Right Relations / The Friends found in the Bible List

This section of Right Relations is taking a lot of thought and work and though I am not ready to share what I have so far I did want to share this and hear from you.

Right Relations / The Friends list

Friends in the Bible list

When I think of some of the friendships in the Bible the one that comes immediately to my mind is the relationship between Jonathan and David. Jonathan was the son of King Saul, and David was a shepherd boy and the youngest of his father’s sons. So how they became friends is one God had chosen. So how many friendships can you think of found in the Bible? Here is a short list of ones that I can think of. I would love to hear from you about ones that are not listed here or of ones that inspire you.

  1. David and Jonathan / 1 Samuel 18-20
  2. Elijah and Elisha
  3. Ruth and Naomi
  4. Jesus and His disciples
  5. Paul and Timothy
  6. Job and his friends
  7. Jesus and Judas (not all friends are friends, some will betray you the second it profits them)

 

I know there are other friends found in the Bible and that we all have those friends who have had an impact on our relationship with Jesus. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Please share your friendship testimonies and your favorite friends in the Bible.

God bless.

Right Relations / Thoughts on friendships

Jesus is referred to as the friend who sticks closer to you than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) As I have been looking at which relationships to write about, friendships keep jumping to the top of the list. I was planning to write more on the parent child relationship, but this project is not about me me or what I plan to write. It is about drawing closer to God, learning from the relationships we have and those found in scripture. His Word and our testimony.

I have had many friends come and go in my life, and others who are life long friends. The friendship that matters most is the one with Jesus. The friend who laid down His life to save mine.

One friendship found in the Bible is the one between David and Jonathan. 1 Samuel 18:1. Question;

What friendship in the Bible speaks to you?

Do you have a friendship testimony that you would like to share?

I will be taking some time from writing to look deeper into friendships and their influence on our relationship with Christ. I look forward to which friendships have special meaning to you.

God bless.

Right Relations / Thoughts May 28 2018

As I dive deeper into the subject of relationships and see the effort it takes to build good and healthy relationships, and then see how easy it is to allow toxic relationships harm the the healthy ones you have is exhausting me. Yet it is worth the effort if I want to have a better relationship with Jesus my Lord and Savior and with my Heavenly Father. Of course I cannot forget His Holy Spirit. Learning how I relate to others and how that effects my relationship with God is really opening my eyes to the areas in my life that still need so much work. Also seeing the parallels between my life and the lives of those recorded in the Bible is giving me a new perspective on how I view my own life and how much I need the help of the Holy Spirit to overcome my past and even some of my current relationships. The book of Genesis has so many different relationships recorded I wonder how long it will take me to move on to others further down the line, like the book of both 1&2 Samuel, Judges, Job, Esther and Ruth to name a few, and there is still the New testament. All of the relationships recorded from Genesis to Revelation still reflect the relationships we have today. If you have the time you can read from my collection, ‘Letters from God’ fictional letters based on those found in the Bible. The list of both good and wrong relationships can be found through the Bible. Even the relationships found in the parables Jesus taught can we relate to today.

Well It is time for me to dive back into His Word and find my next inspiration for which relationship to write about. I am still looking for testimonies about relationships, both the right and worn and how God worked in your life through them. If you would like to share your testimony leave me a comment and I will give you my email. I will keep your name private if that is what you would like. I understand anonymity with some testimonies is important to the one sharing their story. In sharing how God has worked in your life can be what one may need to find hope for their life. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and God bless and keep you always.

Right Relations/ Sibling Rivalry/ The Cain and Abel Story

I love the people you find in the Bible. Even the not so good ones, because you can relate to so many of them. I am continuing on my project of ‘Right Relations’ how are earthly relations affect our relationship with Jesus and our Heavenly Father, and how we can learn from our relationships and make them better. Allowing His Holy Spirit to be a part of these relationships.

