Tag Archives: Bible

Mission Accomplished!

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All scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable  for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. ~2 Timothy 3:16

Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. ~Matthew 22:29

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. ~Romans 15:4

I was so excited last night when I finished reading the last book in the New Testament.  I loved reading about the Good Shepherd!  I am eager to start on the Old Testament next.  I have planned it to where I will be finished by the end of the year, if not sooner.  When I was younger I started reading the Bible but it was too tedious and I quit.  However, now I am older and wiser and determined to read the good book in its entirety.

I plan to use my deeper knowledge of the Bible to encourage others.  My goal is to have a  scripture on my tongue for any situation.   

The life and words of Jesus moved me.  I felt truimphant, repentant, hopeful,  humbled, but most of all uplifted.  I wish I could have met him!  I am looking forward to the Son shining again!

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

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I hesitated writing this post because it is so disturbing.  However, my brother is at it again and I need to process his latest diatribe against me.  Last night I was out having dinner with a friend when my cell phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the number so I didn’t answer.  But when I got home and looked at the caller ID, I saw that it was my stepfather calling from a friend’s house.

I returned his call and he immediatedly warned me not to go around my brother.  I reminded him that I rarely even see him as I have no reason to do so.  What he said next chilled me,

Your brother has a gun and he’s been talking crazy saying that he wants you deadMy dad (my brother lives with George’s foster father) and the girls (his foster sisters) called me over tonight because he was really talking shit telling them what he was going to do to you.  It scared my dad, he told me.  He said he tried to reason with my brother, which I know is pointless for you cannot reason with the unreasonable.  I was hurt and offended!  I knew what it was all about.  A few weeks back I had written to Jazmine’s mom asking for guardianship for practical purposes and she granted my request.  George also informed me:

  • He feels that I “took” his daughter away from him
  • He can’t believe that my mother birthed such a bitch
  • If I wanted a daughter, I should have had one with my husband before he died
  • I deserve to die
  • He hope someones blows my head off
  • He hates me with a passion
  • I am not his sister, I am just his mother’s daughter
  • He doesn’t care that my husband died, he only cares about his daughter

My brother is also irate because I asked him to contribute $100 a month for her upkeep.  I have only asked this because I no longer have my husband’s income to count on.  I didn’t think it was exorbitant considering that we have been taking care of her without his financial assistance for almost a year now.  Not to mention, I recently found out that he has been collecting money from the state for her–even though he does not have Jazmine in his care!!!

I find this amazingly ludicrous that he is upset over losing $100 of some money that he shouldn’t be getting inthe first place!  He is totally unstable in every sense of the word and he THINKS that he is still capable of caring for his daughter!  The love of money is truly the root of all evil.  He is not thinking of Jazmine at all. 

The few times that he has requested her on the weekends she has returned smelly and sick.  The last two times he had her he had no money to buy her Pull up’s (after she used all of the ones I sent) and put her on adult-sized  Depends–kid you not!!!  He last bought her four outfits in August.

I thought I was doing a good deed by taking care of her for him.  Her mom appreciates it, obviously, he does not.  It makes me bewilderingly sad.  I’m so tired of people thinking I want their children when I am only trying to help.

I called my aunt who acts as our surrogate parent since my mother died.  I wanted her advice.  She had already talked to my brother who had called her two days prior lamenting the same woes about me.  She said she she gave him a stern lecture because he was being so ungrateful, inconsiderate, and asinine.  My aunt even compared him to Eliza.  However, she didn’t know about the gun and was very alarmed and angered by his foolishness.  She called him but he would not accept her call.

She told me that perhaps I should hand Jazmine over to him so he could really see what it took to rear a toddler.  She predicted that he would be calling me to pick her up again before too long.  My girlfriend also suggested this.  But I don’t want to put Jazmine in harm’s way.  He does not have her best interest at heart and is only thinking about himself.  He is very short tempered and drinks and drugs as well.  What if he hurts her?

