Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am fickle

I am fickle.

I change my mind ... a lot.

I started out with a site on Weebly, Writethevision.net. It's still out there even though I sent them a message to take it down. I suppose it will always be out there in cyberspace.

Then I came here to blogspot. I called this site Write the Vision as well and used it for awhile until someone told me I should go to Wordpress. So I did.

Today, I noticed this site is still up as will. Are you counting? That makes two of me so far.

I went to Wordpress.com. The address for that site is treeparker.wordpress.com. The header is Finding my way to the God of truth and grace.

It's also still out there is cyberspace. That's three.

Then, I learned if I ever want to advertise my books and editing services on my website, it needed to be self-hosted on the Wordpress.org platform.

Last year I obtained the url RealGodRealPeople.com and exported everything from my other three blogs over there. That's four.

Somehow that first blog has had over 4500 page views. Really? Maybe I should have stayed there!

No, stop it you fickle person. Stay put.

I will stay where I am. No more hopping around. I've learned something interesting, though. I can redirect various urls to my site. That's the next step. I won't be able to redirect the blogspot or wordpress.com urls but I can do that with my original Writethevision.net.  Since that is the name I will be using for my editing and ghostwriting services, it makes a lot of sense.

And I will direct the url I have that is TeresaShieldParker.com to my current site.

So that's the saga. Four of me out there in cyberspace.

That's OK, I am woman. I can change my mind.

Come visit me over at www.RealGodRealPeople.com. There's a free gift waiting when you sign up for updates.

If you are following me over there, that's awesome. If not, come join me!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

How will you be remembered?

I wrote a story today but decided to wait to post it until later. For now, I've been processing the question, how do I want to be remembered?  What difference do I want to make in the years I have left on this earth?  What difference have I made so far?

I am not going to post answers to these questions right now. All answers I have seem to be cliche and something I've always heard.  One thing I know, I want to be remembered for being the unique person I am and for loving Jesus. Maybe nothing else matters.

How will you be remembered?  If you died today, what would people say about you? Morbid thoughts, no just thoughts to ponder.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Everything to Lose: #Trust30, Day 39

“Self-censorship is not just self-betrayal and self-abandonment (which would be bad enough), but soul-betrayal and betrayal of our Muse, our inner voice, our highest self.”
Too often we censor ourselves, our actions, and our work in hope or fear of what might happen if we otherwise don’t. What words would you write today, and what actions would you take, if you had nothing to fear, nothing to lose? (Tanner Christianson)

To be rid of self-censorship and soul-betrayal (which really means deceiving and leading myself astray) means the truth has to matter to me.  I have to believe truth is the only thing that is worth writing or taking action on. I have to believe that the truth will set me free.

The Truth, in the form the God-man Jesus Christ did set me free.  When I accepted His sacrifice on the cross, it paid the penalty for everything I have ever done or ever will do that has been or will be against God. It is so amazing to me that Jesus willingly laid down his life so that I, and you, and every person who accepts what He did can live eternally with Him.  I mean if we're going to live forever somewhere why not make it the best place possible, right?

I could keep this truth to myself. Being a follower of Christ isn't as popular as it once was. We've been called intolerant, narrow-minded, conservative. There are countries where individuals are killed for following Jesus. It could happen here.  In my book, there is much more I could lose by not telling you the truth than the end of my physical life. 

I know there are those who call themselves followers of Jesus who give the whole Christian-thing a bad name.  Ignore them.  This isn't about them. This is about you. You have everything to lose.

Here's the deal, I believe not telling you the truth about Jesus is the equivalent of blowing out the only candle that exists in a completely dark room. 

My soul is the candle.  The dark room is the world.  The truth? That's the match that lights the candle. What do I have to lose? I can l lose the match.

Frustation Thrown In Dry Gulch

Take one child, add water and, Presto, instant joy!
Ever get frustrated when you want to do something and there are people impeding your progress? Of course you don’t. I’m the only one who does!

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite things is walking…in the water, not be confused with on the water!  I try to get my exercising and stretches done before 11 a.m.  That is my time to turn into a pumpkin. Not really. 

At 11 a.m. a major transformation does take place in the pool.  All kinds of little people and their mommies, daddies, grand mommies, babysitters, big brothers and sisters and you name it descend.  Where the pool has been a haven of adult peace and calm, after 11 a.m. it’s anybody’s game. 