Back to the beginning / Sibling Rivalry/ The Cain and Abel Story

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   How many of you have brothers or sisters? Next question; How many of you have a relationship that can be compared to Cain and Abel? Do you wonder how others that are close and loving to their siblings do it? I know of many brothers and sister who say their sibling is their best friend. Do you envy these relationships? I know I have wanted since a young child to have a family that is close and loving. I wanted to accepted and loved and I thought why doesn’t my own family love me? It has been a battle just to survive in my family, and I even had to fight my own brother. My stepmother had said that there was a devil and an angel in our house, referring to me and my brother. Our fights got pretty bad. When we were young and he would come at me I was big enough to get him off me and hold him down until he calmed down enough that I was not afraid he would try to hurt me again. Unfortunately more times than not, one of my parents would walk in and see me on top of him, and even I was only trying to restrain him from hurting me, I was the one who got in trouble. No surprise there, no matter who did what, I was always to blame, and took the punishment (another excuse to be abused.) Eventually my brother got bigger than me and protecting myself became more difficult. Our last fight back when I was in my early 20’s, he had me pinned and was trying to choke me and was yelling things in my face that I will not repeat here. I got him to stop by responding to something he called me, by saying, ‘Yeah, just like Mom!’ He got off me and went to another room. The first time my brother had told me he loved me,  he was 21, and had first started drinking and I came home to find him sitting on my bed drunk. He told me he knew he was an _____ and he would always be one to me, but he loved me. I was in shock, but grateful he could say he loved me. No need to repeat the rest of that conversation but over ten years later we would have a similar conversation. My brother did not call me things I was not already being called by other family members. I could not go out to eat with him and my father without feeling degraded in public. I would be so humiliated as they verbally tore me apart in front of others, and was too afraid to speak up for myself. I always found it strange how easy t was for me to stand up for others but that I could not defend myself against my own abusers.

Okay time to get back to my relationship with my brother. Even as young children we had been at odds with each other. I have one memory though where we weren’t fighting. I was only five years old and what was about to me I had no idea. We were living in Pacoima and a relative of my father had taken me into our (my brother and mines) bedroom. I remember looking from my bed and seeing my brother cry as the door was being shut on him by this relative. What happened is another subject. I just remember him crying outside our bedroom as I was being molested. After this we were never close. We have fought and been distant from each other. We have spoken to each other in years now. I still pray for him and his son. Who knows one day this relationship will fall into the reconciled relationship file.

Now look at Cain and Abel. They are the first brothers recorded in Genesis. They were the son’s of Adam and Eve. Abel’s story is short lived because his brother murdered him. Cain’s jealousy turned to anger. It was not Abel’s fault that Cain had not obeyed God in his offering. Abel pleased God, and Cain wanted the labor of his own work to be pleasing. When his offering was rejected, instead of doing what was pleasing and acceptable by God, he took his brother’s life. God still loved Cain and showed it in that when He came to Cain after he had murdered his brother, God did not take Cain’s life. Instead He marked Cain so that no other could take his life. Cain had taken a life so God would have been justified but once again God shows mercy. That is our Heavenly Fathers love. What is sad in this story is two brothers seeking approval of Father, could have been so different if Cain had looked at what his brother offered as a lesson in learning to do what is right, instead of demanding with his actions for things to be done his way. Then he got angry when he didn’t get things his way. Now the sadder part of this story is they not got a chance to reconcile and their parents lost both of their sons.

Is there any of you who can relate to their story? I am not saying your brother or sister has tried to take your life, but that there is such strife in your relationship, that you have no relationship with them other than by name? Or do you have one that you are a part of each other’s life, but every time you are in the same room the battle breaks out and damage continues to be done? Do you pray for them and want to have a peaceful and loving relationship with the, or do you want nothing to do with them, as if they do not exist? What if God had the same attitude a lot of us have? What would our lives be like? Can you imagine God saying, ‘I am done with them. I am tired of how they treat me.’
I am not saying allow a person to do harm to you just because they are your relative. Sometimes we have to be separated from our family. Not just live peacefully but to live safely, because if we stay the damage that is done can cost not just your physical life but your can cause a spiritual death. You get so wrapped in the fighting, the hater and bitterness there is no room for love and forgiveness and with each fight your spirit slowly dies. We must guard our hearts. We can love and forgive and walk away from a relationship that is toxic to you. God can still reach their heart while He heals you of the would the relationship caused you.. Pray for yourself and pray for them. Focus on what you can do that is pleasing to God and let God be the one to deal with the other person. Love and forgive them through prayer. Then if the opportunity comes where you can show them the love God has given you and that He has for them, you might find a “Right Relation’ with them.

