It’s okay to break the law

 

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This topic of immigration is like a bomb of feelings on the internet.  The emotions are so high and explosive and raw, you start the topic and the rage starts flaring…and logic is tossed out the window.

Trump is seen as an evil man, a Hitler who will put immigrants in concentration camps and kill them off one by one.

To me this topic also hits close to home as when I was eight I immigrated to this country with my parents and my sister…LEGALLY.  I have watched conversations on Facebook, both on Fox and CNN on this topic and have seen sentiments differ among those who came here legally and those who came here illegally and they clash…for very good reason.  One side followed a painstaking, time consuming, pricey process to come here, sacrificing much, giving up much in order to do that and to follow the law, while others came through and even broke through the back door illegally, skipping each step.

I will address a few points of fear.  One fear is that there will be mass deportation of parents that have children that would remain behind and ‘How is that fair?’ they ask.  To me that question could also be asked by other people who break the law who get sent to jail and leave behind children.  When you break the law, there are excruciating, heartbreaking consequences that you failed to factor in or bother to think about because you were too busy breaking the law and profiting from breaking the law.  My father had a saying that I always found to be true:  What is hidden will always come to light.  Well that is what is happening now.

For years and years there were people who came from other countries who worked under the table for next to nothing and payed no taxes on that money and drove the rest of the market down for the rest of the business owners.  Let me just give you a few examples:  In my parent’s line of business (commercial and residential cleaning), they often went out to companies (mass companies) and gave bids on how much it would cost to clean their building and TIME AND TIME AGAIN they lost the bid to illegal immigrants who would do it next to nothing (and believe me my parents learned quick to bid as low as possible to still try to make a profit and they WOULD STILL LOOSE).  The only way that is possible is when someone doesn’t pay taxes on the bid they offer because they don’t have to factor in those costs.  The same goes for cabin cleaning or house cleaning, or farming or any line of business.  Immigrants that are here illegally would claim that no one else would do the jobs they do and THEY ARE RIGHT…not for NOTHING because they drove down the market in those fields, they set the standard so low that people are not willing to pay fair market price for labor.  This is just ONE of the reasons Trump won, because Americans (immigrated Americans and those born here alike) are TIRED of this manipulation.  No one has a problem with people wanting to come to the United States of America…but COME HERE LEGALLY and PAY YOUR TAXES.

Another point that has been cried about is the time it takes to come here legally…and here forgive me for sounding callous but I don’t have much pity.  I will tell you my family’s story and I can guarantee you that there are other’s like us that have had a harder story than ours.  We lived in Romania during the time of communism.  Before my parents were even married my father wanted to come to America and put in for a visa (that was 10 years before I was born).  There was one time my father tried to flee the country but I truly believe it was God putting His foot down and saying no when my father actually got caught and he spent nine months in jail in Romania (turned in by his best friend).  He was young and he learned the hard way that God will not have him going into any country the back way, he did not try again.  Not because he was a coward but because He believed if something was God’s will then GOD will open those doors…and He did…AFTER communism fell..after the danger and lack of food had passed (interesting to me).  Even after all this, when the visas were approved for our family we had to pass through Rome and we had to go through a vetting process, we were without much money, we had to stay in Rome for two weeks (now Rome is beautiful if you have money for sight seeing but we did not).  Anyway, we were in Rome, we were placed in a hotel, it was not a bad hotel, but it was not fancy.  We were not mistreated but we had to wait our turn until we could go to speak to the Ambassador and be vetted.  I do not remember much of this as I was only eight, just bits and pieces.  I remember spaghetti..it was very good, I remember the hotel room that we stayed in, for me it was impressive.  In any case, my point is there was vetting to be done and it was done and we did not make a fuss about it because it was the law and it was what was required to come here legally and it was done.  Once we came here after five years we naturalized and my parents took their citizenship test and we are Americans…that my dear people is how the process works.  It is long, for some it was longer.  For some it was harder.  But they did it legally.   And for those who did it legally and suffered WORSE to hear those who cry and whine that came here illegally is like a HUGE slap in the face.  It is like seeing a drug dealer make a ton of money while the rest of us wallow in debt, it is exactly like that.

