Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, has been throwing some fascinating questions at us recently. I dealt with one of her questions (THE GRATITUDE CHALLENGE) in a post yesterday, and here are my answers to the rest of the questions in this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD:
This is a long post by the way – I just get so carried away with Melanie’s questions! I know that many will be like me and struggling to keep up with all the posts from other bloggers in WP Reader, so please don’t feel obliged to read my long post!
I will sum it up for you right now:
- I am very grateful for my past
- I am contented about my present, but would like to be back where I belong
- I am very excited about the future
This week’s questions:
Was the last thing you read digital or print?
My travel itinerary for my trip to Australia in June! In fact, I have been reading it over and over again, along with my travel insurance policy and my e-visitor notification (visa to enter Australia).
I still can’t believe I am actually going! It still feels like a dream. It’s only when I look at my bank account I realize it is real.
Are you more an extrovert or introvert?
According to these personality tests I am an extrovert. I don’t quite understand in all honesty. I can be quiet, and I can happily enjoy my own company. I am not loud, I am quite mild really. But when I am with people I receive so much stimulus and I really thrive. I also contribute a lot. People keep me ticking. And I can chat away for hours about all sorts! Apparently all this puts me in the extrovert field.
I am not a huge fan of personality tests, I am not one for boxes and labels and categories when it comes to who I am. But I have done them when friends asked me to in the past, and I tend to have the same results each time…I am borderline carer/entertainer. I have copied the section below from another post I published a few months ago:
I have just had to google “Myers-Briggs” because I was not sure what it was. I have no idea. Looking at the descriptions…I think I might possibly be ESFJ or ESFP??? The description for both sound familiar. I do remember vaguely a friend getting me to answer a long list of questions, and after totting up the results, she told me I am an entertainer…crossed with something else?
The description of an ESFJ here is interesting…I will say this, I don’t feel any kinship to the Pope, Whitney, Elton or Barbara Walters! Yikes! But I have had all the jobs listed. The characteristics are true of me too.
But looking at the description of an ESPF, there are many things that tick the “me” boxes in this description also.
I think the big difference is the rules thing. I don’t mind rules. I don’t mind an established set of values, standards, ethics. I think without rules, things get really crazy, with everyone setting their own standards. It is a big security factor for me.
Hmm…I think I am one of the above, but I am not sure which. On other personality tests I have done over the years, I am always on the scale around helping or giving to other people / entertaining other people. Apparently, I like to make sure everyone is alright, and I also tend to perform and make sure everyone is enjoying things along the way. I like to keep people happy. However, I am not necessarily a people-pleaser, because I stick to my principles and don’t follow the crowd. I stay within the realms of what I feel is right and avoid offending people. After all, I love people.
I know I am not a leader, I am a supporter. If someone has an idea, I am good at working hard to make it happen. Goldfinch says I am a bear – as in a worker. I am also a very big communicator – probably too much. I like feedback – I thrive on someone saying “Well done! Good girl!” and when my conscience tells me that, I glow with joy!
How is your life different from what you imagined as a younger person?
It depends how young we are talking. When I was five I thought we would all grow up and be farmers and farmers wives. I didn’t see anything beyond that. In fact I still don’t understand the way of life that humans live today. If we all spread out a bit, rather than living in cramped cities, and were each assigned some land (there is plenty of land to go around) and worked on caring for that land and cultivating it…we would probably all be happier and healthier, wipe out pollution and threats to our climate, and see our planet looking like the paradise it is meant to be.
From the age of sixteen I have been devoted to unpaid volunteer work for various charities, local and international. Apart from the five years that I was a full-time international volunteer, the rest of the time I have worked on a part-time basis in various fields to earn my bread and butter. I expected to stay in full-time volunteer service for the rest of my life. What happened with Jack interfered with that.
So right now, I find myself again juggling unpaid voluntary work with work I do to earn enough money to pay my rent and buy food etc. Right now…I am taking one day at a time with a knowledge of my long-term goal, which influences my decisions and habits.
Do you think about dying? Does death scare you? Why or why not?
I don’t often think about dying. But I have contemplated what would happen if I died. I have tried to make sure my family would not be mortified by it.
Since the night I was attacked, it has occasionally been on my mind that the consequences of the head injuries I received could at any point cut my life short. It seems my attacker left me thinking I was dead. But when I have thought about that, I have done so constructively. It motivates me to make sure my life is in order, my laundry basket is empty, my bed is made, I have washed all my dishes, and I don’t owe anyone a penny. And I make sure I have good relationships with people. Why find yourself nearing death with regrets and burdens on your heart?
Does death scare me? No. Why not? Several reasons.
Firstly, I must point out that I believe life is an incredible gift and is immensely precious. I don’t take risks. I don’t engage in habits or practices that would harm my life. I would safeguard my life and show I appreciate it’s high value.
In my work in healthcare, I have been with a number of people when they died. I saw them take their last breaths and go to sleep. It was not easy. But I saw their pain end and that they were now at rest.
I accept the straightforward explanation of life and death in the scriptures. The first time I ever read the scriptures as a little girl, was after some close friends of our family had been killed in a car crash. I had many questions. I read the scriptures from cover to cover. I have re-read it at least twenty times since. One of my favourite parts was the end…the scene of a clean earth and a healed human family under the loving rulership of their Creator:
And He will wipe out every tear from their eyes,
and death will be no more,
neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore…
– Revelation 21:4
The scriptures reassure us that death was never part of the Creator’s purpose for humans. It was only as a consequence of their wilful disobedience that the first two humans died. But that original purpose, for a happy healthy human family to live forever on a beautiful planet earth, was not something the Creator would give up on. He allowed the first two humans who had rejected His guidance to have children.
