Tag Archives: God

Can our children see the Banner of Love?

I heard the song Banner of Love by Luminate today.  I love this song and started singing to myself, but I am notorious for getting the words wrong when singing a song.

The actual lyrics are below

I hear You calling me
To raise a banner of love
Up high in the city streets
One hope for all the world to see

But I accidently changed them to

I hear You calling me
To raise a banner of love
Up high in the city streets
Down low for the kids to see

I am not trying to change this song.  I love it just as it is, but when I realized I was making such a big mistake with the words, I started wondering where my rewrite came from.  I am still not sure on that, but I do think we need to be a Banner of Love for all of the children in our lives.

Thinking about a Banner of Love for the children reminded me of Joel Osteen’s sermon, The Power of I Am.  In his sermon he tells us to build ourselves up, not to bring ourselves down through “I Am”.  Such as saying to ourselves I am smart, I am strong, I am beautiful instead of I am stupid, I am weak or I am ugly.

I completely agree that we should all do this, but why are we not doing this already?  We weren’t taught to do this at an early age.

I am going to raise a tiny banner of love down low for my girls to see!  I am going to teach them to praise themselves in the mirror after brushing their teeth at night.

I believe they are Awesome, Wonderful, and Amazing!
I believe they are Loved!
I believe they are Love!

I want them to believe it too!

It is Our Best Life!  If you already believe it, then let’s start trying to help everyone else see it!  Raise your Banner of Love!

Do we really need to hate our family?

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

– Luke 14:26

I have been thinking about this passage for the last few weeks.  After I wrote the blog Was it really just about the apple?, someone emailed me with the above passage and a comment. Their comment was, “Does this say that if Adam disobeyed God to save Eve, he loved Eve more than God?”

Obviously I was just speculating a “What if… ” situation in my post and this isn’t what actually happened in the Bible, but if it had we still would not have known what was in Adam’s heart as he willingly or unwillingly took the fall with Eve.

  • What if Adam stood by as Eve fell and watched with relief that it was not him? Would God have been pleased to see this?
  • What if he stood by as Eve fell and watched with great sorrow, but could not bring himself to fall with her out of fear of being separated from God?  Would God have been pleased to see this?

Even with Luke 14:26 in mind, I still think God would have been most pleased with Adam if he willingly chose to take the fall with Eve, with great sorrow in his heart knowing he would be separated from God, but still took the fall as a declaration of love for Eve and an unwillingness to let her fall alone and an unwillingness to be separated from his partner, the bone of his bone, the flesh of his flesh.  Wouldn’t this have shown true faith in God’s goodness as well as courage to risk separation from God out of love and protection for another child of God?

I don’t think that Luke 14:26 is stating that Jesus wants us to hate our father, mother, wife/husband, children, brothers, sisters and even ourselves to be His disciple.

I think what is being stated here is that as our love for Jesus grows, our interests change and we begin to see the bigger picture.  We begin to be filled by Jesus alone and understand that being filled with Jesus allows us to love not only our family more, but allows us to love the entire world.  We begin to desire nothing more than constant contemplation of Jesus as a way to keep loving everyone through Jesus.

Who is it then that would interrupt this constant contemplation?  Our families, they are the ones that require the most attention from us and need the most time.  As imperfect humans we are always like demanding little children regardless of our ages and we still want what we want and dislike our peace and our thoughts being interrupted. Therefore I think these constant interruptions of peace and contemplation of Jesus are the frustrations that could bring about the hate Jesus talks about in Luke 14:26.

Jesus please help us see another way to constantly join in the worship and contemplation of You as well as meet the needs and demands of our families, the ones who You have blessed us with to love, serve and care for during our time here.

It is Our Best Life… the path is there even if we can’t see it!

A new friend!

I haven’t always been a runner, but I have started running lately since I really haven’t felt like joining a gym and I live in a place with beautiful weather.

I am not really an outgoing person and some of my favorite days and nights are just sitting home with my family playing, working on my projects, listening to some music, or watching a good movie.  However I do need people and I have noticed that when I run if someone waves at me or smiles I get a jolt for a few min and forget that I was tired or out of breath and run with renewed strength.

After noticing this I have started waving at everyone I run by (drivers, runners, walkers) and for the runners and walkers I take the extra step of taking off my headphones to say good morning as I run by.  This morning one of the walkers I said good morning to, waved back and said, “Good morning my friend!”.   He is living Our Best Life even if he doesn’t call it this and I was overjoyed to meet him if only for a moment!