So forgive me if I am callous when it comes to the immigration issue.  Because for me, I remember the Romanian revolution.  I remember both my parents going to join the revolutionaries.  I remember worrying about my school teacher who lived near the revolt.  I remember seeing a charred body of a communist officer in the street the next day…and that is where I came from…legally.  Please don’t tell me that it can’t be done legally.  Don’t tell me excuses as to why we should let people in our country un-vetted, because we were vetted (and were treated humanly and it IS possible) if there is a will to do it right.

Also I will say Melania Trump probably knows a thing or two about what I am talking about, so to those immigrants that are worried about their safety…I would say, instead of slut shaming her, appeal to her, because she came from a country like mine, she would understand poverty quite well, she rose from quite a bit to get to where she is (and yes perhaps in questionable ways, but she did).  But I’ve said it before, perhaps she can be an advocate…not your enemy, if you are only wise enough to make an ally of her and not just swallow all the junk the media sells you.

Not more adult than God

 

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Why do we fall into destructive behavior?  Why do we fall into traps and go for people that harm us?  Are we weak?  These questions are asked by those on the outside who perhaps have never known a day of sorrow, a day of loneliness, a day of yearning…a day of longing…and yet there are grains of truth in those questions that can’t quite be denied, they nag at me.  They are offensive, sure, but truth often scratches at us, doesn’t it?  We bristle uncomfortably at it, we draw back in fear from it.

In our darkest times, we are weaker, that’s the truth.  There is a danger to this as well, because a predator, a person with ill intent grasps at this and holds on and latches on and uses every weakness, every loneliness, every insecurity, every piece that hurts to draw us to them as your anchor…because when we are weak, trying to stay afloat in a storm we seek an anchor.

As a Christian we know the truth.  The Holy Spirit tells us that truth.  He tells us WHO that anchor is.  He tells us WHO that ROCK is.  He tells us who will never fail us.  He tells us who can carry that heavy burden, He tells us who can heal the broken heart…but we push Him away.  We push the true Lover of our hearts and souls away, because in all honesty we say HE IS NOT ENOUGH.  Lets be real.

But why is He not enough?

Jeremiah 17:5-10 says:

Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.  Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD.  For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.  The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?  I the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.

A loaded verse.

In my experience, time and time again I have put my trust in people and time and time again I have come away broken.  Some people have intentionally, maliciously hurt me.  Some people have hurt me unintentionally, and yet have hurt me all the same.  Friends, family, a spouse…people.  People who were supposed to be there in times of need and loneliness and yet when needed were not there to carry heavy, heavy burdens…because THEY COULDN’T.  I expected them to care for my hurt like the LORD cares, to wipe my tears like the LORD does, but you see, they can’t see the deepest parts of me, nor can they fully care even though their words may convey such care.  ONLY ONE CAN TRULY DO THAT.  And yet again I let my HEART get ahead of me…this deceitful thing beating inside and I let this heart feel and I let the feelings dictate that trust should be placed on another person who is just as flawed as I am, who perhaps is just as hurting as I am.

Do you see?

Have you done this?

Well, let me tell you a predator preys on this.  And if you don’t have Jesus as your armor, you will fall.

In previous blogs I’ve talked about how to protect yourself from online predators, I’ve talked about human trafficking, about domestic abuse…and all of this in some way perhaps can be brought back to who you trust.  No, not all things can be avoided.  You can’t help if someone kidnaps you.  But being LURED away as an adult can be helped.  You CAN protect your heart if your heart is in the hands of Jesus.

