Kellie Alexander's Blog

December 1, 2008

Filed under: forgiveness,Mental Health,relationships — kelliealexander @ 4:37 am
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I am a championship grudge holder. I guess it’s part of my personality. I have carried grudges from kindergarten into adulthood; no exaggeration. I’m good at it, I know how to do it, and I will be honest, there have been times when I have truly enjoyed nursing a grudge. But, let’s face it, it isn’t worth the price.

In every case where I have chosen to forgive, the freedom and the fellowship that I have enjoyed were far worth the supposed price of letting go. I don’t necessarily mean fellowship with the offender. Sometimes, that’s just a bad idea. But, the reality of it is like this. Suppose an unarmed man walks up on your porch one day, knocks on your door, and when you answer, he demands that you give him your wallet. Instead of doing just that, you also hand him the keys to your house and car and surrender all your possessions to him, then run out the door crying about becoming a victim of this guy. Read back. I said, “unarmed man”.

Unfortunately, too many dear people of the faith have been like this unarmed man. Let’s face it, Christianity is full of people. And, sadly, sometimes people can be real jerks. They may embarrass, intimidate, or otherwise make you extremely uncomfortable. They may even genuinely harm or wrong you in some way, but they don’t really have the right to take away your peace, joy, or happiness until you give it to them. Forgiving is like taking back the keys to your stuff. Here’s a bonus, they don’t even have to know about it!

I’m not saying I have this thing totally under wraps, I’m just saying it is an area of growth for me and I’ve had some golden opportunities to learn how in recent days. But, the neatest thing about it is, I’m not being asked to do anything that the Father hasn’t already shown me how to do in His dealings with me personally. “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13, NLT)

It can be done. It must be done. And, by the grace of God, I will.

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November 14, 2008

Solution or Desolation? It’s your choice.

Filed under: Mental Health — kelliealexander @ 2:51 pm
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I just read an article about a woman who was so addicted to plastic surgery that, over the course of a couple of decades, she subjected herself to so many surgeries that her face became horribly disfigured. When surgeons refused to operate on her any longer, she was led to begin silicone injections. Finally, her perspective became so warped that she was found to have injected a foreign substance under her facial skin believed to be cooking oil! What is so tragic to me about this story is how truly lovely the woman was in the beginning. When you see her “before” picture, it is remarkably clear that the one thing this woman could not do was see herself realistically. She was absolutely stunning, and her “addiction” turned her face into something that didn’t even look human. One asks the question….why? Why did this once beautiful woman turn her own face into a human pincushion? What made her believe herself to be so ugly and so unworthy of attention that she actually turned her own body into an object of disgust and horror. The article stated that, after all the fuss, now she wants her old face back. Sadly, it is too late for that.

It makes me think of close friends and family members I have known in my life who listened to a voice that promised them something wonderful, but delivered nothing but pain and destruction. Instead of approaching whatever emotional or mental pain they were bearing face-forward (no pun intended), they chose to go another route. The route of avoidance. From cases I’ve witnessed (as well as a few unsavory experiences of my own), I have determined that this is primarily achieved in a two-step process. Step One: Block out all accountability. This way you cannot and will not hear the truth when it is spoken directly to you by friends and loved ones. Step Two: Destroy yourself. This is done by either picking up some self-destructive habit or perhaps by making yourself impossible to be around. The methods are many, but the results are almost always the same. In the time spent glossing over or running away from a problem, the problem grows worse, and many never recover their equilibrium. The price of avoidance is always high!

I am reminded of a friend who had a rotting window frame on the front of her home. I suggested that we look into having the wood replaced, but she chose instead to simply paint gobs and gobs of thick exterior paint over the visible problems. Did she get rid of her problem? Of course not! In fact, in that scenario, there is a very real danger of the window frame rotting so much that, under the weight of the glass within, the frame could actually buckle and cause the whole assembly to come crashing down at the peril of anyone who happens to be nearby. Her method of avoidance was decidedly not a solution to the problem of rot. Neither is addiction, or some other equally destructive habit a solution to our unmet emotional or spiritual needs.

The Bible, in 2nd Corinthians 11:14, tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. He and his minions will always be ready with a bad idea to try to deal with life’s difficulties. But, it will seem like a good idea to the listener. That is why we must be on our guard. Matthew 10:16 says to be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves. This is a surefire defense against the wiles of the devil. Pay attention and do not sin.

