Simply Writing

handwriting
handwriting
Tonight, I am frustrated… not sure why..
I want to write – not only about  sorrows and learning… but about the Kingdom of God/the nation I live in.
How do I share about cross-cultural communication and the Kingdom of God as my home.
I am American, hoping to get my Brazilian citizenship, but my “home nation” is God’s Kingdom.  Those are the laws and principles that don’t change.  How can I share across cultural lines and divides?
God’s laws have proven themselves to me,  countless times.  The more I learn from history and science I am saying again and again “WHAT AN AWESOME GOD!”
globe n & s america
 
I also want to write about some of the funny things that have happened; some of the scary things; and about some of the challenging things.
How can I draw word pictures about when a parrot was on the table at our host’s home, and pecking food off of our plates?  And a toad was calling Joe’s name out of the jungle.
Or the time I sat in a roadside restaurant where we stopped to eat, and the dogs and chickens came and went at will, cleaning up whatever food fell to the floor.
 (Sometimes those who were eating simply threw something down on the floor if they didn’t want it.)  No, I didn’t check out the kitchen.
Contrast that with some of beautifully  incredible restaurants where I’ve eaten . . .
Wonderful hotels  I’ve enjoyed – contrasting to my memories of a hotel where we spent a night that had no ceiling, only the bare tile roof, and the hundreds of spider webs woven between the roof and the wooden rafters. (fortunately no spiders fell upon us during the night.)
The magnificence of Iguaçu Falls (to me even more beautiful than Niagara Falls), and the “meeting of the waters” on the Amazon.  The wonder of O Redentor – the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro.
VIEW ABOVE RIO
VIEW ABOVE RIO
The day almost 100 people were baptized in a pool at a private camp: we all drove there and – just as the baptisms were beginning – a huge tropical rainstorm started pouring buckets of water down on everyone.
All of us watching got just as wet in the drenching rain as those who were baptized… and we all laughed, sang, prayed and rejoiced together.  Those who were baptized had brought a change of clothing. All the rest of us went home – WET
The incredible sky full of stars that came close to the earth as I walked at night in a field of a farm far from Brazilia and any electricity.
The loneliness – and the joys – failures and victories – the challenges of  learning a new culture, country and language and raising our six children…                       
 
My heart yearns to share these thoughts and experiences.
Does anyone want to hear them?  would they be encouragement to some?
 
Voni
IMG_20140830_181743

 

Package of 3

3 Boxes whiteSeptember, 1987

I like the number 3; but I never thought of the number as applying to psychological, mental and spiritual principles.  Yet, look at this . . .

  1. Forgiveness: I must learn how to forgive if I want to walk free and be. (I’m studying more on this from doctors. I’m amazed at some of the info I’m reading that illustrates how forgiveness affects our bodies. I will share more about this later.)
  2. Thanksgiving: Another step that releases me from the pain in my past
  3. Blessing others: This blew my mind.

The midnight darkness 0f a tropical night drops around where I am packing and closing up the house I had called home.  Relentlessly, bit by bit, I sell some things, pack more boxes, and give other items away.  The pain of moving slows down my body and mind.  I do not want to do this, so each step I take is a battle.

One evening, as I work, the word “blessing” enters my mind.  This shocks me. Once again, I say “God, You have to be kidding me!  Bless the people who betray me???

I begin thinking.  Jesus tells us to bless our enemies.  Although I thought my “husband” was a friend, he has treated me as an enemy. People do not do this kind of thing to those they love.

Luke 6:27-29
27 But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred,
28 Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you].
AMP           open Bible d             

I blanch as I read this.  How am I supposed to do this???

I re-read the verses several times.
Vs 27 – love my enemies? This is not the friendship love. Rather, it is agape love, wanting the have love for them?  If I work through it, step by step, yes I can.  I do not wish them evil in their lives.
Vs 28 – this  is more difficult!  Invoke blessings upon them? Pray for their happiness?  Implore God’s blessings and pray for the happiness of those who curse or revile me?
 God, How do I pray for their happiness when I hurt and am in anguish because of what they have done to me?

  1. What is the thing that is the most important for their happiness? What is the greatest blessing God can bestow up them? Wouldn’t it be that they come to walk with Him , recognize and own the hurt they’ve caused others, dealing with God for forgiveness, and spend eternity with God?

But, Father, I do not want to bless them!

Again, I am face-to-face with a choice: obey what God says to do if I want His blessings. The need for God’s blessings to survive motivates me to search for further understanding.

A thought comes into my mind: the realization that, for anyone to receive God’s blessings, he has to deal directly with God, and recognize the seriousness of his actions.

Therefore, the road people walk who betray anyone won’t be easy; but it will be necessary if they want to receive God’s blessings.  And . . . I can trust God and leave the details with Him.