Now who are some other siblings we can find in the Bible who we can relate to in our own sibling relationships? I have a few in mind but would love to hear from you. I am still looking for testimonies relating to both right and wrong relationships and what God has done for you in these relationships. Please leave me a comment if you are willing to share your testimony and I will give you my email to contact me privately. There is no judgement or condemnation in Christ, only healing and His love. You do not know you may help by sharing your story. I also will not reveal your name if you would like to keep it  private but still have a story to share. Thank you and God Bless you.

 

Right Relations / You said ‘I do’ / My marriage testimony /Commitment

Here is the continued work on ‘Right Relations’

I have written a little about Adam and Eve. The first couple God created and joined together. I guess it was a matter of choice for Adam or Eve; they were the only two living in the Garden of Paradise. Today we have a lot more to choose from when seeking out a mate. Too many of us have chosen to test the waters and date around, and I am using the term date loosely. We even have brothers and sisters in Christ who are what some call, ‘Shacking up.’ This is not God’s way, and it should not be acceptable within the church. Then there are those who get married because they feel pressured to do the right thing. They say they love the person they are with but they are not sure if it is going to work out so they would rather wait. Then there are the couples who before getting married sign a prenuptial agreement. This is a big red flag to me that says there is no real commitment; it is more like a lease to own arrangement. ‘Till death do us part’, has given way to until you do something I don’t like, then I am out the door. Then there is the grass is greener on the other side and you see something you like better than what you have. I know too many of us have been divorced. I am not saying that there are not marriages that needed to end, because there are. My marriage is included in that group. It was not that it was not a happy marriage or that I did not love him. I did love him and when I said ‘I do, I meant it not only to my husband but to God. We were supposed to be married in October of ‘95’.  The date changed to July, not because I was pregnant or that this was my idea. I had gotten off work and I was informed that the upcoming Saturday is when we were going to be married. I was utterly confused, Robert told me that he had discussed it with our Pastor and that there was no reason to wait till October. My response was, ‘Yes there is.’ I was still planning a wedding in October I had friends who would fly from California to Missouri, to be in my wedding, and my father was going to be driving up from Texas. He told me we could have a big wedding on our anniversary and they could come then. Then he told me it was already set with the church. He followed up with, ‘Don’t you love me, and aren’t we getting married anyway?’ I foolishly agreed, thinking this was my first act of submission to my husband.

I look at the wedding video and it is more like a funeral procession and the only one smiling was Robert. By this time it was too late, I had said ‘I do’, and I believed in till deaths do you part. Then I got pregnant immediately after the wedding. I had an instant family. He was thrilled of the news of a baby. To be honest I was not so sure. In the beginning he was sweet and attentive. He knew all the right words to say and I felt happy to be with him. Then by the time I was a few months pregnant, we moved two hours away and it did not take long for things to change. We had moved back to his old stomping grounds. The abuse, drugs and cheating began. By the time I had my daughter, I had been in every room in the ER. The shame I felt when he would leer at the doctor as he examined, like the doctor was doing something wrong made me feel like such a disgrace. The sad part was in the little town we lived in I was the bad guy. He would call the police after beating me and they would try to arrest me! Thankfully they didn’t when I pointed out that I was not only hurt but pregnant, and that I was raised in California, ‘Sue capitol, USA’. That if they arrested a pregnant woman who had just been beaten I would go public. They would leave and do nothing to him. Meanwhile he also had a number of girlfriends he cheated on me with. I know what you are thinking, ‘Why didn’t you leave?’ I know I had every right to leave, but if my marriage was going to end it was not going to be because I ran away. I had made a covenant with God, and I care more about my relationship with Him than what people thought. Not that there were many who actually cared about me in our community or our church. Thankfully there were a few. When my daughter was born, things did not get better. Within less than a week of being home from the hospital, I was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. He had punched me so hard in my stomach which had been staple after having an emergency C-section. Nurses started making visits to my home unannounced to check on me. I guess they figured out what was going on. We started going to counseling. All but three women from our church had turned on me. I started hearing that my husband would have to cheat or beat me if I was a better Christian wife. More and more damage was being done to both my body and my spirit.

