As long as I live there will be something worth fighting for, worth writing for, and worth dying for.

Friday, November 21, 2008

God's Testing Me, I Just Know It!

Ever have one of those days where you pray for something, "God, increase my patience" or something of the sort, and soon you come to realize that when the Spirit communicated that prayer He must have said, "God, test her patience."

With everything happening with Daniel, then my grandparents... now this. God is testing me for something. I don't know if I'm passing or failing, but I know I am learning. See, this evening, for the second time this year, my kitchen caught on fire. Mind you, it was not on purpose, and it doesn't help that there is no smoke detector in our kitchen.

My brother and I were downstairs playing Halo (yes, I play, but only with my brothers) when I smelled this awful smell. It was a nauseating, 'hot' smell (like something plastic was burning). I assumed it was coming from the laundry room since my mother had just come down from upstairs (so, of course, it couldn't be from upstairs). I went into the laundry room and it wasn't there. So then I was confused and thought my computer was fritzing. I had this puzzled look on my face, turned to my mother and said, "Do you smell that?"

To which she replies, "I smelled something burning upstairs but couldn't figure out what it was."

"Like burning burning? Upstairs upstairs (where our bedrooms are) or upstairs (the main level)?"


"You smelled something burning?"

Suddenly, realization dawned on her face. She turned white as a sheet and I beat them both up the stairs. I whipped around the corner to see orange light dancing on our kitchen wall. I ran into the kitchen, saw a tower of flame and ran from the house to the van (where our fire extinguisher is supposed to be) yelling, "Fire! Fire!"

I grabbed the keys to the van on my way out the door, neglecting the fact that it is nearly freezing outside. I ran across the ground in my pjs and bare feet, ripped open the back of the van and literally jumped in.

Justin and I tore apart the van to no avail. The dumb thing is supposed to be in there. By the time we got back in the house, we discovered that our very resourceful mother had found something to smother the source of the fire and had taken the wooden knife block which was also on fire, and had thrown it in some dishwater that was left in the sink.

All doors and windows are open now. The upstairs upstairs is filled with this beautiful white smoke. I can't go to bed right now, simply because my bedroom will kill me. We have discovered that our fire alarms do not have batteries... we found that strange. They work, but they must be electric. However, we know now that they do not automatically call the fire department which is what we were afraid. Justin ripped the cover off one and we just stood there staring at this screaming piece of metal. It isn't even a normal fire alarm it doesn't do the "Beep Beep" it is almost like a school recess bell, this loud grinding sound. I wanted to shoot it. We also discovered that our bedroom windows do not open and that our house sucks in cold air really well.

I find this all comical actually. Maybe it's the fumes. We are all a little tipsy right now :-D I looked at the black wall in our kitchen, then down at my cell phone, which is riddled with messages on Daniel, and could not help but think, "God is testing me, I just know He is!"

Somehow, life is so much easier to take from that perspective :-D

Count it all joy

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I had a revelation today. A revelation regarding politics and the election. One of my students and I were talking earlier today about who I was going to vote for. My honest answer, "Honestly, I don't like either one of them, but I feel one is much better than the other. The thing you have to realize is that people are imperfect and all politicians are liars. None of them deliver all that they promise and each of them will screw up." I don't have a positive outlook on politics, I guess.

Tonight, my mother and I were driving home after stopping by California Tortilla so we could sport our "I Voted" stickers and get free tacos :-) As we waited in traffic on the wet pavement, I said, "All politics has become is 'don't vote for that guy.' Neither states why I should vote for him, instead, they spend all of their time bashing the other person into the groud. Like a bunch of immature junior highers. If you want to change something, you get up there and you tell me what you want to do. You tell me what your plans are. You tell me why I should pick you, not why I shouldn't pick the other guy. It just becomes a bunch of mud-slinging and if everyone starts slinging mud, what do you end up with? One big mess."

At any rate, I have been following the election tonight, watching as states turn funny colors and grow stripes. I watch as numbers go back and forth as predictions are proven not-so-accurate. A video link crossed the side of my screen. A video of children singing a song to Obama. In the middle a video was spliced of German children singing a song about Hitler. I know what the implication is.
The song goes:

"We're gonna spread happiness. We're gonna spread freedom. Obama's gonna change it. Obama's gonna lead em. He's gonna change it, and rearrange it. Obama's gonna change the world!"

The 'that's life' part of me wants to say, "Hate to break it to you kid, but no one can make people happy. And as far as spreading freedom... what do you think we are doing in Iraq?"

But as I watched the video end, I saw people's faces and I realized something. These people are searching. That is why 'change' sounds so good, because everything else we've tried hasn't worked. Funny thing is, it never will. In four years, we will face this scenario again. Parties will point fingers blaming each other for all of the downfalls of the presidency and then claiming all the victories. We do this every four years. We will never find a president everybody likes. People are searching... and they will never find what they are looking for in a man.

That realization nearly broke my heart. Those people in that video are frustrated. They are searching and probably sick and tired of not getting what they want. It doesn't matter what is going to change, as long as something is going to change. As long as someone promises life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, they find some kind of hope. But, within four years, that hope will have died.

Politics-- a search for Christ. I never really thought of it that way. In reality, that is what people are looking for. A leader who will be just, and honest. Who is not able to be bribed, who truly cares about them. A leader who will protect, and provide. Who will punish those who deserve punishment but extend grace to those who are repentent. One who promises joy and can provide. One who promises to fulfill our needs and does...abundantly.

Sound familiar? Funny, that sounds like my God, and we won't find Him here, running for president of our nation. long as you live and breathe. As long as you walk the face of this earth and have fallible man in leadership, rest assured your leadership will be fallible. Rest assured that dreams promised will not come true.

I go to bed tonight with a fair certainty that tomorrow, there will be a man packing up to move to the White House. A man that I don't want to live in that White House. I go to bed with a fair certainty that, over the next four years, our nation will change drastically. My rights will be pressed, my freedoms challenged, my faith persecuted. But most of all, I go to bed with 100% certainty of this:

Whoever is announced the 'winner' is only the 'winner' because God allowed him to be the 'winner.' My God is in control- period. No man in that White House can ever change that. And, when January 2009 rolls around, my God will not change. He will never change. He has always been, is, and will always be the one True God, the One True Answer, Holy, Just, Merciful, Gracious, Loving, Giving, Caring, Faithful, Sovereign, Almighty, Jehovah, Adonai, Jehovah Jireh, My Provider, the Everlasting God, the Lord of the Armies, the Kinsman Redeemer, the Spotless Lamb, the Beautiful One, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, my Saviour, my Creator, my Sustainer, my Peace, my Comfort, my Strength, my Shield, my Fortress, my Shelther, my Loving Father, my Portion forever...

So tell me, Mr President, what job is left for you?