The election. God is still in control, hang onto that.

The election. Just saying the word makes me feel desperate and disjointed.

We are all feeling it, there is hate spewed everywhere from both sides. Try as we might to stay out of the hatred and not be a contributing factor in the rising anger in this country, it is almost impossible.

It really doesn’t matter which side of the political fence your find yourself on, the country is experiencing significant stress and that is being brought forth into our everyday lives in very damaging ways.

 We as humans are often quick to jump in and defend our side of the fence.

We are blaming each other, especially if we are on opposing sides.

A county united has been replaced by a country divided.

It feels as if we have lost our power. We have two political parties vying for the highest political office in the land. If you have not noticed, those two parties do not get along very well, not only that but they do not follow even the most basic of playground rules. The thing about disobedience is that it is contagious and easily caught.

So what do we do and how do we get through this?

The most proactive thing we can do is to get out and vote. It does matter, it is our responsibility, our votes do count. .

“Let each citizen remember, at the moment he is offering his vote, that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society, for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams

On Nov 9th life will continue and no matter our political views, we are going to have to decide how our lives progress from that day forward.

No matter who is our President, God is still in charge. Our hope does not lie in who resides in the white house. Our hope is not with the Republican or the Democratic Party.

 Our hope lies with Christ alone.

God is sovereign and God is still in control. If we see the government (both sides) as evil and corrupt, try to remember that the evil goings on of the humans in the white house(no matter who they are) are never outside God’s control and in His time and His way, His purpose will be accomplished. We may have to live through some tough stuff but in the end, God is in control.

I have been looking past personalities and looking at the issues. It has been hard because the ongoing personality battles are blasted every single day, all day long. However each candidate does have a platform for which they stand. For me the issues are as follows.

Religious freedom

Biblical sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman

The lives of unborn children

Radical Islamic terrorism

Do I want to continue down the road of irresponsible socialism?

Do I want our nation to return to Biblical hard and honest work, entrepreneurship and industry?

Do I want a Supreme Court and federal judges who respect and uphold the safeguards of the US Constitution?

Look at the candidates platforms and place your informed vote. After that is done, step back, take the gloves off and let God do His job. I promise you, He has not forgotten what He has promised us, His people.

Dottie

………..and so I ride

Renew your mind, avoid the hole

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in
I am lost……..I am helpless
It isn’t my fault
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don’t see it
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
But, it isn’t my fault
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It is a habit.
My eyes are open. I know where I am.
It is my own fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

Portia Nelson

 

I love this poem. Read the poem carefully. Read it as it was written, five different chapters of your life. It is the story of your life, it is the story of my life.

In life chapter 1 we are wandering, lost, alone and helpless. There is a hole we have fallen into through no particular fault of our own. It may be a death, a job loss, a betrayal, any one of a number of unexpected pitfalls that life throws our way. We fall into the hole and there is nothing we can do about it. Our particular hole represents anger, anxiety, worry, grief, etc. It is the darkest hole you have ever experienced, you see no way out and you are there through no fault of your own. This sucks.

You climb out the same way, on your own, with your own sweat and tears. It takes you forever. You are cussing yourself and hitting yourself with negative, critical and judgmental thoughts right and left. You are thinking to yourself how stupid you are and therefore you are right where you deserve to be.

You quickly learn that doing the climbing on your own is hard work and affords little upward motion. Day after day you toil but you stay in the hole much longer than you anticipated. It occurs to you (barely) that God may be able to help you climb a little faster but the job of climbing out takes precedence over anything else and soon the thought of God evaporates in your sweat.
In life chapter 2 you find yourself on the same street with the same hole. You are fully aware the hole is there yet you walk straight towards it. Before long you drop right back into where you were not so long ago. The hole is still deep, dark and scary, it hasn’t changed a bit it is exactly the way you left it. It is becoming familiar.
You are living the same story you always have, you are expecting different results but because your pattern is the same, the results are the same. You fall in the hole yet again. You are thinking to yourself if the other people in your life would grow up and learn to act right your life would go a whole lot better. So now you draw up a plan to fix those around you. It could be that you even enlist God’s help. If God can’t fix your husband, your family, your boss, your friends, (you know, those people who make you fall into the hole) then who can. When God fixes all those people, you can avoid the hole. It really is as simple as that. You are convinced that someone else pushed you over the edge to the hole.

Life chapter 3 finds you on the same familiar street and the deep, scary hole is still where it has always been. It is almost a weird sort of comfort to see it because you count on it to always be where you left it. Yet once again, even though you know the hole intimately, you know if you take the next step you will tumble downward, you do it anyway.

