Happy Hour at Starbucks: A Reward of Giving…Receiving

I was going to hog up the promotion and get two of something for myself – one for now and one for later.

So the law of giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, was fully in effect for me the other day. I was at Starbucks and was going to take advantage of this BOGO promo they have going. Happy Hour

I was going to hog up the promotion and get two of something for myself – one for “now and one for later.”

I offered the drink to a girl instead who I noticed only had a water – I didn’t know if she didn’t have money for a drink or what, but offered her the drink, instead. She accepted. I “took her order” and went in – 3 times. There were issues.

By the time I got her order right based on the parameters, I went back in and went from the front of the line to the back, where there were now 4 people in front of me.  This barrista, however, maintained my place and was already on my order. He popped over, and asked me if the drinks were hot or cold. “Hot,” I told him. He proceeded to make them for us.

He eventually looked my way and asked about size, “Grande.” “Yes,” I told him, then proceeded to inform him I wanted large, instead. So, my drinks were going to be ready quickly, but I was not. I was still four back and goin’ slow.

The kind barrista motioned me over to pick up my drinks, and I informed him I needed to pay for them, still. He told me, “Don’t worry about it, they’re on me, (Bravo) and by the time you got through the line they’d be cold.” This latter part was bunk, but I would not debunk him. He was very happy and gave them to me with a smile. I was very happy and accepted them with a smile!

I was so grateful. I took it as a gift from God gift away, as always. I thanked him and said, “God bless you,” smiled and went off. What a doll he was.

I walked outside and gave the girl her order. She liked it and so do I. What a good thing for us all. It feels good to give and good to receive. Beats being a coffee-hog. Thanks to God for His little gifts. They’re so sweet. One thing I’ve learned about God is when I give, He always does too, in some way, whether it’s joy, gratitude, coffee or all of the above.

Luke 6:38 explains: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Bam! – Luke came alive really quickly – I gave a vanilla bean caramel latte and got the same measured to me, and a little joy and gratitude, to boot. 🙂 Thanks, God! Your word does not return to You void.

Holly

For Love

Performance then, will no longer be my standard. I will now focus on practicing being loved by God, and loving toward myself, toward God and toward others! I will practice letting myself be loved first by remembering who God is, and focusing on how He has demonstrated His marvelous love toward me over all the years of my life.

July 13, 2018

Tonight I listened to some sermons which got me thinking about my performing for love. Always doing and striving. Trying to accomplish.

I have heard before that we tend to view God similarly to how we had a relationship with our earthly father. My perception of this is true, for me, it seems. This is to what I came tonight.

There are several reasons I feel that I have to perform to be accepted. One. I lived in the Washington, D.C. area for a long time, and two, I always felt I had to have something “good” going on or something to report to my dad to be accepted. I had to be dazzling or doing something – not that I ever was, really, but that is what I felt, still. That also goes for a father role model I had. It was the same thing with him. He actually told me once that his love for me was conditional. I hated that. He really drove the stake home there. I was pissed. That is clearly not love if it’s conditional.

There are people that say that once, saved, always saved. Also, that if you are saved, that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  That last part is scripturally backed up in Romans 8:1.

My problem with that is that I take it to mean if we are living as Christians, then of course there is no condemnation, but what about those times when we do actually sin, when we are say, being slothful or gluttonous – when those time occur, you are not technically living “In Christ,” in my estimation. That is a problem with me because I’m always seemingly sinning – maybe not ever day, but there are a lot of times when I overeat or am gluttonous, or lazy – those are my things, or I am not obedient to holy spirit instruction. Those actions result in “deathly” behavior. The bible says if we live in the spirit it is unto life and living in the flesh is unto death. I get it and I also feel its fruit – on both occasions. I know that all I need to do is confess, and the Lord will forgive me, but I do feel condemned, as I should because oftentimes I do those things willingly, like they are not as bad of a sin as are adultery or murder, but God weighs all sins the same. Either way, sin abounds. Grace abounds much more the bible tells me than sin, and if I consciously approached every decision like that, which I have – I love when I make the right decision, then yes, grace often follows that, in those cases, instead of it proceeding it. I’ve had it both ways.

My problem is that when I go against my inner promptings, I can’t help but to feel condemned or I have lost the glory. Like today. The other day I stood up for Christ, when asked in church about renewing a commitment. When I spoke with a cousin the other day, I revealed that I’d done this – maybe to get kudos, or maybe to just to fill the conversation. At any rate, I was feeling not to, but I did anyway.

I had a feeling check this afternoon and what I realized was I felt I’d lost this power I’d gained since I stood up last week.  I had a strength and boldness that I haven’t had previously, and today it was absent, I noticed. When I inquired why to myself it might have been, that is what came to mind – that was my first “off” moment since then. Turns out it was my first interaction with people since then too. ☹

Anyway, all of this made me realize how perfect I am always feeling I have to be – make sure I do it right – am checking all the boxes, and using my time wisely, am staying in the lines. Everything. Maddening is what I feel it is, maddening! Crazy. Maybe I’m alone too much, but I think it really is my hyper-aware personality.

I have been trained to “assess” my person, my emotions and where I’m at from the time I was 16 and when I was little even, I would always be on my mom’s case for doing things wrong. So, it is part of my make-up – part of the teacher nature in me – corrective by nature. It’s maddening, still, at times.

So, my point, still. I am in search of the truth. Right believing produces right living. This is what I’ve heard.

I believe much of the bible. I haven’t read all of it, but I worry that I am under constant scrutiny and it is exhausting. I live that way every day. It is how I am. I’m no longer interested in being that way, but if I do have to be on my p’s and q’s all of the time which I try and be, I’m out. That’s how I feel. I need to know what’s real.

