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August 09, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Little Magpie: Swan - it seems that as time goes on I get more guarded and withdrawn

Bill: Little Magpie: I appreciate your honest response. I believe that becoming guarded and withdrawn is the "expected" result of life on this earth. Apart from the love and power of God at work in our lives, this place can be a scary, overwhelming place. The Bible is quite upfront about the condition of this world and the battle we all have raging in our souls. It is no surprise that many elderly people end up disillusioned, discouraged, angry and sullen. In the midst of all this, Jesus offers hope and strength through the Holy Spirit which reaches to the depth of our hearts and gives us the courage to keep "putting ourselves out there" to see what God can do with the little we have to offer.

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August 09, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Swan: Hi Little Magpie - How are you this week?

Bill: Good Evening Swan and Little Magpie.

Little Magpie: Hello All

Swan: Bill - earlier today I went to the Love-Wise website and got an internet security alert, code 055BCCAC9FEC I had to shut my computer down to leave the website. That is the same warning people are saying they get when they try to come to chat, I have never gotten that one, but Cricket for one gets it every time. Thought I would let you know, maybe your IT person could look at it that type stuff isn't really in my area of knowledge.

Bill: Swan. Thank you. That is important for us to know. I will check into it after chat room.

Little Magpie: Swan - It has been an interesting week. I have had to switch days off as work needs me on my usual day off, my YD has been a total pill and I think it has to do with her nerves about leaving for college soon

Little Magpie: Bill - How has your week been?

Little Magpie: Swan - wow, the alert is scary stuff (to me) computers and technology scare me.

Bill: Little Magpie: My week has been good and very focused. We are kind of settled into our new life and I have been able to be quite productive on my computer and task list.

Swan: Bill - I check both sites about once a week or so to see what is updated, the last time I was at Love-Wise, no problems at all. There are a few things on the Love-Wise site that I think might benefit MLD, I was going to view them again and then submit my thoughts about it to you.

Little Magpie: Bill - How is your sermon series coming?

Swan: Little Magpie - That is my thought as well, if others are getting the message that could be part of why attendance is low at times.

Little Magpie: Swan - that makes a lot of sense

Swan: Little Magpie - Yeah, as much as she might be excited about going to college, there has to also be a great amount of uncertainty and that can cause worry, which typically causes people to be on edge and irritable about almost everything. Having an idea of why will help you to deal with her more lovingly.

Bill: Little Magpie: The sermon series is coming along nicely. I am getting more convinced that our lives are shaped in significant moments that are orchestrated by God. As we learn to respond to these moments, we discover strength, hope, wisdom, faith and the ability to see our contribution to life.

Bill: Swan: Thanks for checking the sites. This security thing is an ongoing irritation that I would love to ignore but have to babysit on a regular

Swan: Bill - I attended church as a child, as a teenager I got involved at my church with things like our youth group and working in the children's church, I still went when I was in the Marine Corps, but in my mid 20's I really started questioning the validity of a loving God as the events of my abusive childhood came to an explosive head. As I questioned, I grew further from God, there were seasons when my children where young that we would go to church occasionally, but nothing like I had done in my teens. Sadly for me as my step father and mother become vocal about God and forgiveness due them, the less I wanted to do with that God. As much as I hate what has happened to my life and my family due to MLC, it has had a valuable benefit in that I found a relationship with God that is not anything like I believed could happen. When I found this website, it was the Christian people and leadership that showed me how loving God actually is and that relationship had grown stronger with each year.

Little Magpie: Wow, Thanks for sharing SWAN

Swan: Little Magpie - That is another example of how God has touched me, I am far more open than I ever was.

Little Magpie: Swan - it seems that as time goes on I get more guarded and withdrawn

Bill: Swan: Thanks for sharing. It is amazing to me how often we get a distorted view of our God. I believe God is faithful to orchestrate experiences and relationships during our journey that help us get a clearer and clearer picture of ourselves and of Him. It is often painful and overwhelming but the fruit of it is sweet. As we learn the value of forgiveness, acceptance, grace, personal growth and the privilege of having God actually live within us, we find a sweet spot in Him that is invaluable. Many people seem afraid of this kind of relationship so it gets loaded up with rules, expectations and myriad of ways to feel we have disappointed the one who loves us without measure. Congrats on your discovery.

Bill: Little Magpie: I appreciate your honest response. I believe that becoming guarded and withdrawn is the "expected" result of life on this earth. Apart from the love and power of God at work in our lives, this place can be a scary, overwhelming place. The Bible is quite upfront about the condition of this world and the battle we all have raging in our souls. It is no surprise that many elderly people end up disillusioned, discouraged, angry and sullen. In the midst of all this, Jesus offers hope and strength through the Holy Spirit which reaches to the depth of our hearts and gives us the courage to keep "putting ourselves out there" to see what God can do with the little we have to offer.

Swan: Bill - I made my husband my god and that was a lot of stress to put on a man that already had his own insecurities and that MLC bubbling inside, but the time he was bubbled out my world revolved around him because our children were adults and lived away from our home. I had also become complacent in our relationship, sometimes you have to lose something to understand how much it really means to you and the importance of how all relationships work best when they are made up of three, you, the other person and God.

Bill: Swan: You have learned well my friend. It is interesting to me that your H "had become your god" and yet you had "become complacent in the relationship." This is such a vivid description of how we operate if we are not focused on a vibrant relationship with God. We can all become complacent about the people and things we care about the most! I believe this is why the Bible challenges us to "seek God" and to "serve one another from the heart."

Little Magpie: Bill - I have a difficult time trying to "seek God" with all the chaos in my life I am so exhausted that I may listen to a lot of good godly programs but I don't "find time" to do any first person studies

Swan: Bill - for many years I really didn't do "alone" well, I needed a distraction from myself, it has only been since my husband's crisis that I have become comfortable in my own skin. When the kids were little my focus was on them and some on my husband, but when the kids were gone, my option was to focus on my husband so I could continue to ignore me.

Little Magpie: Swan - I don't do alone well either. I have to have something going on a radio, TV or something. Quiet and alone are tough for me

Bill: Little Magpie: It seems to me you are still "seeking" God. The fact you listen to programs and ask poignant questions at forums such as this one demonstrates a sincere desire to know God and do His will. I believe we all have a tendency to define our relationship with God based on our performance - did I study enough, pray enough, serve enough, etc. In reality, we are His kids and He loves it when we are simply around Him. He also loves the sound of our voice even when we don't make much sense. Let me give you a quick example: On vacation, our kids were all out with their families. One day we all went out on the boat and had a great time. While we were out, we gave everyone who wanted to a chance to drive the boat. There wasn't much danger of anything going wrong because the ocean is big with no obstacles and the water was calm. My grandson was shy so he didn't want to take a turn, until we got back into the harbor. When we "park" the boat, we set the rudders straight and steer the boat at slow speeds with the engines. I had just set the rudders and was starting to maneuver into the "finger" of the marina where we dock when the boat started "doing things." As I was trying to figure out what was happening, my daughter-in-law came up the stairs and said, "Sorry, Rocco was steering the boat from down below!" I could easily have been disappointed or angry with my grandson since I was moving a big boat with lots of people on it. Instead, I found it humorous and I was proud of him for being curious. That is a small picture of how God sees us. We see the mistakes, He sees us.

Bill: Swan and Little Magpie: One of the most curious paradoxes in the Bible to me is the concept of being alone. The first thing God said was not good was "man was alone." At the same time, one of the keys to developing our relationship with God is alone time - "be still and know that I am God!" Learning to be alone and accepting ourselves as treasured members of God's family is a lifelong journey!

Little Magpie: Bill - and God is with us always so we really aren't alone, right???

Little Magpie: Bill - not really right??

Bill: Little Magpie: Psalm 119 makes it clear that we are never truly alone. God is with us while we sleep, wake, work, struggle, are sick, are running at full speed. He is committed to us when we are happy, sad, productive or underachieving. And the list goes on. There is no place we can go where His spirit is not with us.

Bill: Little Magpie: I think the challenge is training ourselves to feel what we know is true. We know that God's presence is everywhere. We know that God will never leave us nor forsake us. We know that God has given us His Spirit as a down payment of the glory that is coming our way in eternity. We often, however, feel that we are inadequate, unlovable, unacceptable and unattractive. These are emotional burdens we carry in a broken world as our old nature and new nature do battle for our perspective in life. This is why Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"

Swan: I am going to head out; it is almost time for my grandson to head to youth group.

Little Magpie: Bill - Thank you. I need to learn how to renew my mind as I have done a lot of conforming.

Little Magpie: Swan - Have a good week!

Bill: Swan: Have a great time with your grandson.

Little Magpie: All - Good night, it's about time for my YD to go to YG too.

Bill: Little Magpie: Try leaning in and let God do more of the work. He can use programs, radio broadcasts, music, nature, even dreams while you are sleeping to minister to you. Ask Him to shape you and take some of the pressure off yourself. Give you H a hug for us and let your Ds know we are praying for them as they venture out this year.

Bill: Until next week . . .

Little Magpie: Bill - Thank you!!!

Little Magpie: All - Have a blessed week

Little Magpie: Swan - it seems that as time goes on I get more guarded and withdrawn

Bill: Little Magpie: I appreciate your honest response. I believe that becoming guarded and withdrawn is the "expected" result of life on this earth. Apart from the love and power of God at work in our lives, this place can be a scary, overwhelming place. The Bible is quite upfront about the condition of this world and the battle we all have raging in our souls. It is no surprise that many elderly people end up disillusioned, discouraged, angry and sullen. In the midst of all this, Jesus offers hope and strength through the Holy Spirit which reaches to the depth of our hearts and gives us the courage to keep "putting ourselves out there" to see what God can do with the little we have to offer.

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