Life is Adrift

I want to prewarn everyone that this may be a bit of a depressing blog post since I’ve been having some negative feelings. If you’re having a difficult time, this may be a Debbie downer kind of post.

For quite a while now, I’ve had a number of things on my mind. I will be doing a few blogs on some of these thoughts. It’s hard to summarize how 2020 and even the beginning of 2021 has been so far and how it’s been a constant state of grief for the world.

For many people, it’s been a year that’s been filled with loss, depression, spiritual chaos and so on. Covid has taken it’s toll on everyone all over the world. We’ve gone and are still going through this pandemic, racial injustice, Trumps impeachment and monumental election that had historically the highest turnout. Over 500,000 lives have been lost because of this virus. In November we elected a new president. When Biden was confirmed, people who claimed to be patriots stormed the capital because they thought the election was stolen. I don’t think it was stolen.

I have very much been feeling like we’ve lost our way in this country. I also feel like I’ve lost my way in some sense. This has been a year that includes sudden death of my brother in law Ira, interrupted weddings, online graduations, online classes, lonely holidays, families not together and the way we can’t interact with other people unless your 6 feet apart. If we want to wish someone a happy birthday, it was at a distance people drove down the street in parade formations. Lives were lost unnecessarily to this virus since so many people believed it was a hoax. It’s like mankind has been lost in a forest and no compass to direct us to find our way.

The challenges we’ve been facing has been going on for such a long time. It’s as if we are in a slow motion movie heading for a brick wall. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been trapped in a corner and all I can do is to try to protect myself from the next thing that is bound to be thrown at me. It just keeps dragging on and on. I’m more than ready to get off this train of life.

My Best Friend- Jennifer H

I know for myself I’m missing my friends like Jennifer H and my family that are near and far. I haven’t seen my daughter Rebechia and my grandkids for months. The sad part is that they live only 10 minutes from me. I haven’t been to church out of fear of getting sick. Since I have no immune system, I can’t risk being around others which means going to church isn’t safe. For most of the world we’ve had to wear masks when doing normal things such as grocery shopping, going to doctors appointments, visiting family members and so much more. Interacting with family and friends through zoom calls and facetime is getting old. I’m grateful that we have the kind of technology that allows us to visit our loved ones. It’s just really hard for me to visit people this way.

I’ve also been feeling a lot of spiritual chaos for a year now. I won’t go into details since I’ve mentioned the problems I’ve been dealing with concerning the church I use to go to. For me, my relationship with Christ and the interaction with other like minded people are one of the most important aspects in my life. God has been a constant in my life. He has and still is a huge part of my life. I’ve been feeling lost and alone since all of this virus stuff started in addition to other things that has been happening at church.

I’m very much missing most life events, joy, safety and a sense of well being. I’m feeling as if my life is adrift and I’ve been lost at sea looking for the directions that are needed and necessary to having a healthy and important life. My hope is for life to return to some sort of normalcy. I am hopeful that we will look back on this last year and commit to living a life of gratitude and to be grateful for the gift of life that God has given me. My prayer is that the joy, love and hope will once again return and we will all experience these things in our lives. I am hopeful that we have learned to take nothing for granted.

There are many who are fighting for their lives in all of the world. My niece Janice is in the hospital in Tucson, fighting for her life. I would love it if everyone would keep my nephew Kevin, his kids who are also fighting covid and his wife Janice in your prayers. Janice is fighting

“I am hopeful for the return of civility and calm, for the impact that a vaccine will have, that once again we will feel joy and hope and love as everyday experiences in our lives.

The words below pretty much sums up what I’ve been feeling wise below;

  • Relentless
  • Surreal
  • Lost and Lonely
  • Chaotic
  • Exhausting
  • Quarantine
  • Nightmare
  • Lawlessness

As I was watching and listening to all of the commotion that was happening beginning Tuesday, November 3rd my mind was on how everything could possibly change for the better or worse because here in the United States we were going through the election of either an old president or a new one. For me, I have been impatiently waiting. I know there are many of my friends who don’t agree with me on this and that’s more than fine. I do my best to respect those who don’t vote the same way that I do.

“I am hopeful that we can remember that we are all on the same side in the bigger picture. I am hopeful we will stop using such extreme and hateful rhetoric to describe people we don’t agree with.”

Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Lent- A Season of Reflection

Joel 2:12-14 “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God.

Lent lasts forty days, which represents Christ’s forty day fast in the desert, and ends on Good Friday. Lent officially begins with a reminder of our mortality on Ash Wednesday (this year, falling on February 17th today).

Lent is the way that Christians set aside a period of time (40 days) to repent reflect on Jesus Christ. Lent represents Christ’s forty day fast in the desert, and ends on Good Friday. It’s a time to consider His suffering and His sacrifice. He died on the cross for my sins and for their sins. Jesus Christ was murdered, buried and He rose from the dead.

The Significance of 40 Days

The 40-day period of Lent is based on two episodes of spiritual testing in the Bible: the 40 years of wilderness wanderings by the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt (Numbers 33:38 and Deuteronomy 1:3) and the Temptation of Jesus after he spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).

I’ve written about Lent in the past and I almost forgot about it this year since I have so many things going on in my life. Personally, I think that I need to observe Lent even more than in the past. My mindset hasn’t been in the best place. I’m praying that the Lord will slow the thoughts that have been going on lately. Lent couldn’t have come at a better time. I need to focus on what God’s will is for my life and for me to do what God tells me to do. Over this last year, spiritually, I’ve been trying to stay afloat since I need to find a new church home.

I’ve gone to a number of churches in my lifetime. I’ve always been a member of the Church of the Nazarene, that is until we moved to Utah and there are no Nazarene Churches where my family lives. I just finished watching a message on youtube from a Nazarene Church in Salt Lake City called the Movement Church. The video is called “Ash Wednesday Message” I haven’t taken it seriously until about 15 or 20 years ago. I didn’t have the understanding nor the importance. I’ve heard many people who have given up chocolate, alcohol and so on. That was the only thing I heard about Lent.

Since I live in Utah, which is a state where it is a primarily Mormon state. Most of my friends who are Mormon have asked me about Lent and about why I observe it. Many of my friends think it’s something that only Catholics observe. I use to think the same thing also. It’s only been around 15-20 years where I began observing Lent. When people ask me about lent and why I observe it, I will tell them that;

When I observed Lent, I give up “social media” such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. I’ve given up social media for Lent because I spend way too much time on the computer. I’ve replaced real friends for Facebook friends. The first time I’ve given up “social media” for Lent I made it a point to read and study the Word of God. I would spend time with real friends. I took part in Bible Studies or small groups. I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting online until I gave it up for Lent.

Lent is a time of reflection and renewed faith as we focus on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For me this is a time for me to clear distractions and recommit my life to Christ. Can you join me in prayer as I begin this Lent season. I will also be praying for everyone else. I’ll be praying for strength and guidance.

Heavenly Father, my prayer is that You will guide us towards You and for You to help me find my way and for those who are lost to find their way. Dear Lord, I can’t do what needs to be done on my own. Guide us to Your Will and not mine or those who are needing prayers. Strengthen us against the temptations of Satan and shield us from evil doers that we can’t see. Lord Jesus help us to do Your will and help us do all things with a clear and peaceful mind. You are our Comforter, our hope. us to do your will, You are our creator and my desire is to do Your will and not my own. I put my trust in You. Be with me and all of those who are needing and trusting in You alone. I say this prayer in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, Amen.