You know you did it and you know you are totally responsible but because of your past experience with your hole, you climb out immediately. Having fallen into this same hole so many times you are awakening to the source of the problem. Maybe it’s time to find a different route, after all it is your fault you are there. Repeating the same mistakes over and over will have the same results over and over. Having come to this conclusion you can begin to change. God is reminding you that He is there to help you with your “hole” problem. There is a nagging in the back of your mind that if you seek Him before you begin your trip down the street with the hole, maybe He will come up with a different answer to the same problem that has always plagued you? As you are jumping (literally) out of the hole this time, you are coming up with a goal to include Him in your “hole” plan. You come to the realization that every trip into the hole has increased your need to ask for God’s help. Yes it was in slow increments because you have always been a slow learner. However, every time you asked Him, He helped you. When you asked Him for little He helped a little. What would happen if you asked Him for a complete solution to this nagging “hole” problem? After emerging from the brief stint in the hole, you head home to open that Bible that is……….somewhere in your house.

Life chapter 4 Is walking down the same street, coming upon the same hole but avoiding the hole. It is a whole new exhilarating experience. You saw it coming, knew what to anticipate from past experiences and you simply walked around it. A talk with God has given you a change of course which gives you a whole new set of possibilities. There really is something to this God thing. He is here to help you dig out of the hole, you are now beginning to have experience of that. But the amazing thing you are learning, is He is here to help you not only climb out of the hole, but to conquer the hole. God has shown you alternate routes and He has given you the gift of the knowledge that you are free to take them.
Life chapter 5 is your new day. It is the day you finally change streets. Life chapter 5 is the marvelous renewing of your mind. It is the time you realize that there will be holes in the street but you now have the courage to walk a different path, around the hole. You know you can because you trust He will do as He promised and give you exactly what you need to take the detour.
Renewing of the mind is happening. When you mind is changed by God, your life changes and the hole no longer consumers you. So when someone asks you to help them climb out of their hole, say, here, let me show you what worked for me!

Dottie
…………and so I rideimage

Thoughts on Challenge Day Three

What If?

There were some valid points made today. In fact, points that made me put down the Fried Taco and say to myself, what in the world are you doing Dottie. Why is it so impossible for you to make a commitment to be healthier and stick with it? This is a 21 day challenge, surely you can give up 21 days in your hunt for health. It seems to me that if I cannot do that then maybe I am not really serious about all this healthy living stuff I spout off all the time. OUCH!

I feel like everyone else is slamming this challenge and here I am, on day three and haven’t even got going yet. I know what is going to happen. We will get to the end of the 21 days and I will either be right where I started or I will be a pound or two heavier. Then I will say to myself, why didn’t you do it, you are such a loser. This part, I have down.

I do not want to get to the end of the 21 days and say “if only”, but even more, I don’t want to take the fast route to severe health problems that I know will plague me if a few years time. Is the momentary pleasure I derive from eating unhealthy food really worth what I am doing to myself?

I don’t want to be like the neglected vase of fresh flowers that we forget to water day after day and one day we look at them and they have died from neglect.

My Father God, I have messed up the first three days of this challenge, I am asking you to strengthen me and to give me the motivation and wisdom to say no to the extra servings of sugar, fat and high calories. Help me Father to see clearly what I am doing to my health. Give me the desire to follow the path to good health. Give me a spirit of commitment to you and not to food. Help me Father to turn to you and let you fight this battle for me, help me to trust you to meet all my needs. Help me Father to change the way I think about eating right, moving more and living healthy.

Help me to be glaringly honest with myself, if I am to lazy to exercise, let me see it, if I eat when I am not hungry, eat unhealthy foods or eat to much, help me to see it. Strike me with the truth of enduring bad health habits. It is only when I can be honest with myself that I can begin to correct these things. Help me to trust the Holy Spirit to guide me through this difficult journey. Let me lose myself so I can be true to you. Give me the strength to endure to my goal and say hello to the new me. Amen

Favorite thought of Challenge Day Three.

“There will be tragedy and triumphs, tests and testimonies, set-backs and successes, mountains and valleys”…….

This is a good reminder that there will be “those days” and I should not be taking them personally, or using them as an excuse to wreck my forward progress. They too shall pass. I strive to be the little engine that could or rather the little engine that did.

