Friday, June 7, 2013

Finding Fault

I can completely understand those who reject the Holy Bible, or even go as far as taking no interest in it at all. What I don't understand are those who not only reject the Bible, take no interest, and then have the audacity to judge or condemn it. They pick and choose passages and take them out of context in order to find fault.

My husband Armando is no exception. I'm sure he bites his tongue more often than not in his opinion of the Bible, but when he does express his assessments it is a challenge for me not to be defensive. Just yesterday, such was true. Our 17 year old daughter Shelbi is a serious Dr. Who fan, and she has spent countless hours watching and reading  anything Dr. Who. While making dinner, my husband I and were teasing Shelbi about the Doctor, but she was paying no attention because she was reading an article about him. I raised my voice a little louder and said to Armando, "Yeah, tomorrow we have to get up early and go to that Dr. Who protest." Shelbi quickly turned around asking, "What...Dr. Who...protest?!" We busted up laughing and Shelbi quickly realized we were being her normal goofy parents. After the giggles came to an end I said, "You know Shelbi, if you read and studied the Bible the way you indulge in Dr. Who you would be an even stronger person in mind, emotion, and spirit." I couldn't hear her response because I was distracted by my husband's instead. With a hint of sarcasm he said, "I seriously doubt that."  His statement was not only deeply offending, but I was upset by his hypocrisy! He is always preaching to others about knowing the truth and facts before you speak, yet he made a statement about the Bible and its implications for which he has no knowledge of.  And, he has no desire to read any of it! I didn't yell or sin in my anger (thank God!), but I did passionately tell him he had no right to say what he said and why. I didn't say it out loud, but if my husband only knew what I would be like with out the transforming power of God's word and my relationship with Jesus Christ he wouldn't be married to me. I would be bitter, angry, unreliable, spiteful, verbally combative, super critical, extremely sarcastic, and the list goes on. He never  responded to my statement, and I'm sure we both would agree that was probably for the best.

The amazing thing about times like this is my husband and I can move on peacefully, but on the rare occasions when feelings are bruised we always patch each other up right away.  The sheer dynamic of our Atheist/Christian relationship is one of the many reasons my faith in God is strengthened on a daily basis.

God Bless you and be with you!

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—
 they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.

Psalm 119:1-8

Monday, June 3, 2013

Religious Atheist?

Religion. I hate that word and I always make it clear I am not religious. Religion in my perspective is the practice of using God's Word (The Bible) to create a twisted version of  "Christian" dogma to control masses of people. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). He didn't say, I am a religion, your religion, a dead religion and I am one of the ways to enlightenment.  Jesus never said to pray kneeling face down to the East or directed any priest of the Old Testament to have the people pray 20 Hail Mary's, nor did he instruct the Early Church of the New Testament to divide up into different branches of Protestant sectors in order to accommodate their difference of opinions. No, Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." I accepted Jesus' gift of salvation 33 years ago, but each day I have to choose whether or not I am going to deny my own life to follow His. That is not religion, that is called being in love with my Savior.

My unbelieving husband actually understands this love because he has denied himself for me on many occasions, but there is one particular and very special time that stands out above all the rest. It was on April 16, 2011. This was our wedding day and it took us 9 years to get to there! The Pastor of my church conducted the ceremony in the backyard of my Groom's parent's house and it was completely Christ centered. My Atheist Groom bowed his head when we prayed. He took communion with me and the Pastor at the alter as our daughter Shelbi sang, "My Only Hope" a love song from a child of God to his/her Savior. My groom did all this for me, and if these things made him at all uncomfortable he never never once expressed it, but instead he never took his eyes from mine. He said every word with a full sincere heart hoping his actions would forever be imprinted in mine.

