Wednesday, October 16, 2019

What's Our Purpose In Life?

Your life, your environment, your friends, your loved ones, your work and your entire world can change at the drop of a hat. Everything you know now can be taken away tomorrow. There are no lifetime guarantees on anything. Relationships and marriages fall apart, families break away from one another, people get sick---some recover while others succumb to their disease. One day you're wealthy, and the next minute, you can be standing on a long line at a food pantry hoping to find a few cans of soup for your children. It's crazy to think about all the possibilities that can happen to us. We aren't immune to anything. There've been wealthy stockbrokers -- billionaires, who have hit rock bottom. Some sought solace in a bottle while others simply fell into a deep depression over losing their spouse and family.

Goals

Years ago, I worked in the corporate world, trying to climb the ladder of success. I wanted nice things for myself, but most of all, I wanted to live a fulfilling life, going out to nice restaurants or entertaining friends with big parties at my house. I wanted to spend my money on "time spent" with loved ones. Even if it meant less clothes and holding off on buying a new TV or some other luxury, my main focus was LIFE. Life with family, life with friends, life with my partner....to live and to give. To help others or make somebody's day by helping them when they're down 'n out.

When I started working from home, it was gradually turning into something I never expected. With the advertising and link placement requests for this blog, it gave me an income that helped me realize what's most important: my sanity. My articles were mirrored off from another online magazine that made some pennies, but not as much as the advertising. My main focus on my work was always mental health, quality of life and most of all, God's help in all of this. I wanted to help people through my writing, not make a profit. But if I did make a profit, it had to be unnoticeable---a hyperlink in a word, not a huge ad blinking in my reader's faces.

Resist the Devil

The other day I received an offer from a rep from Facebook Articles. They saw my business page which has a verification blue tick on it, letting people know that I'm a legit writer (or whatever I am) and they wanted me to post 3 articles a day and pay me in advance. They offered me $3,000 a week. No, I didn't add an extra zero to that. You may think I'm silly for doing this, but because they wanted to throw a bunch of nonsense and 'buzz advertising' articles up on my page, without any of my content. I graciously declined. I know I don't have huge audience like I once did years ago. When my mom fell ill, my work suffered and my main focus was caregiving. My grief after she left the world made it even worse. I tried to write, but it was all I can do to muster up one word.

Back to the $3,000 a week offer...

I said I wasn't interested because they were taking God out of my work. They were taking my experience with anxiety disorder, and my testimony of God helping me out of the equation. See, the devil will throw a bunch of tempting offers your way---worldly offers. But if I can win souls, or inspire someone to go to God when they feel anxious or depressed, that's worth much more than $3,000 a week. And trust me, I need that money! But I need God more. The devil will always offer you money, fame, riches---whatever you want, in order to throw God out the window. I will never do that. I will never sell out. I will never not work for God. And if that means I have to suffer financially in order to help other people, then my life was worth living. I mean that with all my heart and soul---I'm not trying to make you believe, "Oh, I'm such a good person," because I'm not. I'm human. I'm a sinner. I have flaws and sometimes I can be less than desirable to be around. But the one thing the devil can never do is take me away from God, nor have me push God aside just so I can make money---a tool that is of this world.

You and I Are Not of This World

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." --Romans 12:2

I remember a very good friend of mine gave me advice about my blog and overall writing style and topics. She said, "You do a lot of this 'God stuff,'----maybe it would be a good idea to cater to everyone, instead of just Christians." I said, "I do cater to everyone, but I would never throw God out of my work." She insisted that I was missing out on "going viral" and making some big money. But it's not the money I am after. I can't tell you how many times this advice has been given to me. In fact, another friend of mine who happens to be Catholic said, "I prefer reading your articles that have less scripture in them." But the whole point of this blog and my book I published was to show you how God responded to me through scripture. He talks to us in various ways: through words of your loved ones, through a sign you read on your way to work and most of all, through the Bible.

God Uses Imperfect People

God sometimes uses the least expected people to speak to others about Him. Some people would look at my life, and immediately say, "How can she be a Christian and justify her lifestyle?" The thing is, they don't know anything about my partner and I, and most of all, all scripture written about homosexuality was in Leviticus -- the Old Testament which is the Jewish law. Once Jesus died on the cross for us, we were washed clean, or otherwise we wouldn't be able to eat crustaceans of the sea (shellfish) or wear clothing of different fabrics as well as even getting a tattoo. This man on the right who still goes by the laws of Leviticus 19:28 that states, "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord." Seems like this guy didn't read that part in Leviticus.