Dottie

…………and so I ride

FREE AT LAST I read about an English minister who liked to say that he ministers to the lost, the least, the lonely and the last. I have felt like all those things at times. Sometimes all at once, sometimes one or the other. If I were to be honest at least one of those things is usually with me most of the time. Doesn’t it seem like we are deposited in this lost and lonely place and then forgotten about. We wonder how God could have so easily forgotten our address and phone number. But that is Satan inspired thinking. Of course he wants us to think we are helplessly and hopelessly lost and forgotten. The truth is, according to John 10:10 that although Satan does come to steal, kill and destroy Jesus came to give us life and give it to us abundantly. Praise God that He sent His son to heal the broken hearted (me), to liberate me from my prison, He came to restore my sight so that I can see the truth of what God offers me. Holy Father help me to look up to you before I look around my world. Remind me what the world is versus what you offer and help me make the right choices. Dottie

Prayer of Restoration

This is a hard conversation to have. Bad things do happen to good people. When things happen that scar the soul and deplete hope, we turn to coping mechanisms just to get through the day. Those actions may be misunderstood and cruelly criticized. I guess what I am trying to say is we don’t know what anyone else has or is walking through. We don’t know from where a person is coming. Remember that there is usually a rational reason somewhere in the picture for that irrational action. These kinds of things can cause insecurities, a feeling of unworthiness, self-doubt and self-hatred. Be kind at all times because a person may be struggling with something that you know nothing about and the behaviors you see being displayed are the only way that person has to get through life.
For those who struggle silently, I offer the following.

Prayer of Restoration

Lord God, I tried to play the game of life by the rules life demands, but I was soundly defeated. I am tired, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot win. Lord I want to be delivered from the stress and strife of playing the game by others rules and not those you set forth. I want to be free. Help me to be free.
While trying to make it from point A to point B in life, you come to think that you are alone and if you want something done, it has to be you that does it. When you try to get through life in a manner that you believe is necessary to you at that moment, it seems to upset someone because you didn’t do it their way or it was taken differently than you intended. Father help me quench the desire for any game playing and manipulation without resigning myself to a life of misuse. Help me to allow you Father, to do for me what I cannot do for myself. Help me to look to you for my answers and not to man.

You formed my inward parts and knitted me together in my mothers womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You saw me before I was formed, my days were written in your book. Your breathe gave me life. I am your workmanship, created in your image. Help me to hold fast to who you created me to be and to realize that you have given me a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Help me to realize that I no longer have to surrender to fears and insecurities, instead I can give them to you. Help me to quit using other people as mirrors and let me see myself as you see me. Engrave upon my heart that you knew what you were doing when you formed me and you are still working for me and in me. Write upon my heart the fact that you love me for who I am not in spite of who I am.

Remind me Lord that the timing of all things belongs solely to you. Help me to remember that the worlds ideal time table for the healing of emotional scars is not the timetable you are giving me. You will help me heal the scars burned deep in my soul in your time and your way. It may not make sense to one single person on this earth,but keep reminding me that for me, the timing and method is perfect. Deliver me from caring that others do not understand where you are leading me and help me to ignore the scalding criticism of others and listen solely to what you are telling me to do. Give me the courage to stay the course with you. You are the only one with the map to the destination where we are heading.

Deliver me Father from thinking that I am the only one who can solve my problems. Help me to come to you with the things that are dragging me down. Remind me that there is nothing I can ask from you that you cannot give me. Deliver me from making an idol of myself and remind me to keep my eyes on you and look to you before I look to the world.
You long for me to live free from any ambitions that prove unhealthy. Supply me the courage Father to live a life filled with worthy ambitions, the ones that draw me closer to you. Help me to eliminate my need to hide from you and give me the courage to come before you with total transparency. Give me the kind of courage that propels me to you just as I am. Help me to forgive those who don’t understand my world. Remind me that you love me even though you know every single stupid and ridiculous thing I have said or done. You don’t look at my failures, you look at my needy heart. Help me to remember that the world does not.

Father not only do I ask you to reveal yourself to me clearly and consistently, but I ask you to reveal to me all the parts that make me, uniquely and totally me. Give to me eyes to see the areas I need to work on and where I have created my own insecurities and troubles. Turn me from any pursuit of self worship and control. Let me see the world as an opportunity to show others who you are and not as an arena of competition. Forgive me Father when I fail to appreciate the person who you have made me to be.

Free me from the chains of self protection that I have clung to but have only proved to keep me tightly bound.. Show me when the insecurity and fear I am feeling are of my own making. Show me Father the rational beginnings to my irrational fears so that together we can conquer them.