So, I believe God loves me. I believe his love is unconditional, but the keys to the kingdom are not. That is where I falter. So, in a sense, love is conditional because acceptance is conditional? That’s how I feel.

The laws of sowing and reaping are surely in effect with our every thought/re(action), every moment of our lives. This is what scares me, maybe, because I’m not perfect. I need a right perspective because the mind-set I have now locks out love and is purely based on performance. That is how I feel. I’m accepted and loved somedays and there are times I feel the opposite. God is not like that. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, according to the bible.

I am going to begin to focus on love. It’s time to mature and accept the responsibility that yes, you screw up, on purpose even sometimes, and you will reap what you sow, likely. Get clear on your sins. I think the only unpardonable sin is rejecting the Holy Spirit – rejecting God.

This is what I felt I was doing when I was experiencing that “garden confession” on some level. I love God. I feel fallible. Christ’s strength can be made perfect in my weakness. Guess I need to humble-down and get with God more securely, practicing my faith more deliberately, and trusting that He is working in me every day, working to accomplish what He will through me, perfecting me for Himself.

Maybe I just need to let up on myself a little more. Maybe I am so cognizant of my sins because that is upon what I focus. I am going to focus on loving myself more – being more loving toward God – just that. Focusing on being perfect, as we are told to do in Matthew 5:8, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,” is something I will not do by my own standards. I will work on loving myself, instead, and loving others. If I can do that, according to God’s word, God’s love will have been perfected in me.

Performance then, will no longer be my standard. I will now focus on practicing being loved by God, and loving toward myself, toward God and toward others! I will practice letting myself be loved first by remembering who God is, and focusing on how He has demonstrated His marvelous love toward me over all the years of my life.

Holly

“God Loves You”…

When I took the pizza back to him, I told him I got him a soda too in case he’d like a little something else besides the beer! Also, as I parted, I told him  “God loves you” because I wanted him to know that truth!

That’s when he told me, “I know. He’s showing me through you. Thank you.”

We are to the be the hands and feet of god in this world. “Where is God?” people may ask.  Believers, we are God’s emissaries. We are to do his work for helping and loving others where we can.

I told this to a man, Tim, I’d met earlier tonight just before leaving him. “I know,” he replied. “He is showing me through you. Thank you.”

I pulled in to the area where I was going to get my dinner. This car pulled out and was blocking me from going in front of where I was going to park. I had to pull in or cause a scene that was unnecessary because I’d seen this young man sitting on the sidewalk and I didn’t want to park there.

I figured things weren’t great for him. I didn’t want to park in front of him and deal with his issue. Looks like I’m not getting out of this. I had to look at this. Why does this bother me? You can help him. There is inherently, at least within me it feels, I think an anger that rises up, like, why are you on the street? What happened? Why aren’t you doing your part? Why do I have to be the one to help you – to take care of you? I think it’s almost a resentment in that sense, but, before I let that go anywhere too far, I remembered that I can help him, simply – no need to take him in and take on all his issues, but I can give him something if he needs it. I didn’t have to do anything either. I just went with it – where I was being placed – in front of a man seemingly in need. I can help, if need be. I never used to think twice about giving money to people on the street.

I went in the store. On the way out, I had a hand full of money and my cream. “Hey lady, can you spare a couple dollars?” “Sure.” I went in my car, sorted out my situation and got my money card too because giving him a couple of bucks would cause me to need my money card. I got out of my car and went to him and handed him the money and inquired as to what is going on with him. He informed me he’d be on the street a minute because he’d had a fight with his cousin. While we talked a kid brought him a beer in a paper bag. He shared that alcohol is the only thing that makes him feel better right now. I took it upon myself at that point to ask about his salvation being that he was blessing me earlier with God after I’d given him the money, and I told him that God can give him peace beyond all understanding. I told him that God loves him and His will for him is not to be on the streets.

He told me he once lived righteously and chose the path he is on now again. I shared I’d done the same and it hurt me and others, but I chose again, and that God through Jesus will help him too.

My intention on talking to him about the Lord was that Jesus has the words of life. My few bucks would do no good in the long-run, but what I could share and pray for him may be what changes his mind and life in the long run, or plants a seed that is watered later by others, and brought to fruition, later still, by the Lord. But by whatever means it works out, I felt for the first time the urgency of providing the truth to this boy and sharing my testimony, in part, as well. If he lets Jesus in and trusts God with his life, he can change – God will shepherd him. That is more important than money. Still, I left him with a few bucks, told him the Lord loves him, and hopefully shared the good news in some saving way while I also prayed with him.

I prayed that he was saved among other things, but finally, too that he know the love of Christ and God as his Father. That is so important, at least it has been for me. I left it there, closed it out in Jesus’ name and went to the place next door to get my dinner. I’d asked him before I proceeded forward if he’d like some pizza, and he agreed to it! 🙂

When I took the pizza back to him, I told him I got him a soda too in case he’d like a little something else besides the beer! Also, as I parted, I told him  “God loves you” because I wanted him to know that truth!

That’s when he told me, “I know. He’s showing me through you. Thank you.”

We are to the be the hands and feet of god in this world. “Where is God?” people may ask.  Believers, we are God’s emissaries. We are to do his work for helping and loving others where we can.

For the first time, today, I truly spoke to and prayed for another, not out of my obligation of being a Christian (though those initial truths coming forth were not very Christ-like at all!). Today, I felt like I could really help him – that he needed help and Christ can truly help him. I know this to be true. For that, I felt I helped him, and that was good!