Adults can be there and try to walk the lazy river but let’s just say there are obstacles.  The "obstacles" wear floaters and blow-up plastic inner tubes. They shriek and scream with sheer joy.  They dive for rings on the bottom of the pool and underneath your legs.

The pool itself gets into the swing of things with water shooting in arches above the lazy river and spouting from the sides of the pool.  I avoid all of this most mornings.

This morning I was just finishing my workout in time when that still, small voice, the one I normally can’t wait to hear, said, “Not time to leave yet.” I saw the obstacles waiting impatiently on the side of the pool ready to jump in, fathers holding them back. When the clock struck 11 a.m., water began spurting and all of sudden grew children.

I was in the midst of doing leg stretches so I could watch the phenomena take place. Instead of  a scowl on my face, I felt a grin begin to form. 

Babies in floaters dog paddled by to keep up with their five-year-old brothers while their mommies tried hard to keep up with them all. 

One mom was teaching her daughter to swim and clapping furiously at their attempts to swim out a few feet and back to the side of the pool.

Twin boys with Styrofoam noodles under their waists happened by, a mother and a father giving instruction in the fine art of floating, though how that happens with a flotation device attached, I don't know. I'm thinking they don't have their instructors' licenses. But they were all having fun.

A grandma walked by with a firm grasp on about an 18-month-old’s life vest while a girl of about 6 swam in and around them. Grandma and toddler laughed uproarishly as the six-year-old performed another trick. 

The spitting water, which I always hate to walk under, became an unending source of excitement as eight-and 10-year-olds ran quickly through on their trek around the lazy river. 

Joy was in abundant supply. I did not see one person with a frown on their face. Oh, I take that back. I did see one.  She was about my age. She came in about 10:55 a.m. and had just started walking the lazy river when the routine metamorphosis occurred.  She was not happy.  I smiled at her when she came by.  She rolled her eyes. 

I told myself, “Except for the grace of God there go I “.  Unfortunately, I have gone there on more occasions than I care to admit.  I thank God for the nudge of His Spirit today or I would have missed the fun.

By the way, I can’t find the above quote in scripture even though I’ve heard it all my life. And in thinking about it, it probably isn’t scriptural.  It presupposes that we are “special”.  We are but not to the exclusion of anyone else. Christ died for everyone.  We just happen to be the ones who accept and appropriate this the most extreme gift of all.

Proverbs 3:6 in the Message goes along much more with what I’m trying to say here:  “Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.” Because I listened today my frustration was thankfully thrown in Dry Gulch.

Tell me about a time when your frustration was derailed by a gentle nudge of the Spirit.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Worthwhile Day

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”

What is one thing you can do that would make today worthwhile? What’s stopping you from getting started right now?  (Author: Jessica Dang)

I started this day reading the prompt and then went to my do my water walking exercise.  I determined that I was going to see the God in the little things today.  My eyes were opened to several spiritual truths in the midst of my day. How I walk with the current in the lazy river at the pool and love doing that.  I walk fast and furious for a good 30-45 minutes.

Others that walk against the flow do two laps and go sit in the hot tub.

I realize we do that a lot with life, make it a lot harder than it needs to be. God wants us to "have and enjoy life to the the full, til it overflows."  See my post titled "What makes you happy" for more on this topic.

I also decided I was going to take care of myself better today and I did. I ate real food instead of just relying on protein shakes.  I felt better and I know I got better nutrition.

I also blogged on wordpress and on here but have decided I like blogspot a little better, at least for now.  (If I could just figure out how to ditch these infernal ads!)

I also determined that I need not follow a pre-determined scheme for writing devotionals.  What is a devotional besides a spiritual insight gained from everyday life?  I need to communicate that in my style not in some set way that various publishers say is a devotional format.

Everything I determined to incorporate into my day goes along with who I am and desire to be: A whole happy healthy woman of God encouraging other to discern truth in a powerful way.  And that's a WOW for today!

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy? What helps you enjoy life to the full, till it overflows?* What ways do you anesthesize pain in your life and pretend that all is well? In what ways do you resist God?

I don't know much but one thing I do know, it's is in the everydayness of life that aha moments happen.

