I got an unwelcome shock this morning when I got a message from the bank saying that our mortgage payment is increasing by just under $100. You can imagine my panic! I'm still not working, although the Woodwind and Brasswind DID offer me employment a month ago. They just haven't been given the greenlight to start the next training course for their catalog telephone reps. from their corporate offices in Oregon yet. I don't know when I will be actually receiving a paycheck. I also lost 2 piano students this month - down to 8 - and had to request 6 more months of forebearance on my student loans. Yikes! 2011 is starting out with a lot of demands!
But I've had 19 sales total on my webshop, and a lot of interest and questions and people offering promotions, and that makes me feel very hopeful that my handmade business may actually turn into something worthwhile someday.
I also had to remind myself that one of God's names is Jehovah Jireh - God my Provider!
Without getting too weird and overly-spiritual, I had this thought this morning. A lot of evangelical Christians have forgotten that God has many, many names. I love the Hebrew names for God, and almost no one preaches sermons about them anymore! Yahweh (God's proper name), Elohim (God with Authority), El Shaddai (mighty one), Adonai (master) , El Elyon (most high) , Avinu (Our Father), El Roi (God who sees me), and many more! All describe a different facet of God's character, and show us what we believe in. There are also many Anglicanized descriptions, such as Jehovah-jireh (provider), Jehoveh-nissi (my banner), Jehoveh-shammah (God is there) and four or five others that I can't remember at this exact moment.
I struggled for so many years with this terrible description of God that I was force-fed at a fundamental Baptist school. It left me feeling conflicted because it offered none of these facets. I was just expected to recite a prayer and be good for the rest of my life as a means of 'fire insurance'. But what was I supposed to do when I was sick? What about those years that my mom was sick and close to death and I was sinking into depression and becoming suicidal just like she was? Was I just supposed to be good and hope for the best when I was struggling with finances and going to school full time and working two jobs? What about the friends I had who were Catholic or Mormon? Was I seriously supposed to tell them they were going to Hell for believing in the same Jesus I do, but not the same way? And what about the Holy Spirit? Isn't the Holy Spirit what Jesus left us with? Why do we ignore the Holy Spirit when He is our Comforter?
Don't get me started on the idiots who quote Scripture at a situation like it's the be-all-end-all to everything in life. I have a whole tangent for that.
I have been studying God's 'names' because they describe his character. And as a being created in His image, I want to know who I am supposed to be! If you have noticed my profile description, it reads that I am who I am, and I am still learning who that person is. I no longer accept the traditional way of being a Christian. People say Christian are bigoted, irrational, judgemental and radical. Yep, that's putting it mildly. I don't want to be associated with those kinds of Christians. I don't even call myself a Christian anymore. I am simply a Believer, and I'm leaving it at that. I don't have all the answers, I can't rationalize everything, and I don't blindly follow some ancient religious hocus-pocus. But I do know that I have been saved from myself if nothing else.