Several hours pass before I make my final decision.
I begin praying for those who destroyed my family; that they might know the blessing of walking in obedience to God.

and I discover that the value of the third part of this package is greater than I’d dreamed. . .
For blessing others lightens my own anguish and pain, and begins to bring me a new perspective. . .looking_out_on_green_open_window_view_with_trees_ coffee-cup
 – V0ni P

Why do you think blessing others would make a difference?  Could it be of value in your own life?

Lord, Are You Sure?

I am having a running conversation with God.

praise

Well, really: it may be more one-sided?
 I’m talking to Him about Ephesians 5:17-2o
I keep re-reading those verses…trying to figure out how  to thank God for everything.
It makes no sense to me.
Eph 5:17,18,20
17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.  [Prov 23:20.]
20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.  
AMP
Then in a different version:
Eph 5:17,18,20
17 Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
18 Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life.  Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him.
20 Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
I keep on talking and asking for wisdom, trying to get around that word everything,
However, it doesn’t matter what I say to God my Father, the words that are written do not change, and still sound impossible for me to do.
From what I can understand,  I am to thank and praise God for everything.
 
But God, that involves losing my marriage.
 It involves betrayal.
The list of things it involves seem endless and keeps growing.  I learn more of them each day.
 And I am supposed to thank and praise you for these?
That  my children no longer have a father – and my grandchildren don’t have a grandfather?
For my “husband” has totally abandoned us.  We are no longer an important part of his life.
No longer will I have a home for my kids to come to . . .
I have to leave Brazil,  this country I love and is now my home;
and return to the United States where I do not want to live.
Oh God! Help me!
praise-god planted treasure.wordpress com.
The words in God’s Word still do not change.
After a couple of days, finally, I am quiet… not arguing any more.
 
Ok God.  I will have to do this as I do the forgiveness:  out of obedience, for my heart only hurts.
 
I start.
Father, I thank You, I praise You for my husband’s actions, his betrayal of our children and I, for . . .        the tears run down my cheeks.  . . I thank you for his children from that relationship … I thank you for the woman whom I thought was my friend I break down, begging my Father for help.
Every time I  thank God – the tears come.  I  learn three important things.
1. Thanking God – even with tears – cleanses my heart.  I take these different situations that involve so much hurt,  talk about them with God, give thanks and praise for each one:  it’s like a  balm that heals as it goes over my  wounds.  It becomes easier to forgive those involved.
 
2. What is “high praise.”                                                                                                                                  Ps 66:16-19
16 Come and hear, all you who reverently and worshipfully fear God, and I will declare what He has done for me!
17 I cried aloud to Him; He was extolled and high praise was under my tongue.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me;  [Prov 15:29; 28:9; Isa 1:15; John 9:31; James 4:3.]  (So I must forgive, to keep my heart clean.)
19 But certainly God has heard me; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.

AMP
I come to the conclusion that high praise is when I  weep while I thank God . .  I wonder how long it will be before I can thank Him without tears?
 
3. What is a sacrifice of praise.  
Heb 13:15
15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.  [Lev 7:12; Isa 57:19; Hos 14:2.]
AMP
 When I praise God for all things, it truly is a sacrifice of my will for my life, as I choose to obey Him; and tears flow.
 However, the result ? I am blessed  with a deeper quietness in my spirit., and I need  that quietness and peace.
 
I am living with an anguish I never imagined.  At the same time, I know I am not alone.
There are some things one cannot explain.
I do not know how to explain what is happening to me, with me.  But changes are happening.
I only know I will continue fo obey God to the best of my ability, even when I don’t understand.
I  thank God for all things, and forgive those who have hurt me so deeply.
I desire to be free  from the past, free to walk into my future.
So, I hang onto God’s hand and His Word.
This verse helps me with God’s promise for me; He will handle those who have hurt me and the children through their disobedience of God’s principles.
Isa 41:12-13
12 You will look in vain
for those who tried to conquer you.
Those who attack you
will come to nothing.
13 For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996,
2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
Then there are these promises to me – to anyone who is attempting to walk with God.
I hang onto them, for I know they are true!
He is doing it on a daily basis for me, as I do my best to walk in obedience.
At times, I have to hang tightly onto His hand to have the strength to follow.
But He IS HERE.
Isa 43:1-3, 19-21
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
.       .         .          .
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
. . .
20 . . . because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
NIV
 These promises hold me together as I hang onto His hand for dear life.
 open Bible s
July,2015
It is still difficult for me to even write this today, although 28 years have passed since then. The deep anguish is gone; however, a profound sorrow remains.  I am still hanging onto His hand, and continue to learn how to thank Him for everything  
 I have questions for which there are no answers – yet.
 
Life is a challenge and, at times, a battle for survival. Yet, in all of it, He keeps His promises.
If you are walking in anguish, full of anger, or lack peace and joy:  please experiment with these first two steps: forgiveness and thanksgiving.
Just remember, we can trust Him – totally! even though we don’t understand.
         -Voni
               In next post, the third challenge He gives me  –  just as big as the first two.
The result?  BLESSING!