and unnecessary. We both made missteps, so why am I the only one being unfairly, unjustly, and unnecessarily punished and hurt? I can allow one more week for Tom to willingly and voluntarily engage in the needed conversation with me because that is what grace would do. If he does that AND reinstates Facebook, then I will file an official letter to drop the complaint against him. If not, then that's where I let go and allow You to do what is necessary to bring about action from the presbytery. If that results in both him and me being brought under discipline, so be it, because at least proper church discipline is a redemptive process. Oak Mountain does not practice the discipline they claim to believe in. If it did, Tom would not have hurt me and they would not have abused me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Be Still and Know by Rebecca St. James

Alone in the valley
I cried for You to fill me with
Your peace
So when the lightning strikes
Thunder rolls around me
Still I live in peace
You ask that I

Be still and know 
You are God
Be still and know 
You are God
You are God

When the fires rage
When the storm surrounds me
Still I live in peace
Though the mountains fall
Crash into the ocean
Still I live in peace
You ask that I

Be still and know
You are God
Be still and know 
You are God

You ask that I

Be still and know
You are God
Be still and know
You are God

You are God

Lead me through the valley
Lead me by the streams
Restore me and draw me to You God

To You I lift my soul
To You who makes me whole
Gently You hold me close to You
Ooh...close to You...ooh

Be still and know
You are God
Be still and know 
You are God
Be still and know
You are God
Be still and know
You are God

Be still and know 
You are God
Be still and know
You are God

You are God

You're near me
You love me
You hold me
You reach me
You still me
You move me
You draw me to You God

You're near me
You love me
You hold me
You reach me
You still me
You move me
You draw me to You God

You are God
You are God

You are God
You are God

You still me
You draw me to You

You are God
 You are God

When the fires rage
Still I live in peace

You are God

A Treasure of Trust

Psalm 56:3-4 - When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can the flesh do to me?

Matthew 6:19-21 - "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Dear God, It is so hard to trust You right now. When Tom did what he did the way he did it even though it was most definitely unfair and unnecessary, he shattered a lot of my trust in anything. I wish my trust in You could be easily restored but I am afraid. Please God. I want to trust You, but please help me. Make the conversation with Tom happen. That's all I am asking. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Treasures in Heaven by Burlap to Cashmere

He said follow me, oh oh
Strive to make my convictions right
Oh, my pride is hammering me down

I've seen you crying
I've seen you on your knees
The wise man died so you can

Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Don't you wait for the rain to come falling down

Can I follow you? 
She looked at me funny, 
With compassion in her eyes
She said, casually

I've seen you crying
I've seen you on your knees
The wise man died so you can

Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Don't you wait for the rain to come falling down 
Down on you

You gotta stop dancin'
Dancin' with your head
You gotta stop dancin'
Dancin' with your head
You gotta stop dancin'
Dancin' with your head
And just look to the heavenly skies

I've seen you crying
I've seen you on your knees
The wise man died so you can...

Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Store up treasures in heaven
Don't wait for the rain to come falling down 
Down on you

Don't let the rain
Don't let the rain
Don't let the
Don't let the rain
Don't let the rain
Don't let the
Don't let the rain
Don't let the rain
Fall down on you

Never Give Up!

Psalm 46:1-3 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Luke 1:37 - For nothing will be impossible with God.

Romans 8:31 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Dear God, I am sorry if at times I seem impatient, but it's so hard to wait when other people are trying to stop everything about what you are trying to do because they don't understand or refuse to try to understand. Like with Tom. Instead of doing what he did the way that he did it, he should have talked with me and listened to my side. By him not doing that, he caused further damage and failed to show the grace and forgiveness and love and mercy and compassion and even justice that he had shown before. Over one meltdown at that. A meltdown that he did contribute to. And I ended up ultimately mirroring him. God, I'm reading the book The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, the Japanese teenager with autism. And I am in tears because I see where Tom has screwed up so much with me, where I wish I could explain things to him and the others, where I wasn't even given the justice I deserve so that I could do just that, and where many others like me will always have difficulties as long as bullies exist at churches, schools, workplaces, and in the world and people who rather than stand up to the bullying end up becoming the bullies instead because they failed to stand against it even they knew it was wrong. Like Tom. God, please open the hearts and the minds of Tom, his church leaders, Birmingham area people, especially pastors, and the people who we need to help us along the journey of life. I wish You would hurry up sometimes though because our human minds cannot stand waiting when it feels like our entire life is depending on Your action. Like I do need the conversation with Tom, and You know that, but it's hard waiting any longer. In Jesus's Name, Amen!

Our God by Chris Tomlin (YouTube)

Water You turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind
There's no one like You, none like You
Into the darkness You shine, out of the ashes we rise
There's no one like You, none like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God

Into the darkness You shine, out of the ashes we rise
There's no one like You, none like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other 
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against
What could stand against

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against
Then what can stand against

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, our God

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sometimes I Whisper

Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Romans 12:12 - Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Dear God, Thank You that even though Tom Patton and his church beat my spirit down leaving me feel worthless and alone that you do still care about me. Help me. And help bring about the conversation even if it is facilitated. Please help me. I feel burdened and battered and hopeless. I feel hurt and wounded. It was unnecessary for Tom to do that to me in the way he did it. Especially when You tell us to aim for restoration and to seek peace with one another in both Romans 12 and II Corinthians 13:11. God, I need to hear Your voice. I also need true closure with Tom. Which means the conversation needs to happen. The sooner the better. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Love That!