"For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die." --Galatians 2:15-21

I am a person who is in a same-sex marriage with my partner of 25 years, who also happens to love God just as much as I do. Homosexuality listed in the Bible first started in the Old Testament with Leviticus. "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."Chapter 18 verse 22. "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them." Chapter 20 verse 13.

I'll point out a couple of things here: first, this is being taken out of Leviticus, laws which only apply to Jews. Secondly, it speaks of only a man with a man---if you read it over, "to lie with a male as with a woman," ---this was an act of promiscuity and uncleanliness, due to the man's genitals being defiled, and then entering his wife afterwards. In the New Testament, when they do speak about homosexuality, it's about sexual immorality and promiscuity. There is a specific progression that leads to this “orgy” of anger. First, men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18). Then they exchanged “the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (v. 25). Next, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (v. 24). They “exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural (v. 26). Therefore, the wrath of God rightly falls on them (v. 18); they are without excuse (v. 20).

In layman's terms, it's essentially stating that these people put "idols" before God---not to be confused with worshipping other gods, but to put their lusts and desires before the Lord. I mean, if you really wanna get silly with this, even watching too much TV or going on social media too much is an "idol." If it takes more time than your time with God, then it can become an idol. In Romans, they were having orgies---having sex with anyone, whether it be male or female. This was "lust"---not love. This was promiscuity and reckless sex---not two people uniting as one who love one another. These scriptures were taken out of context and used as a way to condemn those who were gay or lesbian. In Sodom and Gomorrah, the story is solely about rape and humiliation. The angels came to Lot's door and asked for his sons---not his daughters, in a way to rape and humiliate them. This had absolutely nothing to do with being in a same sex relationship or marriage. This had everything to do with unnatural ways to humiliate somebody for punishment.

But that's not why I'm imperfect. My love for another human being does not make me evil or a "heathen." God knows my heart---God knows everyone's heart. In the world's view, it's a huge contradiction for me to be Christian and to be considered "gay." Throwing labels around comforts some people, but for me, I am not "gay." I am not a "lesbian." I am ME living my life with my best friend and doing my best to help people with my testimony. Never let anyone tell you that God doesn't love you because you love somebody of the same sex. It's not that simple. There are laws to obey that deals with morality---like promiscuity, which is bad all around, but to love someone and to share your life with your life partner is not a sin.

My Last Sentiments

You're here for a reason. You not only have a purpose, but you have multiple purposes. I learned this recently through confirmations of hearing the same message over and over again. For me, I feel that my purpose here on earth was to #1, comfort my mother. I was 7 years away from her last child, meaning I was a huge "oops," --yet she still chose to have me. My mom told me this a few years ago. She and my father were having marital issues at that time, and when she found out she was pregnant, she decided to have me to save the family. I will never forget this conversation while having lunch at our favorite restaurant. It touched me, because she trusted me enough to be so open that day. She usually isn't so open about things like that. So I was here for her when I was born, and I was here for her while she was grieving over my dad, and there for her when she fell ill to cancer. That's one of my purposes here. My other purpose was to let others know that God loves them, whether they were straight, gay, bi, trans---God's love exceeds the limitations of human love. It's unconditional and never wavering. It's transforming once you let the Spirit in. Even religious people have mocked me, hurt me, tore me down because I wasn't the perfect mold they were looking for. They doomed me to hell, playing God and threatening me with the lake of fire. But remember this, when somebody judges you, they're playing God---and those a huge shoes to fill. They're making up for their own shortcomings. Everyone --- I mean everyone falls short in the glory of God. We need to love one another as the scripture commands.

The Greatest Commandment?

The great commandment and the other commandment that is spoken just under it in Matthew 22:39 and Mark 12:31 are in response to an unnamed Pharisee, who was described as a scribe, or lawyer. This scribe/lawyer was testing Jesus, trying to trick Jesus into saying something disreputable, or scandalous according to their religion. Jesus responded by saying the greatest commandment was "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)

Just know God loves you more than anybody in this world can. You're here for a reason. You have multiple purposes in this life, whether you know this now, or you're still trying to find it. Never lose hope, because God's hand is always there when you need to be lifted out of the pit. You just have to have more faith.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com
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