My aunt pointed out that I should not have to deal with these types of threats from my own brother.  I do agree.  I feel like I am being attacked at all angles!!!  I am exhausted by these trials I am experiencing.  A friend suggested that I read the book of Job for hope.  But I’m no Job.  I don’t have his patience nor his amazing strength and faith.   I am not that good and faithful of a servant. 

Tomorrow I am going to write Jazmine’s mom and ask her if she wants Jazmine to be with him until she is released in December.  I don’t think she will because as she has stated many times before “I know how your brother is.”  When I asked for guardianship I proposed that very same idea to her.  She responded by sending me the papers.

I wish my brother could see that I do not want his daughter for my own.  I know she is my niece and I am okay with that.  And even though I don’t think he would really kill me, it’s still unsettling to hear him express the desire to do so.  Maybe I just need to stay away from people and their kids. My “help” always seems to be interpreted as anything but.

 By keeping Jazmine I thought I was “keeping” him.  How wrong was I?

My Struggle

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I’ve been making my way through the New Testament and the resounding message in each book seems to be “love one another.”  Sounds simple, right?

While I’d like to say I love everyone, I know that I don’t.  I love those who love me which is easy to do.  The hard part is showing love to the ones who treat me bad or simply don’t deserve it.  Now I believe the Bible encourages us to be discerning about love.  Because you can love from a distance without getting yourself tangled in the mire or trampled on.  I love my brother, but I only deal with him on a “need to” basis and feed him with a long-handled spoon.  I show  love by taking care of Jazmine.

Right now I am having a hard time displaying neighborly love toward all.  I don’t love (or even respect) most of the people I work with.  Eliza and her family–forget about it.  And there’s no love lost between my husband’s middle sister and I.  Then there’s the weird family that lives next door to us.  Nor can I feel any affection for the many yahoos that seem to flock my way.  I try not to think about such unpleasantries but I can’t deny that feelings of animosity and bitterness live in me.

I imagine reaching this plateau would involve humbling one’s self.  Thus, I guess my first lesson lies in humility. I have so much work to do!

The Good Book

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Last night I spent some time writing in my prayer journal.  However, I didn’t write to God this time.  Instead I searched the Bible to find scriptures of comfort to transcribe.  I like to memorize them but during the times I need them the most, I can’t seem to recall many! 

There are several that really speak to my heart.  Here are a few of my favorite:

Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:10

In My Father’s house there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  John 14:2-3

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord Psalm 27:14

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing Psalm 30:11

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:5-6

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no pain, for the former things have passed away.  Revelations 21:4

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. Isaiah 25:8

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. James 5:13

You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:8

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  James 1:2-3

He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. Psalms 147: 3-5

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Be There

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Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep..For none of us lives to himself…

Romans 12:15,14:7

As death is apart of the life cycle, it is bound to happen.  This is the one fate we all have in common.  I’m sure many of you have been in the seat of mourner.  During my period of mourning I have had some great support.  Death leaves a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.  Sometimes you don’t know what you can do to help the person through their period of sadness and loss.  Here are a few things that I think are helpful to consider when helping those you are close to are grieving:

