First, Here is an excellent blog by my friend Lisa that spurred my writing this post: http://lisa.ridleybarron.com/2012/09/13/i-am-worried/
**I recently came to the realization that I was being “overwhelmed by life” instead of “living life with the Overcomer”.
Although the demands and stressors are ongoing and seem to invite friends to the pile of problems… Praise God!!…He, in His foreknowledge and mercy provided the solution to WHEN I worry. When I sigh or groan in exasperation, I can almost hear the Lord say to me…”WHAT are you doing?… What ARE you doing?…What are YOU doing?… What are you DOING?”. Try that; ask yourself those questions with the stress placed on the different words. Eye-opening isn’t it?
It’s time to pick up the clue phone and give an answer! That’s just it: I am sinning. I am not focused on what (Who) is really important. When I am worried, I am trying to take control of everything, have it go my way. Then, when it doesn’t go according to MY plan, I throw an entitled hissy fit! How childish! How wrong!
Like watching a toddler trying to lift something entirely to heavy to carry with him, God must first laugh at our folly, then shake His head in disbelief of our stubbornness, and finally compassionately call us back to Him. “It’s too heavy for you Little One. You are trying to carry too much. Let ME carry what is important to you. I will give you what you need, when you need it.”
My very first thing was prayer. “God help me, I am wrong!” Lately, with an unusual influx of a greater deluge of unavoidable and major life changes, I have called out to accountability and prayer partners to help keep me from falling back. In addition, to the Word of “lean not on your own understanding,” I also refocus with “seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness..”. And THEN “all these things will be added unto you”.
My experience has shown me that worry is usually the result of me being misaligned. Therefore, when I am convicted by the Holy Spirit’s loving correction I get it straight. It is a very deliberate action. First comes God and His plan. Then I fall under Him. What I am, do and accomplish is a reflection of how well I focus on my most important purpose in Christian living. Joy replaces frustration when I am doing so with the acknowledgment that it is God Himself in whom I live, move and have my being.
Why do I get so worked up about ‘being in control’ when I never was able to really control anything anyway? Isn’t it ironic that the more I worry about control, the less I actually have and the more I worry? I am breaking that vicious cycle right now! Rather, I am determining to stand in the victory of the One who has already freed me. It is so much more freeing to allow the Master of it all to orchestrate it all while I allow Him to control me.
[Remember: Runaway Pursuit plus encouragement (even thru suffering) =transformed lives.]
Today finds me in a prison of sorts… unlike the Apostle Paul, mine are not physical chains, but chains of my uncooperative physical body. Like Paul, I used the time 0f solitude to focus on the things of God. Listening to Moody Bible Institute Radio, I heard a Christian teacher talking about Onesimus.. I’d like to learn more about the lives and bibliography of Ignatius and Onesimus. I became inspired to write this.
Ignatius of Antioch was an early church leader who wrote letters of encouragement to different churches even while being escorted to be martyred in the Roman Colosseum by lions.
The Biblical “postcard”of Philemon (an epistle written by the apostle Paul that is a part of the canon of Scripture) tells about a man named Onesimus. We are told that Onesimus was a runaway slave of a Christian named Philemon who Paul also formerly saw come to faith in Christ. The Apostle Paul took on the plight of Onesimus as one would a son. Paul told him that he needed to return to the master he’d wronged (Philemon). However, in a letter that Onesimus carried with him, Paul pleaded for the runaways debts and punishment to be accounted to Paul himself. He offered to take the wrong upon himself for the sake of another! Does that theme sound familiar?
In obedience, the runaway slave stepped out in faith and repented. He returned to the master he’d wronged and not only was granted grace-filled forgiveness, but, as a result, Onesimus became better equipped to live out that grace. According to history, Onesimus… this disobedient runaway slave… went on to become a bishop at Ephesus! How awesome is that?
EVERY Christian was once a runaway. The Bible teaches that we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We ALL like sheep have gone astray and turned to our own way.
Yet, it was when the shining light of God’s spirit and truth pierces our sinful heart that we are freed from sin’s hold on us. We are delivered by the saving work of Jesus Christ when He took the penalty for our sins. He did so “once and for all”! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
If God so greatly desired a right relationship with me that He sent His only son to die, what will I sacrifice for right relationships and for eternal purposes?
This prayer that I pray today is not only for myself, but for all of my siblings in God’s family. >>
I pray that I never live so long in the family of God, that I have forgotten having once been outside of it. May I always remember that my own unpardonable sins have been forever forgiven. May I actively pursue the mission of the Gospel gift … that grace and forgiveness are still the means for welcoming others into God’s family.
God please empower us with your Spirit and use us to reach the runaways. Help us to pursue them with the love that they need– the Love that is You!
All for Your Glory, Amen.
May our runaway pursuit (passion for the Gospel) drive us to pursue the runaway!
On May 12th of 2012, I am celebrating the anniversary of a milestone in my life, namely just completing my third year with Foreign Accent Syndrome. It was such a dramatic change in my life that I am thankful I have some audio/video captured to show a bit of the journey for the sake of medical documentation as well as public information.
For those who have not heard my “old” voice (a.k.a. “normal voice”, “real” or “original” voice) here are a couple of pieces wherein I am being interviewed, and another where I am the interviewer as well as much more normal speech patterns.
February 3, 2007 –Before foreign accent: This is a video of me being interviewed after giving a seminar on using new media tool of Flickr and tagging photographs for better communication across the world wide web.
May 24,2008 — Here I am both interviewing AND filming a piece about a local ministry that accurately reflects my normal speech BEFORE I got Foreign Accent Syndrome:
THEN IT HAPPENED — MAY 12, 2009 — FOREIGN ACCENT SYNDROME changes my speech and a big part of me is gone!
May 26, 2009 — 2 weeks – my first radio interview in which I actually tell about how I got it and with my brand new voice! http://ellen5e.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/wibcinterview090526.mov
June 15, 2009 — 1 month after onset of Foreign Accent Syndrome: here I had an impromptu meet-up with Fishers Fran who occasionally has “bouts of Foreign Accented Speech” when she goes through multiple sclerosis type symptoms. She coined the phrase “flipping” for those times when she goes through it. Most of the time she is normal speaking. She found me via the Indianapolis radio station where I was routinely interviewed.
The June 19,2009 (1 month) video greeting is glued to the top of my Ellen5e.com web site.
November 12, 2009 –6 months after onset:
May 13, 2010 — at the One Year Mark with Foreign Accent Syndrome:
November 13, 2010 — One and a half years with FAS:
November 20, 2011 — Two and a half years with FAS (I am behind the camera asking the questions):
This is a pretty good library of audio/video documentation for now. I shall have to record some newer material for my actual “FAS birthday”. So you’ll just have to check back later.
I know that part of it is getting more comfortable with unusual sound and speech patterns as well as my avoiding using those words that I know are my “bad” words. Those being the particularly heavy accented or hard to pronounce words that stop a listener from hearing what I am trying to say because they are so hung up on its sound that they are busy figuring out from what country I originate.
In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate your observations about what you think of this bizarre Foreign Accent Syndrome. How would you describe my speech? What language do you think dominates the accent? Do you notice a change over time?
Please allow me to thank you in advance for ANY observations you have. Because your unfiltered input helps me better gauge how the general population views those of us with such a rare condition that takes away a part of our identity by making us sound like someone else.