Quote

“Open Your Eyes”

“But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” ~ John 3:21

When I post political articles and current event pieces on Facebook it is usually because something  rises up within me to shout to the world, “Open your eyes, look what’s going on!” It reminds of the song “Stop Children What’s That Sound”  The words could easily apply to today’s headlines.

Most people live their lives with their head in the sand  They think they can keep living the life they make for themselves without being effected by what is going on in the world.  They think they are immune to the crime happening in their community until it happens to them. They think the scandals and the lawlessness of our government has no bearing on their day-to-day routine until they lose their job due to a new law that has been forced upon all Americans. They pay no attention to the news of the day until they hear it is about someone they know.  They scoff at the post about conspiracy, corruption or rumors of war.  They become so busy they have no time to do their civil duty such as vote or call their local representative about an injustice or accountability. Then they get angry because someone got elected that they do not like but have no one to blame but themselves for their lack of interest.

People plan the next activity or event without stopping to look at the souls around them struggling to get through the day.  They feign their interest in the suffering of others but have no time to help out the neighbor or friend they know need words of encouragement or a hug.  They want to be comforted but have none to give, they want to be entertained and made to feel good but have no interest in serving others. They think by giving money to a group or a good cause they have done their part but do not want to leave their comfort zone. They call themselves “Christian” but have no interest in being “Christ-like” nor do they know what that even means.

The truth is many who have known Him for many years have fallen asleep.  They have gone numb from the noise of the world.  Where is the fire? Where is the revivals? Where are the men and women in the United States who would give their hearts, minds and souls to help another find His way into eternity?  The ones who live facing death daily in other countries are dying for their faith. Literally by the thousands.  Just click on this link and read the stories: Persecution  If those do not convince you that Americans are asleep then I do not know what will.

You can listen to the conservative/Christian talk shows and you will hear them go round and round about the problems our country is facing. The commentary and arguments in the media are spewing out words that have changed their meanings over the years. Facebookers post the recipes, humorous phrases and spiritual thoughts for the day all the while the powers and principalities are wreaking havoc in this world. Most folks never stop to really think about the words they put out into the infernal internet clothesline or do they?” What difference does it make?” as in the words of one who cares nothing for making a difference in anyone’s life but their own or for the lives who made a difference by laying down their life to save others.

Now before you think I am not including myself in any of the transgressions above please realize that I, myself have been wrestling with all the noise of the world as of late. The thoughts running around in my head have been very, very eclectic to say the least. Politics, religion, Jesus, children, ministry, finances, love, marriage, sickness, death, family, fear, drugs, military, salvation, war, law, citizen, teenagers, win, fail, weight, prayer, health, spring, vacation, reunion, future, recipes, bills, serve, honor, past…..it just goes on and on. I have not been able to focus on one thing other than one simple question that is causing me to wonder what God is speaking to me about. What difference am I making in the world?  My world, this world or better yet, your world?

Now that might seem to some like a question I am throwing out there for others to answer. Not at all and please don’t. Truthfully I would like to hear the answer from God. For it is not man who will judge my works or my heart when I leave this planet earth to enter into eternal life.  There are times when I believe I am asleep at the wheel, so to speak, when it comes to my walk with the Lord. I have taken inventory and discovered that the times I was gleaning an enormous amount from God’s Word and time with Him were in my loneliest and darkest of days.  Why is it then in our bright days of day-to-day living that we don’t seem to have the same intensity of relationship?  Is it the focus or the intention of the heart that is slightly off kilter? We can blame it on distractions, responsibilities or circumstances.  In truth it is ultimately our choice.  We choose to make our walk a priority, the TOP priority!

I admit there are days when going about my business I will throw up prayers to God without stopping to get quiet, bow my head or my knees.  I will say things like:  “God, stop me if this is not pleasing.” “God, am I being selfish here?” “God, are you seeing what’s in my heart right now?” “God, I can not do this on my own.” “Thank you, Jesus! You are sooo good!” But over the course of time throwing up prayers does not a relationship make and  I am not so sure that is what is meant by living with godly purpose or walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Spending time quietly waiting for Him to speak, praying our hearts cry, reading His Word back to Him, meditating on His goodness, praising and worshiping Him in song, those are relationship builders with Christ.  And those I have done but not always consistently.

But oh, it can be disconcerting to try to examine the motives or responses to each and every moment I did not turn to God, but instead to other things such as internet, a movie, a book, busy-ness or the conversation of others.  When I do turn to those things on a regular basis I become agitated, irritated and cynical. Even angry at times with what I see others doing.  Then I become a judge instead of an edifier.  I want others to know what I love not what I hate. I want to be the peacemaker instead of divider.  I want to encourage instead of the one who  criticizes.  But most of all I want to be the salt and light.  I want to be Christ-like! 

I recently was a part of an effort to reach out to some teens that happen to go to school with my son, who is in high school.  He has been inviting his friends from school each Wednesday evening for almost 2 years.  At first it was just one friend.  And then a couple came with him. Now he may have 4 or 5 any given week.  Our very small church took them camping to connect with them by unplugging and removing most of the distractions.  I felt so inadequate to be there. I felt old and had absolutely nothing to say they could relate to. The one moment I did speak it felt flat and without power to move any of them to seek Him.