My Groom did not compromise his stance as an Atheist, nor was he being "religious" in any way shape or form. He simply expressed his unconditional love for his bride by denying himself for her. To do this is an equivalent to laying One's life down for another. As a result I never doubt his love and commitment for me. Even when my own insecurities from past wounds whisper their lies about my husband's loyalty I am reminded by my Lord how my husband chooses each and every day to deny his own life as a single person to be joined with me. That is the daily evidence that obliterates the ugly lies that try to pry us apart.

It is our hearts and minds that consciously choose to be married to one another every new morning when we wake. A choice we make even when we know very well the day will greet us with its challenges.

Blessings to you :)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Lighthouse

I'm going to fast-forward to where we are now, and when needed we will visit the past. My hopes are to point your eyes and heart in the right direction at the right time. I want to help you to clearly see the course for which God  has carried my husband, our children, and I to our current location in this journey. The journey is far from over of course, but like the tall ships of the sea the sails are many, but the wind and sea is what carries them.

My husband and I live in a small port town in Southern California. He has lived in this town all his life and he plans on spending the rest of his years here. I on the other hand, was born here near the sea, but I was raised in the desert of Yuma, AZ.  I am a nomad by nature which stems my desire to move from here to there whenever and when. But, Armando is a like the lighthouse who is perfectly content planted on the rock of the sea. I've come to learn and accept that being part of the lighthouse is where I am supposed to be. 

I have been working as a Materials Manager for the past 6 1/2 years, but yesterday was my last day of employment. The small company I worked for is going through some big changes and there was a necessity to cut back on expenses. Though financially it will be tough and quite a test all on it's own I know this is providence caring and pruning His creation.  My husband is working for an aerospace manufacturing company as a software engineer/network administrator. (I'm so proud of him). He is carrying so much stress and burden on his shoulders. It doesn't help when he sees his wife and youngest daughter struggling with some old wounds of the past. He works hard to be a good example to his family. He strives to do quality work for his employer while never compromising his integrity. He always makes time for me and his children. He wants so much to work with me to make our new home a beautiful lighthouse for all who come and find rest, but lack of funds prevent him for now. I could go on and on about him. I don't mean to do this as to boast or sound cheesy, rather because I have such a deep appreciation and respect for him. He has shared with me that he doe not like when people say they will pray for him. Though I understand his reasons, I always pray anyways.  I pray to my Lord that even though my husband doesn't believe to please bless him anyways because he first loved me who is a child of the king. The Word of God says, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:31) 
So, I hold God to His promise to bless my husband with peace, strength, healing, and provision. I hope my Atheist is ok with this, but even if he isn't....too bad I'm never going to stop :)

We don't have any children together of our own. This isn't by choice, but because I can no longer conceive. We do have a cat named Baloney and Baloney has a mate named Piper. (Piper belongs to our now 17 year old daughter Shelbi.) We are supposed to have a German Shepard named Moses, but like God my Atheist husband doesn't believe that either. :)

This Atheist/Christian marriage relationship has been really successful, but it isn't without it's problems. Because we have two complete different world views in regards to government, public education, and deciding what godly and ungodly things are allowed in our home. For example, he is a hard-core Progressive Democrat and I am a Conservative (not Republican) that stands more in the Centrist position. He loves to post really sarcastic stuff about Republican and Christian Conservatives. I often took these post deeply  and painfully personal. In return, I would lash out by posting  or saying sarcastic stuff about his beloved Obama. Of course, my reaction only fueled the problem. It also made me sick inside because I knew I was doing exactly what God commanded me as a Christ follower NOT to do. So I stopped. Sometimes I still find myself wanting to slip up, but I've learned to bite my tongue and give it to the God who put Obama in office. (Yes, God put Obama in office. Don't believe me? Read Romans 13:1) 

In conjunction with changing my attitude and actions, I also shared with my husband how his posts made me feel. With that he toned it down. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out he doesn't view me in the same light as the Christians he finds to be hypocrites. He has admitted that I practice what I preach....Wow, that meant so much to me! I am honored in my husband's eyes and that truth motivates me to stay the course!! 

Until next time, have a great weekend. 

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  Psalm 119:105