He is not an imaginary friend.  He is not a fictional character.  He is the God who became man.  He is the one who came from Heaven and died on the Cross for all your sins, all your flaws, for that deceiving heart that constantly is selfish, that constantly fails, that constantly mocks you, that constantly tells you that you are not good enough.  He is the Son of God who is here to tell you that you are his Bride and you are made SPOTLESS in Him and He has chosen you, and He DOES love you, AND THAT MATTERS!  In the end, if you do meet a man worthy of you, He must honor Him and in honoring Him HE WILL HONOR YOU, he will not defile you.  He will cherish you, he will point you to the Cross when you are weak because he will realize that a man is not strong enough to carry a burden by himself, he will take you back to your Groom.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

 

The verse goes on to list (read on your own), the armor you are to put on: truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).  This is the armor you must have in your daily life, whether it is in dating, work, church, family, etc.  You must have it on EVERY DAY, because you don’t go to war without armor and satan constantly attacks you, if you are unarmored, you will fall and then you will ask God why…well, you were not prepared.

We often think because we are adults we can make decisions and we know better than God…but lets not forget…we are not more adult than God, and He knows better what can protect us.  If He whispers, or shouts to your soul: NO!  Or stay away, this person is bad…LISTEN!  Stay under His protective wings and seek His heart above all else, He is your/my beloved and He loves us well.

 

Joshua Emanuel….Yahweh Is Salvation…God With Us

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My oldest son Joshua Emanuel has taken a huge step he has given His life to Jesus and tomorrow June 7th, 2015 he is getting baptized.  I am so amazed at this you heart that is so full of love for Jesus…his many questions and quests for answers from a very young age.  He has such a kind, loving and generous heart and yet he understands very well how each mistake we make is atoned by the blood that Jesus Christ gave for him and for us on the cross.  From when he as born I saw the signature of God on his heart…even his name means Yahweh is Salvation (Joshua) God With Us (Emanuel)…

I pray that he follows Him with all his heart all his days, no matter what may come (as life on earth, this temporary place often breaks heartbreaks and trouble).  I Pray that he will be a light to those who are in deep darkness, those who are broken and lost.  I pray with all my heart that he will always find shelter in our Savior Jesus Christ, that when troubles surround, that when storms rage unrelenting, that he will know that peace beyond all human understanding.

When our children follow Christ, it is in many ways a wake-up moment, a rise from your slumber moment for us parents as we remember our first love for Jesus and we in many ways renew our vows to God…to follow Him and not be ashamed.

Joshua Emanuel, I love you sweetheart, may God always give you strength and boldness to speak the truth, but above all, may He overwhelm you with His love!

—Love for eternity, for infinity times infinity,

Mom

Tell them about Jesus and let HIM clean them

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In church yesterday was discussed a topic that is very close and sometimes controversial for Christians: leading people to Christ.  In a world that is extremely liberal, where right is called wrong and wrong is called right, I had said, it is hard to speak about Christianity.  We have become less bold and seemingly more ashamed of what it is to be a Christian…we tend to go with anything goes.

The Pastor answered very beautifully to my concern, he said:  “You just tell them about Jesus and let Jesus clean them.”  In other words, as Christians we are quick to tell those who are not Christian about what is right or wrong according to the Bible, almost as if we expect to change them before they even know Christ.  This is simply not possible.