Jesus thank you for my new friend!  Please help me be a friend to everyone I encounter just as you are a friend to all of us!

My friends, It is Our Best life… someday we will all be friends!

Our President has Not Shrugged!

Unlike Atlas, Mr. Barack Obama did not shrug!

Regardless of the growing weight of our country on his shoulders, regardless of our finger pointing, blaming, and judging without ever walking in his shoes, he ran again and he won!

Let’s unify, let’s remove our Republican or Democratic cloaks and remember that we are all Americans and this is our country.  Let’s try to take some of the weight off of his shoulders by coming together, because even Atlas eventually shrugged.

Let us not set ourselves up for failure, but instead support our president in prayer.

  • Let us pray that he finds the right path, the path that is pleasing to God.
  • Let us pray that someday when Mr. Barack Obama is standing before Our Creator, he will be able to look God in the face as God gently smiles at him and says, “Well done my son!”.

Please pray with me my sweet friends, it is always so much more powerful when we join together and when we pray for others.

I am sending my love to all of you and always praying for Our Best Life!

Was it really just about the apple?

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if

– Eve had tasted the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but had refused to let Adam taste the fruit as a declaration of love for Adam and an unwillingness to let harm come to him and had been willing to take on the full punishment herself?

– What if then Adam with full knowledge of what he was doing tasted the fruit himself as a declaration of love for Eve and an unwillingness to let her fall alone and an unwillingness to be separated from his partner, the bone of his bone, the flesh of his flesh?

This would be a true keeper of thy brother, of thy partner, a willingness to fall in order to protect another.

Isn’t this what Jesus did for us?  He fell to protect us, to declare his love for us and to teach us to do the same for each other.

Thank you Jesus for falling for us!  Help us to fearlessly fall for others, and help us to know through faith, in the end you will extend your hand to catch us as we fall!

Free will…

I have had three discussions about our free will over the last three months that have stuck with me.  Then last night I was watching the documentary The Human Experience and I saw the following quote.

“The last of the human freedom’s is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
– Viktor E. Frankl

As soon as I saw this quote I immediately thought that this seems not only to be the last of our freedoms, but also the first and original freedom we were given when God gave us our free will.

Until recently I have limited my thoughts of our free will to only our physical actions. When I think of free will only in relation to my physical actions such as taking the stairs vs. the elevator or going to work vs. staying home or doing something wrong vs. doing something right, then I become quite confused because if God gave me free will, but knows what I will choose to do and can bring about events that will cause me to make a different choice then my free will seems limited.  Please don’t misunderstand me though. I am not saying that this limitation means our physical actions have no bearing or carry no weight.  I believe God still wants us to do the right thing.  I believe He still wants us to be generous rather than selfish, He wants us to not steal, He wants us to not kill, He wants us to love others, but we can’t forgot that God is bigger than we can imagine.  God can take any bad physical action we make and combine it with other actions to make it good in the end.

Isn’t this what he did through Jesus’ death and resurrection?  God took the worst imaginable physical action (us killing His son Jesus) and turned it into good (resurrecting His son Jesus).  By combining these, Jesus’ death becomes good because without it He could not have been resurrected.

Now, if I change my perspective of free will and look at it as my freedom to choose how I perceive things or to choose my attitude as Viktor Frankl put it in his quote above, then the limitations I spoke of disappear.

God can give me a sunny day, but it is up to me to enjoy the sun or complain about the heat.  God can give me a rainy day, but again it is my choice to complain about the rain or to instead look for a rainbow.

He completely relinquished control of our consciousness through free will giving us complete freedom to perceive the world as we wish.  This doesn’t mean that God will ever stop trying to convince us to perceive good in all things, but he literally cannot make us see the good in all things.  He is limited to trying to convince us that all things are good through combining bad actions with others to make them good in the end and through showering us with grace and inspiration which we have the choice to accept or decline.

It is completely up to us to see the good, but what happens when and if we do perceive the good in everything?

I think we will have found our own unique perspective of the good in everything which will mean that we have also surrendered to God’s will because God’s will is Good!!!

Therefore I think we will have found God’s peace!!!

God thank you for loving us so much that you gave us free will.  Please help me to use my free will to find the good in everything and therefore surrender to Your will!

I want to stand for good… it is everywhere even if we don’t think we can see it, it is hidden from view, but it is there!

