Everyone is a victim in today’s world.
Victims become alcoholics because depression causes them to drink. They become drug addicts because of dysfunctional homes. They become sexually promiscuous because parents didn’t love them. They engage in porn because they have issues with their bodies.
I read a story about a young girl who bashed the police for not taking enough action to prosecute the perpetrator of “revenge porn.” The girl willingly took pictures of herself naked and sent them to a guy she met on the internet, but she said she was a victim because she trusted the guy and he posted her pictures online. The girl was incensed because the police reaction was—you shouldn’t have taken naked pictures of yourself and sent them over electronic media.
Exactly what my mother would have said. My mother wouldn’t have called me a victim—she would have called me stupid.
Common sense says that you are responsible for becoming an alcoholic. You are not a victim unless someone holds you down and pours drink down your throat. Stay away from alcohol. Don’t take that first drink.
Common sense says you are responsible for becoming a drug addict unless someone ties you up and injects you. Stay away from drugs. Don’t take the first hit.
Common sense says if your home life was a disaster, get an education and work to give your children the harmonious home you never had. Put the past behind you and build a future.
Common sense says that if your parents never loved you marry someone who does and lavish your children with love. Lack of discipline spoils children—not love. Put the past behind you and give your family the gift of a great future.
If someone willingly takes pictures of themselves naked and sends them to someone else—that person is foolish, but not a victim. You are only a victim if you are locked into a room or held at gunpoint by someone who takes pictures of you naked—like I was.
I could tweet #MeToo for sex abuse, dysfunctional home, and having issues with my body—but I refuse to become a victim. By the power and strength of Christ Jesus living inside me in the form of the Holy Spirit, I am a victor.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
Victim or victor? The choice is ours.
A clump of yellow primroses on a rock cliff caught my eyes today when I was walking. Flowers cheerfully blooming where God had planted them in spite of the improbable and impossible-looking location.
We Christians should take a note from God’s creation and bloom cheerfully where God has planted us. There are no perfect places on this earth and there are no perfect people in this life. Everyone has problems. Everyone has storms. Sometimes, the blame is on us. We make bad choices and suffer the consequences. Sometimes, a storm hits unexpectedly – sent by an enemy intending destruction. Sometimes, God sends a storm to teach us to push our roots of faith deeper into Him.
After losing everything he had on earth including his health through no fault of his own, Job was able to declare that after God had tried him – he would come forth as gold. Job claimed victory over the storms in his life and God rewarded him.
My two favorite Bible verses are: In everything give thanks and All things work together for good to those who love the Lord. These are victory-winning verses.
Thinking about those lovely primroses today reminded me of my two most recently published books, “Killer Conversations,” and “Bridge to Xanadu.” The characters in both of these books walked through storms. Instead of blooming where he was planted, the main character in “Killer Conversations” became a serial killer. Texas Miz Mike in “Bridge to Xanadu” learned to bloom where she was planted even when it was a totally new and unexpected place in her zany life.
My books are fiction, mostly mystery-romance-suspense although “Killer Conversations” is a psychological suspense. However, I’ve been through some of the same storms in my life that these characters have weathered in words. With the help of Jesus, I’ve learned to bloom where God has planted me. It’s been a hard lesson at times. Sometimes my roots have nearly slipped out of the Rock of faith holding them. Thankfully, Jesus is the Friend who sticks closer than a sibling and He never lets go, never leaves us, never forsakes us.
If your roots feel dry and unprotected during whatever problem or storm you are facing, stick them back into the Rock and bloom cheerfully. Your heavenly reward will exceed any possible earthly riches and God’s accounting is both perfect and eternal.
With Easter Resurrection Sunday approaching, it seemed a good time to ask the question: if this is all there is to life, why was I born?
I don’t count my life as a total failure. My dream has always been to be an author and I have six Christian mystery-romance-suspense books published and another one featuring sassy Miz Mike – Bridge Beyond Betrayal – being released this summer by Sunpenny Publishing.
Yet, I’ve never had as much money as other people have; I’ve never driven as new a vehicle as most people do; I’ve never lived in as grand a house as many people do; never been able to spend lavishly on Christmas gifts for other people at Christmas, or buy expensive gifts for others during the rest of the year. Because I haven’t been able to afford it, I’ve never been on a cruise; never gone to Disney Land; never taken a vacation to Greece or Rome or some other exotic place. So if this is all there is to life, why was I born?
I’ve had problems, trials, troubles, heartbreaks and sorrow. Having two abortions forced on me to hide the crime of constant childhood sexual abuse inflicted on me; escaping that abuse and living under a bridge; being cold, tired, hungry and despairing; spending years as a single parent and working two to three jobs to make ends meet; caring for a husband who died from cancer, and the most recent tragedy – the loss of my 37-year-old son in a plane crash. So if this is all there is to life, why was I born?