  • Silence is for Lambs: Always acknowledge the loss of the mourner’s loved one.  This can be done without words in the form of a simple hug, a greeting card, or a heartfelt smile.  Pretending like nothing has occurred is rather callous.  My own brother (Jazmine’s father) did not bother to attend the service or even acknowledge his death.
  • Practical Makes Perfect:  It was so helpful (and much appreciated) when friends, relatives, and coworkers provided me with meals!  Cooking is the last thing on your mind.  And of course, this is really a time that you need to nourish your body with good food.  Nicholas, Jazmine, and I were often invited to breakfast and dinner by family and several coworkers bought my lunch everyday or prepared it themselves.  If it wasn’t for these people, we would have starved! My cousin also volunteered tireless hours driving me around.  She made the roundtrip so that I could talk to Evan about his dad, too.  Another practical form of help is to assist in addressing thank you cards.  This is something that I didn’t feel like doing but my good manners would not allow me not to.  I even had several babysitting offers when I needed to take care of business.
  • 21 Questions is a Game Not to Play:  I say this because I have been asked some rather insensitive questions, such as was my husband overweight (no, he was not), did I cook healthy meals, (mostly) or was he ill (no again).  Allow the mourner the opportunity to grieve first.  They may or may not feel like divulging details of the death, and if  they don’t, then that’s okay, too.
  • Lipservice is Not Service: “If you need anything, let me know” is a common one.  Now I know people mean well and  hate to see a person that they love or care about hurting.  But only offer services that you are  truly capable of or are willing to lovingly provide.  One day, someone just might take you up on your generous offer which could create an ackward situation for both parties.  Also don’t offer simplistic platitudes such as “God needed him more.”  Even if it is true, that’s not what a grieving spirit wants to hear.
  • Rose-Colored Glasses Don’t Look Good On You:  One of my coworkers who is a wonderful man, is determined that I will not be sad.  He does everything to try and make me laugh.  However, it’s annoying.  I’m sad–sadder than sad and will be for quite some time.  But I have every right to be.  I don’t feel like laughing even when others think I should.  It is totally alright for people to experience a wide range of emotions while mourning.  Please give them this gift without the pressure of feeling that they need to “get over” their loss and be happy again.  I will be okay again one day in my own timing.
  • Disappearing Acts Are For Magicians: This is one of the most lonely and vulnerable times of grieving.  I imagine one could really lose their minds without proper support in place.  So don’t “go missing” after the service!  Grief is not something that ends with the funeral.
  • Use Your Ears for More Than Hanging Earrings:  I am so thankful to my friend Stacy, whom I met through blogging.  She listened to me cry and babble one night for over three hours!  I am grateful that she cared enough about a perfect stranger to sacrifice her time to make me feel better.  My friend Angela was wonderful as well.  I can’t stress how important it is to be a listening ear. 
  • Jumping to Conclusions is Not an Olympic  Sport: Don’t assume that a person grieving is “okay”  because they may appear to be fine. I am a perfect example of this because I hide my emotions very well.   Tears of a Clown is my theme song at the moment!  Check often on the person via email, text,  personal visits, cards, voicemail, or telephone calls to let the person know you are concerned about their wellbeing.  Also, don’t forget to include the mourner in on activities that you normally would.  It is eay to make the false assumption that “they won’t feel up doing anything.”  This is hurtful and not always the case.
  • Uh Huh…Okay…Shut-up: I have had several people tell me that I am “young and will marry again” or “you’ll be fine after a few years.”  Sometimes the best words to say are none at all.  Our society is so used to idle chatter that people are under the false impression that they have to say something when they don’t.
  • Be Clueless:  Feel free not to have a ready explanation as to why their loved one died.  We don’t know the answers to God’s many mysteries of life.  Just be there, your presence is enough.
  • Don’t Tiptoe Through the Tulips:  It is okay to talk about the deceased.  I’ve had a few of my coworkers look in horror when my students discuss the many times they saw my husband and I out.  He was alive once and it doesn’t bother me when people remember him.  Our family talks about him all the time.
  • Lace Up Your Nikes:  Don’t ask IF the grieving person needs something because you know they do!  Even if it is something as simple as a hug.  If you notice they haven’t been eating, buy them lunch.  Invite them to your home, baby-sit for a few hours, offer to run errands for them.  Most people are too shy/proud to admit that they really need someone to lean on.  Most mourners won’t interpret this as being intrusive.  I view it as people wanting to do something to help ease my pain.  The point is don’t wait for a vulnerable person to make a request because that may never happen–just do it! 
  • Orisons Are Awesome: This is the most beautiful and lasting form of support.  I know many of you have sent up prayers for me and I am in awe.  When I feel so low, which I often do, I can only wonder how much worse off I would be without the prayers of family, friends, fellow bloggers, perfect strangers, and coworkers to help keep me afloat.  I am so very grateful for all of the comments and warm thoughts left on my postings!  Thanks to all who have been  grieving with me.