Psalm 22:3 - Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

Psalm 146:1-2 - Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

I Thessalonians 5:18 - give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Dear God, thank You for the work I know You will do with regard to the situation with Tom and how he unnecessarily hurt me. I just wish You would hurry and bring about the needed conversation. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Dare to Dream My Dream

Isaiah 40:30-31 - Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Romans 8:6 - To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Ephesians 3:20-21 - Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. 

Revelation 5:13 - And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"

Dear God, I want to believe that You are capable of doing far greater things than I can ever imagine, but it struggle because the needed conversation with Tom has yet to have happened. Here we are on the brink of higher authority having to decide how to handle things. And he has yet to even show signs of repentance. Never mind the fact that even if I wanted to prove repentance, that neither he nor his church would ever know because they violated the scripture and their own denominational rules with regard to church discipline. I know that the good Tom, the honest Tom, the loving and caring and compassionate Tom that I experienced so much love and grace through and even saw glimpses of You through is in there in his heart somewhere. But at this point, if that Tom doesn't surface soon, if the hardened heart Tom stays, then it will absolutely break my own heart to have to tell the higher authority that he is no longer fit to be in his position. And about the abuse I experienced at his church. But I guess in some ways that maybe this is all a part of Your plan because You don't like bullies in Your church either God, and You deal harshly with bullies. The tax collectors in the temple, the Pharisees, even at times, Your disciples and other favorite people had to be dealt with harshly because You don't like bullies. Bullies don't evidence You nor do they help the church to grow, especially when they bully the least of these like they did me or the others like me before me. God, as much as I hope that You will turn Tom around in the next week or two, I am losing hope. In some ways, it means that he is showing his true nature and character which is not Christlike at all, and if that is the case, then he truly is in no position to be anyone's "shepherd" anymore. But God, why? And God, my dream is for a loving and accepting and safe church, even if it's just a small home based church, for people like me. But here's the ironic thing: Even if it turns out that Tom is no longer fit to remain in his position, I see that he is more fit to be a part of the church that I dream of. And maybe in some ways that is higher calling. Open his mind and heart and open my mind and heart. And God, if Tom is ready to forgive me, have him reinstate Facebook so I know because I want to be able to show him forgiveness and be able to retract my complaint. But until he evidences forgiveness toward me and repentance for his role in things, I have to let the complaint stay. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Abba Father by Rebecca St. James

I'm feeling like the eagle that rises
Flies above the earth and its troubles
Oh yes he knows that there are valleys below
But under his wings there's a stronger power

Oh Father, You are my strength
On You I wait upon

You make the road rise up to meet me
You make the sun shine warm upon my face
The wind is at my back and the rain falls soft
God I lift You high, You are my Abba

Running in this race till the finish line
The only road for me is the narrow
Not gonna stop or even look to the side
When I fix my eyes on You Jesus

Oh Father, You are my strength
Now more than ever

You make the road rise up to meet me
You make the sun shine warm upon my face
The wind is at my back and the rain falls soft
God I lift You high, You are my Abba

You make the road rise up to meet me
You make the sun shine warm upon my face
The wind is at my back and the rain falls soft
God I lift You high, You are my Abba

When you run too far
(And the road is long)
Can't walk another mile
(He is waiting)
Hope in Him again
(He'll renew you)
Then you will rise
Gather up your wings and fly

You make the road rise up to meet me
You make the sun shine warm upon my face
The wind is at my back and the rain falls soft
God I lift You high, You are my Abba

You make the road rise up to meet me
 You make the sun shine warm upon my face
The wind is at my back and the rain falls soft
God I lift You high, You are my Abba

Do you not know? 
Have you not heard?
He gives strength to the weary
To those who hope in Him
They will soar like eagles

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winning My Way

Psalm 34:17-18 - When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

II Corinthians 5:7 - for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Dear God, help me. I have been shaken. And I have wavered. I have been utterly crushed because of what Tom did. It isn't fair nor is it right what he did the way he did it. Help me. And help me see the dream You want me to have. I already know that my dream is nearly impossible to attain on my own. My dream is that all people of all ages with all special needs will be accepted at churches, be it Oak Mountain which presently hates people with special needs and will abuse them at the first sign of anything they think is wrong or abnormal, or be it somewhere else. For that matter, my dream is for a rising church, not necessarily of any particular denomination, that is primarily targeted and geared for people like me. Where people like me will not only feel loved and accepted, but will feel a sense of purpose. For we are PURE people with a purpose and a gift just like anyone else. God, help me. Comfort me. And bring that needed conversation with Tom. In Jesus' Name, Amen!
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