First of all, I don’t have a patent on hardships. My landscape is not the only one darkened by life’s storms. Job 5:17, written in 1520 BC, states, “A man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” Job would know. All in one day he lost everything he possessed on earth, including his children. All he had left was his wife. She told him to curse God and die. Job replied, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”
I am fortunate to have a loving, supporting husband in fellow author Alan T McKean (time travel series The Scent of Home, The Scent of Time) who stands beside me under the darkest clouds as a bright light and never tempts me to tempt God.
Most encouraging, this is not all there is to life. Jesus, the Son of God, was born to a human in human form so that He could experience everything we do as non-deities and set the example of resisting temptation, loving one another, and obeying God. Jesus came to earth to die. After healing multitudes of people from multitudes of illnesses, diseases, injuries and infirmities, He allowed Himself to be lifted up on a cross to die that we might live. Nails didn’t hold Jesus to the cross, love did.
The story doesn’t end there. After three days – after going to hell and wresting the keys of death and hell away from satan – Jesus rose from the grave victorious! Because He lives, we know that we will live again. Death is an illusion. Death is not an ending – it is the beginning of eternal life with God.
Victory in Jesus!
Bring on the sorrows, trials, problems, temptations, illness and hurts. They are temporary. Jesus is eternal.
I’m glad I was born.
It takes courage to love – because love stinks.
Okay, so I write Christian mystery-romance-suspense books. I should march through life expounding a giddy procession of clichés about love’s virtues. But honestly – love stinks.
Love stinks because only those we love possess the power to hurt us. We can be callous and indifferent when taunted by enemies, but when someone we love criticizes us, we shatter.
Love stinks because it ends. I met a fellow dog walker today. We fell into each others arms and cried – me because my son had graduated from earth to heaven, she because her loyal doggie companion had done the same. No matter what the object of one’s love, the pain of loss is devastating.
Husband, wife, friend, lover, companion, child, pet, wildlife, flower, tree – every object that we find the courage to love will be lost to us someday. I can write romance novels. I can write happy endings. But I can’t take the hurt out of love. I can’t make it smell good.
Yet, without love, life would be a desert wasteland. Love splashes life and color into every drab corner of human existence. Love fires the souls of writers, poets, dreamers, achievers. Love is the only heart condition that makes living worth the pain and effort. The Bible promises that love never fails.
Love stunk for Jesus, too. Because He loved us, Jesus allowed Himself to be mocked, whipped, have His beard plucked out and thorns pounded into His head. Love nailed Jesus to the cross. Love kept Him there. He could have called angels to rescue Him, but Jesus chose to stay on the cross and die for our sins. Love stinks.
Jesus spent three days in hell – because I’m bad, not because He was bad. Then Jesus snatched the keys of death away from satan, and rose victorious. Jesus broke the power of sin and death and handed us the victory.
Without the stinking love of Jesus, Heaven would be out of reach for us.
Love won’t stink in Heaven. Love will be a fragrant perfume that never dissipates and that lasts for all eternity.
So perhaps love doesn’t stink. Perhaps I can keep writing romance novels, some with happy endings. When sorrow finds a resting place inside my heart, a rose will bloom in its shadow.
I’ve always loved the Aesop’s Fable about the slow tortoise beating the boastful, confident hare in the race because the hare stopped to snooze. The other day, I experienced my own Tortoise & Hare moment.
I’m a slow runner. People watching me “run” might even call me a fast walker! But I can keep going for 4.2 miles, an accomplishment for someone over 60. Still, I’m slow.
Dressed in baggy jeans and sweaters – resembling no doubt a lumpy sock puppet – I went running. She passed me in a flash. She wore trendy, skintight running clothes and looked like a model that had been pulled off a magazine page and prodded to life. Feeling old and slow, I kept running.
At my turnaround point, there sat trendy glamor girl, talking on a cell phone and drinking a bottle of water. Feeling rather pleased with myself, I passed her. I ran down to the end of the trail, turned around and passed her again. By the time I had finished my two miles and was making the turn up toward the house, I saw her in the distance, her effortless, graceful run defeated by the slow-moving sock puppet who never stopped.
Life is often like that. I remind folks often not to give up on their dreams. I had 150 rejection slips before becoming a successful writer. Some of the publishing companies who rejected my manuscripts now follow me on Twitter! My published books include Bridge to Nowhere, by Sunpenny Publishing, and Love’s Beating Heart, Shadow Chase, Heart Shadows and Until the Shadows Flee. The newest mystery-romance-suspense book, Fear of Shadows will be out soon, and Sunpenny has committed to another Miz Mike “Bridge” series in the near future, Bridge Beyond Betrayal. So no matter how slow you think you are in life…never stop. Never give up.
Or as Hebrews 12:1 states, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Running with Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, guarantees victory every time!