Those children would inherit the consequences of their parents’ decision, to rule themselves independently of their Creator. Mankind has groaned ever since. We have inherited those consequences that Adam and Eve suffered when they chose to go their own way: we get sick, we grow old and we die. Despite advancements in technology and the knowledge gathered in various fields, man is still plagued with enormous problems, that are increasing in intensity and causing many to feel overwhelmed by life’s stresses. On our own death is inescapable. Vitamins, pills, potions and all sorts of weird and wonderful diets do not beat death. Noone who has inherited “imperfect” life, as all of Adam’s children have, can cover the cost of what he lost.
None of them can ever redeem a brother
Or give to God a ransom for him,
– Psalm 49:7,8
However, from the moment the first two humans rejected the guidance of their Creator, He made arrangements to undo the results of their decision. He arranged for their children to be quite literally rescued from those devastating consequences including death. He would allow time to settle the issue of rulership.
He would also provide the price to cover what Adam had lost. The cornerstone of the Christian faith includes faith in a Messiah or Christ who would become the appointed King of the government the Creator would establish to undo all of the damage caused by human rulership. There is no doubt that the Creator’s government will provide a real education, a real justice system and a real health system, that will restore the human family to perfect health and happiness. In addition, he would give his perfect life in exchange for the perfect life that Adam lost.
For if by one man’s trespass many died,
how much more did the undeserved kindness of God
and his free gift by the undeserved kindness of
the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to many!
– Acts 5:15
That provided the basis for something very wonderful. If you are not familiar with the scriptures, you may not have heard of how important the death of the Christ was to buy back what Adam lost – the chance for the human family to live forever in perfect health on this beautiful planet. That’s what Adam lost, and that is what Jesus won for the human family. Because that price was paid, there is a legal basis to give life back to those who were born bearing the consequences of the terrible decision made by their parents…in other words all humans born after that rebellion.
In fact the scriptures describe how much our Creator is longing to restore life to those who have died:
If a man dies, can he live again?
I will wait all the days of my compulsory service
You will call, and I will answer you.
You will long for the work of your hands.
– Job 14:14,15
Did you know that the scriptures speak of two types of death? The vast majority of those who have died are very safe in the memory of the Creator. He is going to restore life to billions after His government has cleaned up this earth and rid it of corruption and cruelty. To illustrate how easy it will be for him to do this, time and time again the scriptures refer death as sleep. It will be just as easy as waking someone up. You probably already know that the origin of the word “cemetery” is that of a sleeping place or dormitory, a place to lie down.
When someone dies, there is usually a memorial service. Loved ones may attend to remember the deceased (usually to remember the positive things about that person). But imagine people being ashamed to have ever known you. Wouldn’t that be awful?
The scriptures also refer to those who have lived and died and yet the Creator has chosen not to remember them because of how thoroughly wicked they were. Now that kind of death is upsetting. To die with no hope of waking up. The thought of wilfully doing so much bad and hurting the Creator so much that He did not want to remember you. He would not want to restore your life in the future after he has cleaned up this earth and healed mankind. That would be awful.
Can you imagine a parent finding out their child had committed a heinous crime, showing blatant disregard for what is right and causing great harm to others? How grieved they must be. How sad for the Creator to feel so grieved by what someone had done that he did not want to give them a second chance to live in a clean earth, free of corruption.
The scriptures mention the deaths of many humans…some who were known as good men and women, others who were known for doing wrong things. Good and bad, or righteous and unrighteous, but all born with a huge disadvantage, deprived of the kind of start that their Creator intended.
Most of us would have a degree of empathy with someone who had an abusive childhood and got involved in petty crime as an adult. We would probably recognize that deprived of the loving start a child should have, they may have struggled to develop good motives. But we would hope they could change with support. When our Creator looks at all of us, He sees that none of us have had a perfect start. How can we when we live in a world so out of harmony with what was intended for the human family? Even loving parents with the best of intentions might teach things that are not really true or in harmony with the way we were designed to live.
To undo this sorry state:
“there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous”
– Acts 24:15
The Greek word translated “resurrection” literally means “stand up”. Billions will wake up from death and stand up. Since I first read the scriptures as a little girl, I have been looking forward to seeing the friends and family that have fallen asleep in death back with us. I realized as a child that the memory of the Creator who has wielded mind-boggling amounts of energy in this universe surely must be the safest place in the entire universe.
I also realized some time ago, that those who have died don’t even know it. Those of us who are alive are very conscious of death. We intensely miss those of our loved ones who have died. Any suffering our loved ones may have experienced before they died may linger with us for many years. But they are not conscious. They closed their eyes and next time they open them they will be full of life and much better than when they went to sleep. For them, they will not be aware of any passing of time. – Ecclesiastes 9:5,10
There are some momentous events ahead before those who have died will be woken up. Great changes ahead to make sure that all those resurrected are waking up to a clean earth and a happy peaceful human family. The best is yet to come! Tears of joy as the entire human family are restored to perfect life on this wonderful planet restored to paradise. Once the Creator’s original purpose for the earth is fulfilled – what next? Well, that is something we will have to wait and see…
Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
Oh wow! How many people have been kind to me!! But the kindest of all – undoubtedly my parents!
I am grateful for their love and patience and constancy. They have been through some very tough times, but they are both hard-working, reliable, sweet, caring, humble and so much fun to be with.
I can’t thank them enough for all the lessons in life and giving us the best start in life.
I know I should not boast, but I do think that there is a strong possibility that I have the best parents ever!
And as well as my parents…there is a very long list of wonderful people who have been kind to me. How beautiful life is because of the people who make it special.