Ladies walking a "lazy river" in a different community from mine.
This morning, I was doing one of my favorite things: walking the "lazy river" at the pool in our local rec center.  I go with the current, though.  Never against.  My knees (which are still recovering after a double knee replacement surgery 11 months ago) don't like resistance.

My daughter will tell you I can't walk straight on land where there is supposedly no resistance. Only God knows how I would walk against the current flow. With the flow, I'm dynamite!

This morning, I was watching several people get in the pool, come over to the lazy river and walk against the current.  What I took note of today was that they only walk one maybe two laps and then go sit in the hot tub. They do this every day.  But today, I noticed.
It was like God tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Did you see that?"  I'm not sure of the entire spiritual significance of what I saw. 

Here's what came to my mind immediately.  Sometimes we as people just make life too difficult.  We struggle and try to figure out something to help us not feel all the emotional ups and downs, some way to anesthesize not only pain, but even joy, lest it overwhelm us and make us believe we are not worthy of feeling so good.  You know all the stuff we try: alcohol, chemical addiction, prescription drugs, sex, pornography, food, chocolate, gossip, diet soda. OK, I know I could have gone all day without adding those last few.

In reality God is all about our good.  He desires our best even more than we do.  He says that He came that we might "have and enjoy life... to the full, till it overflows."*  In that same passage he tells us that the thief comes to wreak havoc in our lives.  I believe the "thief" uses our own desires to capture us and "steal, kill and destroy"* what God intended for us all along.

A lot of people today really resist submitting to anyone or anything, much less a Higher Power.  They will go to great measures to fill their life with everything else. The things they add weigh them down until they can't go another step.  It could be as easy, though. It could be as easy as going with the current, the wind of the Spirit of God.

Submitting may be disconcerting to some. But when that Higher Power loves you so much that He died for you that makes all the difference in the world.  And, He didn’t leave it at that. He rose again demonstrating He has power even over death. Even over our spiritually and emotionally dead souls.

I submit, then, that going any other direction, doesn’t make sense.  Does it?

Go with the flow.  Follow Jesus.

In what ways have you tried to resist and go against His current? How has that worked or not worked? Share your comments here or on facebook. Take a moment and become a follower of this blog. Click on the Networked blogs link on the right sidebar.

* John 10:10, Amplified Bible

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Who are you?

In one sentence, who are you? (Author: Elizabeth Presson)

I am a whole, healthy, happy woman of God encouraging others to discern truth and apply it in a powerful way.

I do view life as a puzzle of sorts with many, many pieces being added each day.  There was a time when I only had pieces and none of them seemed to fit. A wonderful organization called Freedom Seminars was instrumental in helping me process through the pieces of my life and find the real me.

If not for Russ and Pat Hardesty and the awesome experience of Roots and Wings and Flight, I might still be sitting on the floor with a million-piece puzzle wondering how it all fits. 

Now, when I realize I've discovered a new piece I am eager to see how and where it fits. I'm even willing to wait to find out and just enjoy the discovery of the new piece.  Because the parts of the picture that have been completed are much more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed, hoped or imagined.

I'm living life and more abundant and most of it is in the way I look at and willingly take time to contemplate the picture of my life.

The Picture of My Life

There it is
My life in pieces
Laid out for all to see
The good, the bad
The depressing, the uplifting
There are pieces I dare not touch
They can suck me in
Take me places I don't want to go.
Then there are pieces, moments like the soft feel of a baby
Brand new. untainted. loved. cherished.
First grins. First steps. First time to say no.
For her, for him, My prayer is that the pieces fit.

Hard to see the awe-inspiring
Nature of the picture my life is becoming.
Easy to not try. not stretch. not reach. ignore growth.
Just exist.
Life is more than breathing in and breathing out.
Life is living, sharing your gifts, making good and bad decisions.
Life is pieces
of the puzzle that you embrace
even when you don't know where they fit.

Who I am was created by him
who uses earth as a place to rest his tired and weary feet.
It is as familiar to him as my living room is to me.
I am not only known by him, I am family.
He knows how the pieces fit.
When he sees me, he see the glorious nature of the completed puzzle.
Me, I only see in part, in pieces, fuzzy almost irrecognizable shapes.
They are beyond my comprehension now.
There will be a time, though,
I will know completely,
and the puzzle will make sense.
revealing the picture of my life.

Click below for more information about Freedom Seminars including Roots and Wings and Flight.