However, there were moments when I witnessed them listening to God’s Word. I do not know if they actually heard what was said or if they took it in long enough to remember it.  I do know beyond a shadow of doubt that God’s Word does not return void.  And I know from first hand experience that He fills in the gaps where we as humans fail to be what we need to be in the face of ministering or witnessing to someone for eternity. After the weekend was over I gave it all up to Him to do with it what He will. Even if the teens were not moved over the 3 days I can certainly say I was. It left me desperately wanting to see Him move in those kids and in me. 

I have made more of an effort to stop, look and listen to Him rather than to keep moving forward without heed to God’s will. Which is why writing has been so difficult for me lately.  If God does not give it to me I do not want to write it down.  For the Bible says we will be judged for every idle word. The world is a different place than when I first accepted Christ as my Savior.  Back then, some 22 years ago, we could talk face to face to someone who would look us in the eye.  Now there are so many ways to communicate without ever laying eyes on another human if we choose.  We have to turn it all off.  We have to separate ourselves from the noise of this world.  We have to surrender our hearts to silence for a bit and get back to face to face.  And knees to ground.  Because until we do we will not make much of a difference in bringing others to Christ. In bringing others with us into eternity.  

My prayer:

Oh, heavenly Father, I pray you open my eyes wider to the reality that our time on this earth is short for none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Lord, help us to see past the distractions of our day, to hear beyond the noise of the world, to reach out to those who can not see.  Help us to be the light to them that they may find their way to you.  Give us wisdom to apply the season of salt to the conversations we have with others that they might understand the love that comes from your son, Jesus. Put a fire in our hearts, repentance on our lips and bring revival to our land! Thank you, Lord for hearing our cry! In Jesus name, Amen!

Grace to you friend for stopping by!

Shell

Leaving My Space Behind

The rumors turned out to be true….Spaces is going away.  It feels like I am being evicted!
 
This was my first blog, ever. 
 
It was my therapy and a means to sanity at times.  It had everything I needed at a time in my life when I was wandering!  Wandering through desert, mountains, valleys and dark forests.  It allowed me to record that journey and enabled me to see it through.  This place was my "safe" place for a little while, for 4 years. 
 
I know it sounds kind of corny to lament over a virtual abyss of words and images.  But to me it was more than that…it really was.  It was an outlet for creativity, sharing and learning.  It gave me a voice during a time when my voice was crying out for healing.  It connected me with like minded souls whose hearts, for a time, were my companions.  I not only got to hear the stories of others lives but to peek inside their lives through their pictures and music.  And that often inspired me.  The world came into my room through a screen.  The stories, prayers and comments touched my life in such a way that it often gave me hope and encouragement. 
 
It filled a void that I believe God used to keep me from isolation. Isolation is not good for getting one back into life…. I am so grateful for the time spent here on Spaces.  My love for writing has blossomed and my hope and dream is to pursue it in some form.  I want to put something out there that not only inspires and encourages but brings glory to my heavenly father.  I am asking Him to open a door of opportunity for me in this area.  I believe He will and am excited to discover what it will be. 
 
I will be migrating to WordPress until I can figure something out. I have a blogger account that is devoted to scrapbooking  "My Scrappy World" I do not post as often there and am not sure I want to combine my blog with that.  This blog has been and is about my personal walk with God.  It may be that I need to take a break for a while…I will consider that in prayer…as to what the Lord would have me to do. 
 
So many have already left, it is not the same so it won’t be too hard to say goodbye…there are a few that have not been on here in quite some time and would have liked to converse with them for a bit….but I understand that those who cross our path may only be for a season and we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be united in Heaven someday soon.  So to that end…may God pour His grace onto you in coming days….and if you want to stay connected, you can find me most assuradly on FACEBOOK
 
Grace to you….
Michelle Padilla
 

Photobucket

I just got tagged…

It has been a busy two days here on MSN…kind of fun shaking things up a bit…I have enjoyed meeting some new people and making new friends here….so many amazing people, from all walks of life, reaching out and being lights…Praise God!! If you haven’t gotten to know anyone on here I encourage you to do so…what a blessing!   May we all keep reaching out and making a difference for Christ!

Photobucket

Ok, LiveforHim just tagged me, so here it goes…

Rules:
Each person posts the rules before their lists, then lists 8 things about themselves.  At the end of the post that person lists 8 other people they want to tag, then visits each of their sites leaving a comment that they have been tagged & to come to your space & read the post so they will know what to do.

List:
1) I have lost 18 lbs since July 1st 2008 and several more to go…
2) After raising 4 children I have 1 at home currently, yikes I miss them all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3) Scrapbooking is one of my fav things to do and have completed 10 albums since 2002!
4) I love the ocean, the mountains and the hills of Missouri in the fall!
5) My favorite kind of movies are usually based on true stories about overcomers and have to do with sports!
6) I would rather have a kiss than a bouquet of flowers. (but I wouldn’t turn down the flowers Wink)
7) My favorite sensation is being barefoot in the sand and a wave washes over feet on the way back out…
8) My desire is to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength so that in turn His love would flow through me to others!!!