The counselor began meeting with us separately and asked if I wanted to go to a shelter. A part of me wanted to go, but I said no because if I did there would be one less bed for a woman who was in worse shape than myself, that somehow I would get by. Then one of his friends was over one night, and he was the only one of my husband’s friends who was not a drunk or an addict. Houston was the only good friend Robert had. He was spending the night and had heard what Robert was doing to me in the bedroom. He asked to get me and my daughter out, that he would protect me and my daughter. This time I had to refuse for his safety. I told him that where we lived a black man taking a white woman out of her husband’s house was very likely to find a cross burning in his yard. So once again I said that I would be okay somehow.

The last six months of our marriage I wanted to run so far away. I even wanted to kill myself. Yet I prayed this prayer every day, “Father, only You know what is in my husband’s heart and only you can set me free from his abuse. If there is any chance he will repent and stop abusing me, I will forgive him. I will be everything Your Word says a wife is to be to her husband. You also know if this marriage is going to kill me, and if this is the case, set me free. I am trusting You with my life and the life of my daughter.’ I prayed this over and over again till six months had passed, and it was the weekend of my birthday. He had decided we were going to drive the two hours it took to visit his mother. I had to be the one to drive and it was raining so hard I could not see more than a car length ahead. A two hour drive had doubled. The verbal abuse I endured throughout the drive had worn me down. I was ready to drop him off and leave him behind. The rain may have stopped by the time we got to his mother’s house but his issue with control was in full gear and he refuse to get out of the car. He had my stepdaughter get out and go to grandma. I felt trapped. I wanted him out of the car. I wanted to take my daughter and leave. Next thing I know there is a tap on my window to roll the window down. It was my mother in-law.  She ordered Robert out of the car and told me to sit and listen. She had some not so nice things to say about her son, nothing I disagreed with. Then she pointed out that my step mother did not have a decent mother or father and that I was her only hope. She played her hand well. She got to me using my stepdaughter. She told me I did not have to spend time with my husband but I was to get my rear into her place and that she was making me dinner the next night. I made it through Labor Day weekend to come home on my birthday. Little did I know it, I was about to get a present from God.

Robert told me he was leaving. I asked him if he had someone picking him up because he was not going to take my car. Now we did not have a telephone of any kind. We had to use a payphone next to the community center in the apartment complex where we lived. We had not been home long enough for him to go outside and use it, so when he told me his friend was on his way, I knew he had already planned this. So to be clear I asked him, ‘You are really leaving, and you don’t live here anymore?’ He said yes. I had so much peace and I was actually smiling, which really confused him. He asked me, ‘Why I wasn’t crying?’ My response was, ‘You just gave me the best birthday present, because I don’t have to allow your friends in my house, I don’t have to put up with the pain. I am free!’ I neatly carried all of his belongings out the door and felt like the sun had come out for the first time in months. God had answered my prayers. You see my commitment to God and His faithfulness kept me alive. I might have been banged up, but I lived and He set me free. I don’t mean to say every woman in an abusive relationship has t stay because she is married to her abuser and this also goes for the men who are abused. Get out, and get to safety. I was young and dumb, and it is only by the grace of God that I lived.

Back to beginning of the end of my marriage, we separated back in September of ‘96’. He then began telling everyone, that our daughter was not his, and that I tricked him into marrying me. It took a number of times for him to submit to a DNA test, and how I got him to do that is a story for another day. Then after all of this he refused to give me a divorce. My attorney had told me that unless I needed the divorce to remarry don’t fight him, because he would win and I would be spending money I didn’t have. So I told him he could keep the marriage license I was done.  Then later he finally served me with divorce papers and we were divorced on Valentine’s Day 2000.