Help me to avoid believing in any man more than I believe in you. If I have been hurt, let down , failed in any way, help me to see them who have injured me as you see them, as broken and needy people who need you as much as I do.
Help me to realize Lord that Satan will keep me in bondage by convincing me that I will never be ok I am not and can never be worthy and that there is no hope. Help me to see Satan’s true colors. Make a miracle of me. Show Satan to be the liar he is.

Deliver me oh God, make a miracle of me. When I feel the panic rising in my soul, empower me to trust you. Help me to see that just because my circumstances have changed and I feel the sand shifting beneath my feet, I have not lost you, you do not change, you are forever there for me.
Restore to me Lord, all that my insecurities have stolen from me. Cover me with Your strength and allow me to show the world I am firmly grounded in and clothed with your dignity. Help me to quit surrendering my strength, dignity, passion and worthiness. Let me live solely for you and follow your path in my healing. .

Dottie

Try it a different way- do a little research

I am embarrassed to admit this but I have been trying something different when problems arise. Something I should have been doing all along.
Although we all try to display an “I got it together”image to the world, most if not all of us are plagued by self doubt, insecurities and a feeling of unworthiness. I know I am.

What if I told you that you have someone in your life that has searched you and knows you, end to end. He knows you so well in fact that He knows when you sit and when you rise. He can and does discern your thoughts from afar. He searches your path before you take it and He is acquainted with ALL your ways. Even the ones you take special care to hide from the world.

When you speak, He knows what you will say. He is your personal safe room. Where you go,, He precedes you but what’s more, He takes your hand in His. With Him even the darkness is bright.
To have someone on your side that was responsible for forming you while you were still in your Mother’s womb, that is priceless.. To know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made because of the one who made you Is invaluable in ways you cannot even begin to understand!

A beautiful thought is that Our Creator saw us before we were formed, He has a book in which every last detail of “You” were written. Think for just a moment on the significance of this.

The good news is you have all this and so much more.

Psalm 139:1-6 and 13-17 gives us the truth of who we are and who is responsible.

God is the reason we are and He is the reason we are what we are. He loves us because of who we are, not in spite of who we are. God is the only unconditional love you will find on this earth. He is the reason that we need to look for ourselves in Him and not in man. Nothing and I mean nothing can take our royal status away. Something enormous is within each of us. Don’t look inside yourself to get permission to look up, try looking up to Him before you look inside. You will have a better idea of what you are seeing that way.

Live up to your inheritance. You will never look back.

Dottie
…………..and so I ride.

Let’s play a little game.
I have a puzzle for you. If you are playing a game and you move ahead 4 spaces, then next turn you have to go back 3 spaces, next turn you move ahead 6 spaces and your final turn you have to move back 4 spaces. Are you still ahead of where you started?

It appears that yes indeed you are still 3 spaces ahead of where you started. You are advancing, you are on the way to someplace different than where you started. Right?

Now, let’s look at life.

We start something, a diet, a project, a new job, a debt reduction plan, our Christian walk, it could be one of a million different things. Then when we get half way through it we get discouraged and frustrated because what we think progress is not happening fast enough.

Just because you are not seeing progress does not mean it is not being made. If we would take a moment to think about it, and be honest with ourselves, we are clearly ahead of where we started at.
We are an impatient lot aren’t we? A little arrogant too. The prevailing attitude is that if it can’t be done in MY time, I am not going to do it at all. Why do we tend to think that slow progress is no progress? A little or a lot, progress in progress.

A lot of the time, a little more effort and consistent effort and our goals will be met. However, discouragement grabs us and we throw what progress we have made away instead of plodding along and slowly moving forward. We don’t see that six steps forward and three steps backwards is still ending up ahead of where we started. I am willing to bet that in those backwards steps we learned some valuable lessons.

I think that our Christian walk is often like that. We have to slowly and sometimes painfully make our way to the Kingdom. It can take years, decades or a lifetime filled with ups and downs. A winding path can be enough to cause us to take our eyes off the prize. If we are no longer focusing on our destination you can bet we are focusing on the wrong things.
It is frustrating and hard. We have to remember that forward progress is forward progress. It is a good finish that we are after, the journey is not always going to be easy or pretty.

It is tempting to give up on living the Christian life because we are impatient and don’t see any progress, or not enough progress. Let Hebrews 12:1 be our motto, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Our Christian walk is intentionally meant to be an endurance event. It is an event that shapes us and makes us into what God means us to be.

Sure our Christian walk with have lots of meaningful and uplifting spiritual moments, but it will not be comprised entirely of good things. Neither will the times be all bad. Mostly it is about the everyday things, it is about each little step that we consistently take in faith no matter the circumstances.

Dottie
…………….and so I ride

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