Tagged:
Angie
Bill Loytty
Gerry
Cassie
Chelle
Artisticbaker
Mandy
Will

My Weblog Award List…

Shell’s Nominations!

weblog award


Llist 7 people to whom you would like to receive
this award then you must contact them to let them know they have
received it!  Along with listing them you must provide the reasoning
behind it!  It is then up to them to pass this along to 7 of their
friend’s.  Let’s see how long we can keep the ball rolling!

Here are mine…

A lady I truly admire…a mother of 5 and a stroke survivor.

faithfulmomFaithfulmom

A sweet spirit and kind heart, living with her husband and two children in Saudi Arabia. I pray for their safety!
JaleenJaleen Fuller’s Space

A beautiful young lady just out of high school choosing to live for the Lord.
liveforhimLiveforhim

A down to earth lady with a wonderful eye for the world, her pictures inspire me!
LizzyNorth Country Fire

A peaceful place to visit!
megMeg’s Garden

A lady full of light and wisdom gifted in teaching God’s Word!
JudithInspirational Food forThought

One of my first friends on MSN Spaces and a delight to visit!
GregBLOG QUEST

Words, We All Have Them!

We, on these spaces, have a unique opportunity to share the love of Christ with all who will listen.  We may not always get it right in the way that we say it but I believe if we trust His Word and the truth of it and then stand on it…it will show through our words without condemnation to others.  It is a fine line, especially when we broach subjects that are so close to our hearts.  Sin is devastating to all who are touched by it…I can certainly testify to that in my life. 
I have chosen not to share the intimate details of my testimony in such an open forum but have shared privately with a few bloggerville friends. And that was with the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am not afraid of telling my testimony that I must be careful of when and where that is done for Christ’s glory, not for mine. 
It has been important for me to be able to share with others what God is doing in my heart and life.  My Heavenly Father has me in a place where I do not have a huge social life, I am a single mother, working full time and trying with what little time I have left at the end of the day to invest in my children’s’ lives.  So there is little time for me to get out!  Smile So this is just one way for me to connect…
 
I have recently read some blogs and the comments going back and forth…and I could very well see both points, not because I thought they were wrong or right per say but because they were spoken by people who look out into the world, see the news (however reliable that may be) and form opinions of the hurt, pain and confusion that is caused by someone else’s sin. 
We all are passionate about one idea or another because of where we come from, the experiences we have had in our lives and the roads we have had to travel.  Spiritually, we may be in different places in our walks with Jesus or some may not even have a relationship with Him, therefore giving opinions with an entirely different perspective. 
 
It is so easy for us to sit and read a blog and then automatically assume we know where the other’s heart is. While our words may give us a small peek into the lives of who we really are it does not show the whole picture. And sometimes the part we don’t see is the most important part of who we are…. 
 
I have, myself written things that seem so self-focused that after I posted it I wonder if maybe I am being narcissistic in my “point of view”.  I write things about myself and where my heart is because
 
    (1) it helps me think out loud and really look at what I am thinking or feeling in comparison to His Word. Some of those things can be very painful but I would rather share that in view of His Word and let Him use it to maybe turn others towards Him. And it does not hurt to have some feedback or encouragement…and accountability in what I say.
 
    (2) my opinion about other people’s sin is really better left for me to keep to myself unless asked.  There are many things in the news that make me very angry and there are times I would love to vent my feelings and emotions but for me, I feel that it would do more harm than good for me to unload all that onto another.  It does not bother me for others to be able to do that….that is our privilege on these spaces.
I think the thing that we all must remember is no matter what we think or how passionate we are about a subject, we must at all times, consider how our words affect others.  The Bible says…

 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 18:21

There have been many speakers who can inspire the masses by their eloquent speeches and then those who incite riots by the hatred and fear in their words.  And every one of them speaking knew what their intentions were when they got up to speak.  I believe we all want to have our say.  Something in us needs to speak out against injustice, unfairness, and sin. And the intentions we have in doing so often come from a place in our hearts that no one really knows is there until we speak.

We are so inundated with information coming at us from all directions, Television, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, and Internet, that we could not possibly take it all in…so we pick and choose our medium, our subject and even how much of the details we want to take in. And then we have to process it and then we need to discuss it.  I think (and this is my opinion) that our need to discuss comes from wanting to be validated.  We want others to know what we think is important, what hurts us, what inspires us and most of all what moves us to action.

If we can bring it out in the open, so to speak, then we can somehow relieve the anxiety in our souls.  The unrest that lies within us.  We can feel better about having made the connection between the just or unjust, right or wrong and truth or lies. Bottom line is “we all fall short of the glory of God” and we, who believe in a righteous and Holy God will never be at peace on earth..we are sojourners passing through on our way to a place where none of this dialogue will matter in eternity!

Grace to you all

Shell


 

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket