Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Standing for Truth

In the last month, I've seen more and more people waiver in standing tall for what they believe in. I've seen commitments to "never doing such and such" go to indulging in guilty pleasures. I've seen people put others on the back burner in order to elevate themselves. And, I've seen Christians bash other Christians regarding what they think is right. Whether it be personal morals or religious beliefs, more and more people are losing sight of who they say they are and the Truth in each circumstance.

Losing sight of the Truth is dangerous. It puts people in a place where they begin to rely on themelves or others for the answers and seek avenues that are not reliable. I believe in one Truth, and that is Jesus Christ and His teachings in the Bible. Truth is Truth. Period. There's no misunderstanding, no question in what it means, and no wavering on its interpretation. The Bible teaches that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Light." I stand for Truth.

There's an old cliche saying that says, "If you can't stand for anything, you'll fall for everything." Stand for anything? What if that "anything" is wrong?

If you can't stand for TRUTH, then please, just stay seated.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Solly's Story

My day to day routine doesn't change much. I drive to work the same way, park in the same parking spot when I get there, and take the same streets back to my humble abode. Well, about a year ago, I started noticing a thin Asian woman, approximately in her 50's,with long dark stringy hair, walking home to the same neighborhood I live in. For a few weeks, I never gave it much thought, but then I started to become curious who this woman was. Where was she coming from? What does she do? Who is she? My next visit to the grocery store would reveal to me that she works as a bagger at the local market. A few weeks later, we both happened to be getting mail from our mailboxes at the same time. She arrived with a bag of groceries in her hand and mentioned to me that she had to get home to take care of her mom and dad as they were very sick. I expressed my concern and said I'd be praying for them to get better. Over the next year or so, we've become friendly with each other but have never had an in depth conversation. In fact, I don't think she even remembered my name. Well, today I had the chance to get to know Solly.

Every day this week, I've seen Solly walking to and/or from work. I typically don't see her every day, so it caught my attention that I've seen her so frequently this week. God began putting a strong burden on my heart to want to know her story and to share with her about Jesus. It's not cheap where I live, and I can't imagine she makes much as a grocery bagger. But, she is very dedicated to her job and always has a smile on her face when I see her. Who was this woman?

I stopped by the grocery store on my way home from work tonight and there was Solly at the end of my check-out line bagging my groceries. "Hi Solly! How are you?" She looked at me with a curious look on her face as if she didn't know who I was. "I'm Alyson. Remember? I live in the same place you do." Her face lit up. We had a brief conversation but then bid each other farewell. I go out to my car and put my bag of groceries in the back seat, but behind me, I hear Solly calling my name. She asks if she can get a ride home with me as she was just getting off of work. Of course I didn't mind, and it gave me the chance to get to know her a bit more. I pushed some papers out of the passenger seat as she got in the car. My bible was on the floor of the car and told her to push it to the side so she could put her feet down. "Oh, I love the bible!" she said. "Where do you go to church?" Wow God. I guess I didn't need to waste time with chit chat! She wanted to know about church! The commute from the grocery store to my house is probably 1 mile (if that), so it didn't leave me much time to inquire. Turns out, Solly is a Christian from the Philippines. She and her family moved to San Diego when she was very young. She is very educated with a Master's degree, but because her parents got sick, she had to stop pursuing her dream of being an attorney and take care of them. Sadly, she told me they passed away last May. She currently has her brother and sister living with her, but her sister just walked out and is refusing to help with rent. Solly is such a sweet woman who sadly doesn't have a backbone to say that's not ok, so unfortunately, people walk all over her and take advantage of her. She invited me inside to which I obliged. She has a very nice house. I was impressed. You could tell it was her pride and joy, but also that she didn't have many friends who truly cared about her and her interests. In her broken English, she told me all about her knick-knacks and pictures. She shared stories with me about her parents and her growing up. You could tell she has a giving heart and wants to help people despite her own needs. She'd rather go without than burden someone else. She's currently trying to find a roommate, because she can't afford paying the entire rent on her own. Oh, and did I mention that neither her brother or sister help her with the bills? They expect her to pay all of them. So sad. But Solly's response was, "Isn't that what Christians are supposed to do? We're supposed to help others out."

I have a friend who's looking for a place to live and mentioned to Solly that I would tell her about her place. She broke down crying, raised her hands in the air, and immediately began thanking God. "See?" she said through the tears. "God did hear my prayers! I've been praying! I knew He'd answer me!" If you know me even just a little bit, you know that I am a very compassionate person and will cry right along with you. So yep, I began crying, too. It was such a sweet moment as two strangers connected through one common bond, Jesus Christ. I had to remind her I couldn't promise anything but that I would ask my friend if she was interested. Solly is such a sweet lady who deserves to be treated right. She kissed me on the cheek with her eyes full of tears. For the last few days, God had been preparing my heart to talk to her. To brighten her day, even if for just a moment, and for me to realize how sweet the pleadings of God can be. It reminded me to always be sensitive to the Spirit. To listen to the nudge because there's probably a very good assignment that He's about to use you for. It was such an assuring feeling for me to feel the Lord's presence right then and there, reminding both Solly and myself that He is our Provider. Our Jehovah-Jireh.

Please pray for Solly. She is such a sweet lady who gives all of herself to others for the sake of the Lord. She deserves better, and I know God has a special plan just for her.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Another year has flown by. I guess it's true what they say - the older you get, the faster it happens. It's hard to believe that it's already 2009!

Each end of the year, I try to take the time to do a self-inventory and list the goods and the bads of each year. What did I like about myself this past year? What did I accomplish? What do I need to work on? What things do I still struggle with? I decided this year to take a picture of my writings (above). For me, journalling has always been theraputic. I feel I am best able to communicate through written word - even if it's just for myself. Journalling also allows a sort of freedom for my spirit to unload. I feel if it's down on paper, then it's out of my head and I don't worry so much. Looking back over this past year, I've accomplished a lot (more than I thought I had). But, I also realize there is a lot more yet to do. Much of 2008 for me was personal and emotional growth.

After evaluating how the year went for me, I also try to write down things I want to strive for in the new year. Not necessarily "resolutions," but rather goals. (All in all, it's probably the same thing, but "goals" sounds better to me! LOL!) Since the years are going by faster, I'm going to try to really stay on track this year with reaching these goals!

Finally, the end digits on each year is a reminder to me how long I've been paralyzed. Since my accident was in 2000, it's somewhat "easy" for me to remember how long ago it was. This year will mark the 9th year since being hurt, but even sadder to me is next year marking 10 years. Amazing how quickly life changes, yet still, there is joy knowing that the Lord has me here for a particular purpose. No mountain is too high to climb and no ocean too wide to swim across with the love of the Lord in my heart. I praise God for His divine plan for me!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2009 be full of prosperity and joy as you discover the Lord's plan for your life!