I came to Christ when I was 16 years old.  I grew up with my Christian parents who loved God and yet as a teenager I was very rebellious and I was headed down a road that would have been destructive had my parents not decided to move from Michigan.  We had lived in a neighborhood that was starting to go bad (more drugs, etc).  I had started surrounding myself with people who were into those things and naturally I started gravitating toward that life style.  No I didn’t do drugs but I started to smoke here and there and became very selfish and concerned with popularity (so much so that I didn’t care who I walked over).  I think my parents saw the beginning of my decline no mater how I tried to hide it from them.  Anyway, we moved to Arizona where we began going to a Romanian (since we are from Romania) church.  I wore very revealing clothes, short skirts etc.  One day a woman walked up to me and tugged on my skirt and said:  “What, did this shrink in the wash?”  I was very offended, she didn’t even know me.  She didn’t know my heart, mind or soul.  This might be the reaction other people who are not Christian have to us when we try to condemn them of immoral behavior and tell them something is wrong, evil, before we even know them.  We tend to think that a person has to change before they come to Christ in stead of letting Christ do that miraculous transformation.  Still, what happened that day was still a tool that made me think.  I felt guilty because I had good parents, I felt like my parents didn’t know me…nor did I want them to know me because they would be ashamed of me.  I felt stained by my past.  Then one Sunday, for reasons unknown to me, I actually LISTENED to the preaching and what my ears (and heart) heard completely shocked me–because until that day I never really understood what Jesus did for me, I never understood why in the world an innocent man had to be crucified for me (in fact it enraged me).  I’m sure that others had told me before, including my parents, but it didn’t click until that day.  The pastor said that when we come to Jesus and accept Him and His sacrifice, he COMPLETELY erases our past in His eyes, it is FORGIVEN, it DOESN’T EXIST in God’s eyes, we are made into a NEW CREATION, the OLD IS GONE AND THE NEW HAS COME.   That is the day I decided I wanted to follow Jesus…but let me make it clear: I DIDN’T CHANGE OVERNIGHT!  Jesus worked and molded my stubborn heart little at a time (He is still perfecting me and as the old saying goes: He is not finished with me yet).

I give you a part of my testimony because I want you to understand that it is not YOUR job to change a person.  Are you telling an adulterer about Christ?  Don’t worry about his/her sin, tell him/her about Christ, lead them to the cross and let that innocent perfect blood of Christ cover them and atone for their sin, let HIM begin the change in them…OR maybe we don’t trust Christ to do what He came into the world to do?  In the end, remember, you are a sinner too (I know I am, I struggle with many things that are wrong, like using words that are fowl, anger thoughts etc), remember God is still changing you too, do not interfere with God.

That being said, once a person does become Christian, we do need to walk beside our new family member and show them the way, but not with condemnation and holier than thou attitude, rather with love and patience and endurance and perseverance.

You Shall Not Covet!

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”–Exodus 20:17

The above verse sounds reasonable.  If we obey this commandment after all we receive many rewards, namely: contentment, friendship void of jealousy, peace.  However in the past few years I have found myself guilty of breaking the above command and as a result my heart became full of discontentment, bitterness…perhaps even hate.  So, when looking at God’s commandments I fully understand that He did not give them to us simply to impose silly rules, rather, He gave commandments (laws) such as the one above for our own good, for our own health and peace of mind and soul

As many of you know, I am a single mom (as are many of my friends, and some have it much tougher than me).  I found myself looking at posts on Facebook for example in which friends or acquaintances would post on how they are going or have gone on vacation for long periods of time at expensive and exotic places.  Or I would see friends post on how they went shopping and bought such and such, or went to this or that event.  Or, they enrolled their kids in such and such sport or activity.  Bitterness grew.  I couldn’t afford any of the above.  What hurt more is some of the friends new my situation and unreasonably I felt as if their posts were some passive aggressive way of insulting and putting salt on an already festering wound (I realize how silly this sounds, and I realize this was far from their intent).

As a single mom (and many of you single parents out there can totally relate to this) my biggest aim in life is to make my kid’s every dream come true, to teach them right from wrong, to show them how to be respectful and to create memories that are amazing and that they will never forget.   So…I coveted…i coveted to be a stay at home mom, I coveted to be able to go on vacations every year, I coveted to be able to give my daughter horse riding lessons and to enroll my sons in sports, I coveted to be able to go shopping for nice things for them and for me, I coveted to be in someone else’s situation….I judged those who had it better than me.