God had helped me keep my commitment to Him, and gave me the freedom I needed. I thank God that what He sets free is free indeed. Since then I have had many more tails and tribulations, and if you know the story of what was done to me regarding my daughter which you can read about in ‘Relations Restored’, you can see that God’s commitment to us never fails. Yes my marriage ended but my relationship with Jesus is so much better than it ever was. That is one commitment I will never regret. I could have turned my back on God while I was married, with all the abuse and anger. The betrayal of my husband cheating on me. I could have blamed God, all of this would have been easy to do. I was just learning the meaning of commitment during this trial in my life. You don’t know how many times I had turned away, angry, bitter and filled with rage. I would have liked to say when my marriage ended that all of that baggage left with him, but there were things lodged into my heart. Even though I had a commitment with God and I trusted him with my physical life, there are still things that I have not let go of and anger and trust issues that I deal with today.

My husband had not been the first to abuse me or cheat on me and he was not the last. I just learned as soon as it was going in that direction to get out and start over, until the day I got tired and stopped trying to find a relationship. I did realize though that until my life is right with God no earthly relationship will ever be right completely. I am not against relationships or marriage. I just think it is more important for me to work on my relationship with Jesus, and with myself. This way I will be the person that God wants me to be. I am just no her yet, but I will be. I am learning trust hope, love and faith are things I cannot live without, I just have to learn how to get them and let go of all the pain and bitterness. I know I am not alone on this journey, and that there is still a long road to travel but we will get there.

Once again I am asking for testimonies on relationships. They don’t have to be tragic or abusive. I would love to read some testimonies on some relationships that have endured whatever the world has thrown their way and are just as much in love to day as the day they first said, “I do’.

Right Relations / The Beginning

It has been a short while since I have been working on this project of ‘Right Relations’, how our relationships here on earth have affected our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I am back at it now and here is my next installment. I am still looking for testimonies to include in this book on relationships both good and bad that can help others draw closer to Jesus, so if you have one you would like to share please contact me, I would love to hear how God has worked in your life.

Here is my latest work on this project, I have gone back to the beginning.

The First Relationship

After God had created the heavens and the earth, and filled the earth with the various living creatures, He formed man out of the dirt and breathed life into him. God saw that it was not good for man to be alone so he took a rib out of the man and created woman. Eve was not Adam’s first relationship. His first relationship was with his Creator, his Heavenly Father. Yet he did not listen to his Father as he should have, and Eve did not listen to her husband. She listened to the serpent and did the ONE thing they were told not to do and ate the fruit of the tree that God had commanded them not to eat of. One action as simple as it may seem damaged a perfect relationship. They lived in Paradise! They had all they would have ever needed, and they threw it away by disobeying the One who had created them and loved them.

Doing what they thought would not harmed them got them kicked out of Paradise and all of its comforts and provisions. Their lives would be filled with hardship and pain. This did not stop God from loving them though. He made a promise which He kept. Through the woman a Savior would be born and He would redeem that which was lost. Read Genesis to get the whole story.

Their story is one of the first broken relationships you will find in the history of all relationships. You might wonder why it is when they had everything and were loved so dearly how they could go against the One who created and loved them, giving them the best life He could. That is a question I cannot answer. How many of us have had everything we could ever want or need and thrown it away for a temporary pleasure though? This doesn’t mean that our lives were perfect or without pain. For many of us the beginnings of our lives on this earth have been filled with various forms of abuse, pain and suffering. We find it hard to trust an unseen God. The idea of a Heavenly Father and His Son is like a myth, or a fairy tale. We are like Thomas, filled with doubt and refusing to believe until we can see and touch, so that we have proof.

We stay distant from Him even after we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord. He is now a part of our lives, but a part we only find in a book. We don’t truly have a solid relationship with Him. Even after we have received forgiveness for our sins we are in a distant relationship with our Heavenly Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. The source of life is there but we are not truly connected. It is like that distant relative that you have never met. You know they exist but you have never laid your eyes on them or even spoken to them. So how do we change this? How do we have a real relationship with the One who has given us everything? You have repented and received Jesus as Lord and Savior. You believe God sent Him to pay the price of your sins redeeming you and giving you eternal life, yet They still seem so far away.

