Tag Archives: Lord

Turned around and upside down!

Whoever needs less should thank God and not be distressed, but whoever needs more should feel humble because of his weakness, not self important because of the kindness shown to him.

– The Rule of Saint Benedict

Our society builds up those with more making it difficult for those with more to truly feel humble.  This then leads many with less to not thank God, but instead covet more.

I think we need to keep Saint Benedict’s perspective in mind and always in sight, despite being constantly bombarded with the opposite belief by the cultural norms of our society.

Jesus please help us to keep looking at things upside down and turned around so that we won’t be swept away by the world.

Our hearts!

I love any version of the song “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson.

Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart Lord take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

For a moment when listening to this part I had an image of my family… they are my hearts!  I pray that God will take and seal them for His courts above so that I will not wander, I will not waver off of His path, but will instead follow my loves, my hearts straight home to our one true Love and His courts above.

Jesus please help us to keep our hearts always on You!

Grace in disguise?

It was a dark and stormy evening.  A young man who had recently received his license was on his way home from picking someone up.  As he approached a red light, he pumped the brakes, they locked and the car continued right through the light.

There was a collision, people were hurt, a young child in another car was killed.

The young man driving was my grandfather.

I know he thought of this child often.  I know he carried the pain of having caused the death of this child for the rest of his life. As I think back to discussions and time I spent with my grandfather, I can remember the painful expression I would see cross his face if we ever heard about or discussed any type of car accident.  I remember seeing him wince as if he was physically in pain when we discussed a news article about all of the fatal car accidents caused by faulty tires back in 2000.

I think this moment drove him to spend the rest of his life seeking to empathize with those who had recently lost a loved one in death through his work as a funeral director. He sought to feel their pain, he hoped to feel what the family of that young child felt, and he searched for forgiveness by easing the pain of others as they faced the death of a loved one.

I now wonder if God graced my grandfather with an end to his search just before he died?

My young cousin, his granddaughter, was killed in a car accident on a dark and stormy evening about a year before my grandfather died. After his years of searching and empathizing with others, he finally felt what it was like for the family of that young child who had died so many years ago. He finally felt what it was like to look into the face of the mother of that child as he looked into the face of his own daughter as she wept for her child.

My sweet young cousin was the only one who was ready to go home.  Maybe her death was a gift of grace to our grandfather?

God thank you for loving both of them so much!

Miracles!

Do you see miracles everyday?  Do you see miracles in the blossoming of a flower, the beauty of a sunset or the birth of a child?

Or do you believe that the word miracle is too loosely applied to the everyday events and moments of our world?  Do you only see miracles in events such as the parting of the Red Sea, the opening of the eyes of the blind, or the healing of the sick or the lame?

If God parted the Red Sea everyday would this still be a miracle? Would we continue to see this as a miracle?  If Jesus had lived into old age and had continued healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, calming storms and walking on water, would these miracles eventually have been taken for granted and become an expected part of everyday life?

Just because a baby is born every few seconds on earth, this doesn’t change the fact that there was less than 1 chance in 10282(million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) that life would occur anywhere in the universe at the beginning (as discussed by Dr. Hugh Ross in the article The Probability for Life on Earth).

Despite the minimal chances for life to occur anywhere in the universe at the beginning, miraculously we do exist and miraculously we continue to exist through the new children who are born every few seconds.

Maybe our inability to appreciate the everyday miracles that now seem mundane to us is what is preventing us from seeing and experiencing the extraordinary miracles.

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.  But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
Luke 16:10

Maybe we need to be a little more honest with ourselves regarding the miraculous events that we experience everyday in order for our eyes to be opened to see not just the everyday miracles, but every miracle.

Jesus please continue to open our blind eyes!  Please help us to gratefully see and accept all of Your amazing works and wonders!

Be Thou Our Vision

Have you seen or heard this quote?

The way people treat you is a statement about who they are as a human being.  It’s not a statement about you.

I saw this about a week ago and it didn’t sit right with me.

Have you ever been mean to someone or snapped at someone?  I know I have done this.  I have done it to strangers on the street as well as the ones I love the most.  I know this isn’t right, and I am not condoning my actions but I am questioning whether these actions should stamp me as a mean or angry human being?

These moments of anger thrown at another are usually tied back to something else that is bothering me, something that is making me unhappy, uncomfortable.  These moments usually mean I have had a rough moment, day, week or month.  When I do this it means I have a lot of other things to work on personally, but I don’t think these moments should label me or anyone else as a certain type human being.

On the flip side, have you ever woken up so joyful and full of thanksgiving and gratitude that you smiled and showed extra kindness to everyone you met that day?  I have had days like this too, and these are great days, but do these actions label me as a wonderful and kind human being?  How could they when I have also had days full of anger and impatience with everyone?

