Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “Beliefs”

A Word about Joe Paterno….Shhhhh

Daniel in the bible had a sterling reputation.  In Daniel 5:14 Daniel finds himself before the king hearing these words “I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.”  I have made that my personal confession and declare those words to be true for my husband and children.

As we witness Joe Paterno’s memory and legacy take a hit, I’m driven to wonder what the memory will be of my choices, comments, actions, interactions, associations.  How sad that Paterno went to his grave in shame with a host of people shaking their heads and uttering tsk tsk.  He apparently saw and didn’t say and his silence hurt people and devastated him and his legacy.  He compromised his beliefs, most likely…probably not to be a snitch, possibly for professional reasons.  His legacy…all that he built, forgotten in the memory of a secret he kept.  Secrets don’t usually remain a secret.  We have a tendency of sharing our heart (hopefully with someone who will cover, conceal and protect it and guard our secret).  When we share we expose ourselves and take a chance that our secrets may no longer be.  That was not the case with Mr. Paterno.  The secret he should have exposed, exposed him, bit him, hurt him, sent him to the grave probably shaking his head too!  My point is not to throw salt on the wound or judge the situation.  The facts of the case judge him and the participants enough.  I feel for him and his family; for the reputation as a professional he built.  The monument built as a lasting memory of him and his accomplishments will probably be yanked from its foundation…all for a secret.  I especially feel for all of the victims within this secret, for their families and loved ones left with the feelings of “I should have known” “I wish I knew” “If I only knew” and it wouldn’t be fair not to feel for the family and loved ones of the perpetrator.  People tortured, families scarred, reputations ruined, legacies lost…all because of a secret.

Lord, may my reputation, born from the choices that I made, what I stood for, what and who I spoke up for, the company I kept, the decisions I made be so in line with Your Word, Your will, Your plan, Your purpose for me that those who knew me will be able to say without a doubt that, “she lived for Him, with Him and He operated through her”…may it be known and be apparent and may You get every bit of the glory.  May the only secret kept be between us as I share my heart with You and tap into Yours…in Jesus’ name!  I love the Lord…that’s no secret!!

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my (firm, impenetrable) Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

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Moses, a Friend, and a Stranger

I have been walking with the Lord…oftentimes limping…sometimes even being dragged  for 15 years now.  Along the way, there have been people who have imparted such wisdom and have shown me such love, whose witness has impacted me, who have left an indelible imprint on my life.  There have also been people whom the Lord has used to woo me, who never knew the impact they would have on me.  They were simply living their lives (some louder than others) while I was watching and listening…while He was wooing me…drawing me.

I was probably 13 years old when “Moses” became our new neighbor.  I don’t believe I knew his real name.  My brothers named him Moses because he carried a bible constantly.  I never saw him leave the house without it and the only time he ever talked to me was to ask me whether I was saved.  Saved from what?  Naturally, we thought he was a nut.  He was bold and brash, a strict disciplinarian.  I felt sorry for his daughters.  He both intimidated me and sparked a curiosity within me and all these years later, I never forgot ole Moses.

Then there was my co-worker friend, Clare, a bubbly, charismatic, Irish Catholic girl who it seemed left one way on a Friday and came back a totally different person on Monday.  I never quite got the back story of Clare’s conversion because she simply freaked me out.  I secretly judged her while at the same time I was completely taken by her and totally intrigued.  I thought surely she was confused and certainly hell bound having left the Church, but I was so curious about this new Clare.  I wondered what happened to the old Clare.  I could not get over the change and as she spoke I thought “how in the world does she remember all those scriptures and what in the world do they mean?”  I don’t remember Clare ever trying to impose her beliefs on me although she certainly was not shy about what she believed.  She seemed so confident and knowledgeable about this Jesus thing.   We eventually parted ways but the impression she made on me was a forever one.  One thing that was undeniable about Clare…she had been touched and I saw Jesus in her eyes.  I never forgot Clare.

Years later, I was sitting by myself having lunch, in the middle of a pity party in the Plaza, when out of nowhere this young woman approaches me and takes a seat next to me.  She wore a pony tail and a smile and had a soft voice.  She began probing into my life and I wasn’t budging.  I rather enjoyed being pitiful, okay?  She finally got around to inviting me to her church.  I told her I was a Catholic (a non-church going, infertile, depressed, fighting with her husband, Catholic) but hey, I had a church..had no idea how long it had been since I’d visited, but I belonged there!  She persisted, telling me that her church meets in a gym while they are believing for a building.  I totally thought she was a part of a cult.  No thank you.  Every day after that I would duck when I saw her – even pretending to be asleep many times and this girl was relentless. She would pass by me calling my name…”Arlene, is that you…are you sleeping?  Just wanna tell you that Jesus loves you.”  Ugghhh!!!  She annoyed me…Eventually, she moved on and I never saw her again, but I never forgot her.

Three different people over many years in three different states; three memories forever etched in my heart and one big, loving, relentless God in hot pursuit of me.  Know this…someone is always watching your witness, recording your words, being impacted without your even knowing and those times that you are seemingly rejected as you share your faith, recognize that you have planted a seed and He will see to it that that seed gets watered and after the harvest, many, many years later you just might meet up again…if not here, then there for sure.  Oh happy day!!

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” 1Corinthians 3:6

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