We are on this journey together. As I am writing these words I am learning myself what it means to have a better relationship with Jesus, His Spirit and our Heavenly Father, Abba. We are sinners saved by His grace and love. Yet we hurt and so we hurt those around us. A lot of the time we hurt others not realizing what we have done. As the saying goes, ‘Hurt people, hurt people.’

Too many of us have gone through this life hurting for one reason or another. We lack hope and trust. We feel like we are the only ones we can depend on and we don’t even feel capable of being able to do that most of the time. This is not the life God wants for us. He wants a close and intimate relationship with each of us. He loves us and wants so much better for us. We are at a place in our lives where we need to learn how true His love is. We need to learn to trust Him more and know His love never fails.

So let us examine our own relationships and those we find in His Word. Really take a good look at the lives and relationships of those in the Bible and learn what it means t have a right relationship with Him and each other.

Right Relations / Thoughts April 19, 2018

This project makes me feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew. With so many different types of relationships people have, it feels like I will never be done. I know I am still in the beginning phase of this project and I am certain that the Lord has given to me this task, but I an feeling overwhelmed and under qualified, I can look at my own relations that I have had and the current ones and I see more damaged and failed relations than good and healthy ones. So who am I to write about relationships? I do not know why God has given me this assignment but I understand that how we relate to others here on earth, that we can see, hear and touch, definitely can have an impact on our relationship with an unseen God. We call Him Father, a title that can give us images of an overbearing tyrant, or a lovable and gentle grandfather. These of course are only two examples of how people can see Him. I want to ask Him, ‘Why me?’ I have no degree in psychology or counseling, although I did take course in psychology, it was only a prerequisite for a course I was taking. I am no a professor, I have taught from preschool up to middle school. None of this makes me an expert on relationships, and I am no expert when it come to God either. So why am I sitting here writing to others about relationships?

I think about Gideon. He even thought there had to be a mistake. He was the least of the least of the least. Yet God chose him and used him. Esther was an orphan who became a queen who God used to save her people. Saul had killed many Christians before he had his Damascus experience and he became Paul, a man who wrote a number of books in what we call the New Testament. I however and not close to any of these people.

I see people who come from terrible backgrounds, who had painful childhoods, and they are some of the most successful in their relationships. Then I have seen people who had the loving caring family that raised and cared for them turn into adults who cannot form one healthy and loving relationship for themselves. I do not understand how this works but the one thing I do know is every relationship requires work. Good or bad relationships depend on us. The choices we make, the things we do. Do we give love and return hate in return? Jesus did. He died not only for those who loved and followed Him, He died for those who hated and despised Him. Now that is dedication and more important that is a love none of truly gets. He wasn’t just kind and caring to those who were good to Him. He loves everyone, unconditionally. We on the other hand  are not so loving.

I know of toxic relationships that last what seems a life time, and wonder how? A house filled with bitterness, strife and hatred. They demean and tear each other apart and yet can say they love each other. They don’t break up, and continue to live under the same roof miserable. I wonder how such hate filled people can stay in a relationship, while I see loving compassionate and caring people alone. Hoping one day to find someone who will love them as much as they love. Although I understand the wisdom in waiting. It is better to be alone and single, than get into a relationship with will not only make you miserable but here is one thing I have learned about wrong relationships;  they are good at driving a wedge between you and Jesus. You may still pray and call upon His name, but the closeness you had before this wrong relationship is gone. It is like going from spending time daily with your best friend, to that friend who moved away that you only talk to on the phone. The phone calls become less and less until one day you are wondering how they are doing and how long has it been since you last talked. I know this is also part of the reason for me to write this. A reminder to work on not just our earthly relationships, but our Heavenly one as well. Don’t neglect your relationships, they are important.

I want to thank those of you who have been following me on this journey and being patient with the rough draft that this project is. I am still looking for testimonies on relationships. These testimonies can help others, and I will be saving them for the book so they will not be posted on my blog. I can also make your testimony anonymous or change names if that would make you feel more comfortable. I have shared some of my own testimonies on this journey and I hope they have touched the lives of at least one person and given them hope. What ever type of relationship testimony you have I would be grateful to receive, if you leave a comment showing interest in sharing I will give you my contact information. I hope to hear from you soon, and thank you.