I think these actions, regardless of which side, should label me as a human being having a certain type of moment, not as a certain type of human being.

I think changing a few words in this quote would promote a lot more empathy and compassion.

The way people treat you is a statement about what they are going through.  It’s not a statement about you.

Jesus please help us to remember that it is rarely about us and please help us to see others through Your eyes… Be Thou Our Vision!

Thank You

Almost every time I pray I ask for my family and friends to be blessed and kept safe, but what does keeping them safe really entail?  What does blessing them really entail?

Do I mean for them to be healthy and kept out of accidents?
Do I mean for them to be comfortable and happy?

Will keeping them safe and blessing them bring them closer to God?  I don’t know.

In Jeremiah 14:11-12
The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people.  Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.

Was the Lord asking Jeremiah to refrain from praying for the welfare of these people because He knew that safety, comfort and blessings are not what would bring these people closer to Him?  Is He saying that that they will only cry out to Him, present offerings from their hearts, and truly come closer to Him in times of war, famine and pestilence?

I am not sure, but reading this made me take a step back and wonder.

1.  How often do I cry out to God in true joy and thanksgiving when I am safe, comfortable and blessed?  Do these blessings help bring me closer to Him?

2.  How often do I cry out to God in times of sorrow or conflict?  Do these difficulties and challenges bring me closer to Him?

God wants us to cry out to Him regardless of whether it is in joy or misery.   He wants to be there for us, He wants to be close to us and maybe sometimes we won’t let Him in until the difficult times arise.

God please help us to pray with humility knowing that we don’t know what is best, and help us to have faith that You do know what is best for all of us and will do everything in Your power to help us cry out to You.

Maybe my new prayer should be, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

In great numbers…

Jeremiah 5:22
I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it.

Isn’t it interesting that we are always trying to build something big and something strong to control the waters of the sea?

When God chose a barrier to contain it He chose one of the smallest things on earth, sand.  A single grain of sand may be small, but in great numbers it prevails over the majestic, powerful and consistent force of the sea.

In great numbers anything is possible!

Join me in saying “It is Our Best Life”!  In great numbers Our Best Life is realized for everyone!

Let the floor fall…

There is something in my life that is really bugging me and it is not getting done.  I am trying to remain calm about it, but I am thinking about it a lot.

I have become very good at telling my family and friends to give their problems and concerns to God, He will handle them and take care of everything and in the end it will work our for the best.  Now is my small test and I can feel myself failing miserably the more I think about it, the more I worry, wonder, ponder about what to do and how to handle it.

I am so sorry for my lack of faith despite the myriad of times in my life when You have clearly taken all of my problems, concerns, issues into Your hands and woven something more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Jesus please help us to remember to let the floor fall right out from under us with full faith and trust that You will catch us!

It is Our Best Life!

Expand, expand, expand…

Circles are everywhere.  Our lives are filled with both figurative and physical circles.  We see them in nature, we see them in actions and re-actions and we experience them physically around tables, in meetings, and during circle time as children.

We include people when we are willing to expand our circles, but we can just as easily exclude others by refusing to expand our circle for new arrivals.

My sister wrote a blog that I loved last year, Is it a pie or a triangle?.  The conversation we had regarding this blog stands out clearly in my mind as a moment in my life when I finally started to scratch the surface in my personal understanding of Jesus and what He did for me.

Ever since this conversation, I have thought of God as a large circle that we are all held within.  I then picture all of us as small circles within the God’s large circle.  Some of our circles are bigger and some of our circles are smaller and some of them overlap.  The bigger ones represent those who have accepted or included more people, and the smaller ones have accepted or included fewer people.

I don’t think heaven or paradise is possible without everyone and unfortunately we are the ones imposing limitations and building walls within God’s beautiful, all-inclusive circle by excluding others.

Pray for everyone, try to empathize with everyone…
Empathy will lead to forgiveness, and forgiveness will lead to love.

OUR best life doesn’t work unless everyone is included!

I pray and dream for OUR best life for everyone, everyday!  I hope you do too… together we can expand our circles!

Out of the mouth of babes…

Tonight as I was putting one of our girls to bed, I was praising her on how kind she had been to one of her sisters this evening and she said to me.

“You know Mom, when I am not good it is because God is letting me try to be good on my own, and when I am good it is because God is helping me to be good.”

I asked her where she learned this, and she told me, “I just feel it in my heart.”

WOW… this is something I have just recently started to understand and I still have a hard time remembering it everyday, and my daughter already knows it.

Thank You God for the three blessings in our life and all of the children throughout the world.  Please keep our hearts, eyes and ears open to their pure and perfect praise for You.