How many of you single parents can relate?  How many of you daydream and night-dream of an easier more worry free life?  And even those who are not single parents may find themselves feeling as I did.  Still, no matter how ‘right’ you might feel you are coveting is bad.  It doesn’t just destroy your relationship with friends and maybe even relatives, it destroys you.  It’s a subtle disease that creeps into your heart, it becomes embedded there and only God can heal that and give you (and me) contentment.  Once you covet what someone else has…it’s a long road back to peace and contentment because you have to change (repent of) the way you think and feel.  This is what Jesus Christ asks of us…not just because it’s a law, but because it will heal our souls (and even body).

Recently, God did give me, my kids, my mother and sister the gift of a vacation (we have not been on one in many years), we were able to save and go…and then along the way I ended up putting pictures of my lovely kids in full joy mode on Facebook…then I remembered how I felt when I saw others post such pictures and it really changed something in me….so I will say to you who feel hopeless, tired, burnt out, almost ready to fall:  Don’t give up.  Don’t look to the left or right or on Facebook and let yourself be discontent because eventually things do change, miracles do happen, and God sees your hurting and longing heart.  Look to Him because He is the one who provides for the fatherless (or motherless), he sees the deepest part of your heart and He is the one who will provide rest.  If you are angry that you do not have this or that, tell Him (He is not a fool that you can hide what you feel behind pretty or false words and he sees what is behind that anger–namely: pain.).  Cry to Him, I assure you, He WILL answer you, just you watch.

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The world is dark and the heart grows faint

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. –Psalm 61:1-4 

For about seven years now I have gone into and out of depression (my heart grew faint).  I try not to write to much about this for a few reasons.  Among these reasons are not wanting to give satisfaction to those who have caused this pain that is taking so long to heal.  But enough.  I am not afraid of them getting satisfaction from my pain (because in reality if this is where they find satisfaction, it is they who lose, not I).

The past week has been especially hard as I have seen relatives turn their backs on my family.  This is especially painful when so much had been done for them when they were in their hour(s) of darkness.  Lies, and deceit seems to prevail in this world of ours.  The wicked prosper.  As you are reading this, perhaps you too are thinking of the ways you have seen the wicked go unpunished and in fact prosper.  You may see an ex move on and be happy when in the past they had done only evil and were unfaithful.  Maybe you have friends who have turned their backs on you…or worse family members.  Maybe as a child you were abused in every way possible.  Maybe…maybe a lot of storms have passed and continue to pass over you.  Maybe telling you that you are not alone will not make it better at all….

Maybe a loved one has passed away and you have regrets…things unsaid or things not done.  You are told that time heals all wounds…but time has nothing to do with it.  A million years can pass and still the wound is fresh (perhaps at times numbed, but still fresh).

Let me tell you something.  Time will not heal anything.  Time has no power to heal…the wound only gets numb.  Yet there is One who heals–one who hears, one who keeps a record of your tears.

Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll–are they not in your record?— Psalm 56:8

He, your Maker keeps a record of your tears and mine.  He keeps record of the wrongs done against you and me…and there will come a day of reckoning.

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.  But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.–Psalm 55:12-14

That is the hardest pain of all, when the one you loved comes against you to tare you down, to destroy you.  Sometimes it is done with silence, sometimes it is done with fists, sometimes it is done with words, sometimes with cheating, but in the end destruction of your spirit is the goal.

Yet, the Lover of your soul is not blind to this.  I say it again, a day of reckoning will come…maybe on earth, maybe not, but for sure on the day of judgement.  In the meantime, how to you rise out of the dark?  How do you continue in the hardest of days?  There is only one way that has worked for me, and honestly it is the only way (though we rebel against this way, because it deals with what we do not see and our flesh wants something that can be seen, touched, heard, smelled)…but just because something or SOMEONE is not seen, does not mean He does not exist.  A good example of this would be are things that are microscopic, bacteria, viruses, etc…you can’t see them…but we would be fools to ignore them.

But I call to God and the LORD saves me.  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress and he hears my voice.  He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.  God who is enthroned forever, will hear them and afflict them.–Psalm 55:16-19

He hears and he will save you and me.  But we have to ask for help, He will not force Himself upon us.  We have to choose to love Him, He will not force us to do so…but once we make that choice, He is our fiercest defender, the greatest lover of our hearts and soul.