As always, I encourage everyone to read the scriptures and know what they say. Get into a solid Bible study with friends who can be trusted to steer you in the right direction — always pointing to Christ as your source — and unafraid of being honest with you about your own shortcomings where necessary. Give God the glory for your successes and trust Him to cover your failures. In your anger or confusion, resist the temptation to bang up the people around you. That will only make things worse. And finally, no matter what happens, never, EVER put cooking oil under your skin!

Blessings!

November 6, 2008

Charity begins at home?

Filed under: relationships — kelliealexander @ 11:29 am
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Very early in my adult life, I scored a really great secretarial position at a small software company in Cincinnati. The pay wasn’t a ton, but the benefits were great, it was a standard 9 to 5 with paid sick time and holidays, and it basically met my every need financially speaking. I was thrilled with the job! It didn’t come without its share of human foibles, however, like anything in life. As a secretary, I was required of course to answer telephone lines for several middle managers. I began to notice that I was extremely calm under pressure with someone who was less than pleasant to deal with over the phone. I mean, nothing really rattled my cage, and I faced a fare share of cage-rattlers on some of those phone calls! I began to take notice, also, that I did not respond at all in kind at home with my family. My mom and I would have regular arguments, and I would go from zero to irritated in no time flat. At one point, it occurred to me to ask myself why? Why was I willing to be polite to perfect strangers and not show the same courtesy to my family back at home?

The Bible says in James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

I have pondered this same question even more as I have moved into married life and have been in the process of raising adolescent children. Don’t I want to be treated with courtesy? If so, then can I see how important it is to treat others the same way? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you started treating the little ones entrusted to your daily care with at least as much courtesy as you show the lady at the drive-thru at your favorite local fast food chain? The power to decide is yours.

November 5, 2008

Ask God if this is you….

Filed under: government,Uncategorized — kelliealexander @ 9:22 am
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“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.” Romans 13:1-3 (emphasis mine)

For most Christians, I fear these words only “apply to them” if their candidate gets elected. We are more like spoiled children demanding our own way than the people God has called to bolster our nations with prayer and petition. How can you argue with this text? It is clear that God is in control — even of “man’s” government. It is also clear that God not only appoints leaders, but also maintains the ability to control them as well. Observe some of these beloved gems from His Word.

The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.” Exodus 14:8 (emphasis mine)

“But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.” Deuteronomy 2:30 (emphasis mine)

“When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, ‘I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.’” Isaiah 10:12

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” Proverbs 21:1 (emphasis mine)

As God’s people and followers and worshippers of Christ, we should take great comfort in these scriptural reminders. Let us remind ourselves joyously that we are clearly informed of Who is in power over the world and the matters therein. Let us also remember solemnly that we are commanded to be in prayer for every leader in authority over us without exceptions; even if we didn’t want them as our leader(s).

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if you are one of the bashers or one of the prayers. My guess is, you already know.

God Bless us All!

October 28, 2008

Not to oversimplify….

Filed under: Mental Health — kelliealexander @ 10:19 am

I, like most people, have always heard that happiness is a choice. For a person like myself, this is usually a galling thing to hear, and not at all welcome to my ears. I think I tend to want others to make me happy and don’t really want the responsibility of taking things in hand. But, when tragedy strikes, I realize more than ever what an important reality that is. That I can — in the midst of all that I go through — experience life and happiness and even joy and peace depending on where I allow my mind to dwell.

This is so real to me because I personally have such a propensity to focus on the negative things in the world. It’s just where my mind naturally wanders if I let it go unchecked. But, I have noticed that allowing my mind total free reign to dwell on things that are unsavory, I can very quickly find myself in a dark and despairing place. And, that is NOT where I want to remain!

Let’s face it, as a part of the healing process, we must at times visit the dark places in our hearts for a season. If we allow the Lord to be present with us in that place, the time spent will be worthwhile and will have a distinct beginning and an end. We will go down into the valley, so to speak, and we will absolutely walk right back up out of it when the time is right. After all, valleys are very fertile places. But, they also do not get much light. So, for the believer to venture into them is almost certain. But, to stay in them, not only is unnecessary, but it can actually stunt our growth and cause us more trouble. Also, Scripture seems replete with warnings about dwelling too long in the dark corners of our minds.

The Bible says this:

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 NASB

I take this to mean that we will absolutely experience dark places in our lives. However, we are also instructed throughout Scripture to keep our focus on the Lord and not on our circumstances or our feelings.

Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.

Phl 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Phl 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

Phl 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

These are wonderful, life-giving words written to us by our Father Who loves us more deeply than we can possibly imagine. In them, I get strength and direction, and hope for a new day that is to come!

God Bless You!

Kellie

written October 28, 2008

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Filed under: Uncategorized — kelliealexander @ 12:21 am

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