Please understand (as I am beginning to), we have an enemy.  The enemy is not your ex husband or wife, it is not your best friend that has hurt you or relatives that have torn you down when all you asked for is compassion and help in your darkest time.  No your enemy are not any of them.  The enemy that hates you beyond any hate you and I have ever known is Lucifer, now known as the devil, or satan.  He will do anything, use anyone to tare you down.  He will never stop while you and I breathe, but there is hope.  There is one who is much stronger than him…and He will always come to save us.  His name is Jesus Christ.  He is the King of all kings.  He is your Father.  He simply is (I AM).  But if we don’t seek his comfort and help, we loose out.

So, when the world is dark and the heart grows faint, when you fall deeper, come to Him you who are burdened and tired and He will give you rest.  These are not just words…test it out.  I know I will.  I have determined to do my best to draw closer to the ONLY one who loves me with an unblemished love.  I will seek Him in the night as I try to find rest…I will seek Him in the morning as I awaken (and I am not a morning person, so the me who seeks Him in the morning might be a bit grouchy…but He understands).

I hope you will determine to do the same…and very soon I hope to hear of the healing of your heart and soul (as I will also post more about this journey of my life).

Rich preachers…poor souls

There are many social medias in which I see a lot of 'inspirational' quotes from various preachers.  They sound really good, uplifting, hopeful...and they ring false.  I'm normally a very positive person, but I'm also a realist.  The following quote is from Joyce Meyer (and I have no beef with her so don't misinterpret):

"It may be through small or big things, but God wants you to live an exciting, amazing life."

My first thought in reading was: Wow, really, is that so?

Lets examine this briefly.  She seems to imply that the Christian life is a walk in the park, full of vibrant, happy days...where all your dreams come true.

Yet this is in stark contrast with what Jesus Christ said, namely that in this life we will have MANY trials (hardships, turbulence, etc.)  We are not promised heaven on earth.  We are warned about trials and tribulations in which an enemy is constantly trying to bring us down.

My next thought was:  It's so easy for you to say this Joyce (or for that matter any other rich mega church pastor), you have everything.  You don't worry about bills, loosing your home, food, having to work so much just to get by.  (After all most of Americans are in that second class, namely not rich like her).

Personally, I'm tired of this false 'prosperity' preaching that tickles the ear and sounds so pleasant...that is false...and this is why so many Christians backslide in my opinion.  Because these preachers talk about giving your ten percent and then God will richly bless you, and often it's the poorest of the poor who give their all and yet are left with nothing, and then wonder what's wrong with God...  Let me tell you, nothing is wrong with God.  You can't bribe God.  Yes, there will be times when He will bless you.  But there will be times when the enemy attacks you and tries to snatch you from God.

These prosperity preachers are like a false General in an army.  This false 'General' preaches to his army that if they do all their training right, and go through all the right motions, then none of them will be wounded or killed in battle...in war.  I give this analogy because we are in fact in a war against an invisible enemy that sometimes manifests himself through the harshest, bitter loss (of a loved one, home, etc), or perhaps through verbal attacks through others, or even abuse.  We are in a war.  In war, you have the possibility of getting wounded, even killed.  These false 'Generals' make God's army weak, making Christians (the army battling against the principalities of darkness) expect an easy road, with no hardships, with a war already won simply by doing everything right.   In a war, even if you do everything right, the enemy can still get to you (just ask anyone who has lost someone in the wars our country has faced).  These false 'Generals' make God's people complacent.

A true 'General' would in fact warn his/her army of the dangers they face, the attacks and ambushes they may encounter, and of how to get strong enough where they can truly fight and counter evil.

So these rich preachers can talk their pretty talk, but when they are standing before God, I wonder, will they be found lacking with utterly poor and bankrupt souls?