I want to stand for Jesus… he is Good, Oh so Good!!!

Peace

I am reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  Today I read chapter 3, The Man Who Loves Peace, and I want to share a bit of it with you and a few thoughts I had while reading.

Thomas a Kempis wrote
The good and peace-loving man turns everything into good.  The man who dwells in perfect peace suspects evil of no one.

The man of blind passion even turns good into evil and is quick to believe evil of others. The man who is discontented and disgruntled has a heart filled with suspicion.

I want peace!  How do we teach/learn peace?  Is it being taught?  I am honestly asking and would love your thoughts.

Does finding peace lead one to believe that everything is good?

Or

Are peace and believing everything is good equivalent, meaning that once you believe everything is good then you have also found peace and vice versa once you have found peace then you believe everything is good?

If the latter is correct, then seeing/finding the good in everything should lead us to peace. This seems like a great place to start if you are looking for peace!

I know I am not the first to say this, but I think

  • Believing the glass is half full could help lead us to PEACE
  • Finding the sliver lining in the clouds could help lead us to PEACE
  • Looking for the rainbow through the rain could help lead us to PEACE
  • Finally whoever came up with the slang expression, S’all good, hit the nail on the head and wanted to help lead us to PEACE

Jesus said in John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Let us reclaim the PEACE Jesus has left with us, the PEACE He has given to us.  Let us live with untroubled hearts and let us live fearlessly!

My friends, I wish you peace from the bottom of my heart!  Let us live Our Best Life in Peace!

What would you do?

Imagine that someone close to you (Jay) took the blame for something that a friend of his did (Evan).  Imagine that Jay got into big trouble at school and Evan took none of the blame.

If you were Jay’s parent or guardian would Evan be welcome in your house after this?

  • Would your answer change if you could see that Jay truly loved Evan regardless of how Evan felt?
  • Would your answer change if you could see that Jay truly loved Evan and you could see that Evan truly loved Jay?
  • Would your answer change if Evan apologized to both you and Jay for what he had done?
  • Would your answer change if Evan confessed his guilt at school and was give the same punishment that Jay already received?

How far must Evan go in order to be welcomed back into your house?

Thinking about this scenario really helps me put into perspective why I think we are only welcome in God the Father’s house through Jesus.  Jesus loves us, but God loves Jesus so much that he is willing to open His door only to those who truly love His Son.

Maybe our own personal answers to the above questions will help us see what God’s answer would be for us to enter His house?

Thank you Jesus for taking all of the blame and loving us so much!

The eyes of love…

My husband went for a run the other day and when he came back he was literally dripping with sweat and he asked me if he smelled bad.  I leaned in, took a big whiff and honestly I thought he smelled nice and I said “You smell good to me”.  He smiled and said it didn’t count because I see him with the eyes of love.

I was thinking of this today and thinking that seeing someone through the eyes of love is more true and real than any other way to see someone.  I think it should always count and be the only opinion that counts!  Maybe I was the only person on earth at that moment that didn’t think my husband smelled, but maybe I was also the only person in the world who could really smell him.

Doesn’t God look at us with the eyes of love?  Isn’t this how he is able to constantly forgive and forget everything we do to ourselves and each other?  Does this make it okay to live life with our rose colored glasses on all of the time?  Does this make it okay to try to see the good in everything?

Maybe there are no rose colored glasses.  Maybe instead there are dark and dingy glasses that block us from seeing with the eyes of love if we refuse to take them off.

I feel like at times constant optimism can hurt the ones we love if they are suffering or going through a very difficult time, but maybe it isn’t constant optimism.  Maybe the dark and dingy glasses are off and saying “It is going to be okay” or “You are going to be okay” is not a lie or a hollow consolation, but more real and true than our loved one can yet see.

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

If we really are wearing dark and dingy glasses maybe a good way to start trying to remove them is by literally saying out loud “It is Our Best Life” everyday.

Let’s take off our glasses and start seeing everyone with the eyes of love!

The Little Way

I watched a movie about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux last night, Thérèse.  I loved it and loved learning about “The Little Way”.

Below is a definition I found online for “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse.

It is an image that tries to capture her understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday.

I have been thinking about this a lot today and I think when you empathize with someone it can naturally guide you towards “The Little Way”.  In the movie Saint Thérèse was very considerate and aware of her family and then later of her fellow sisters.  She attempted to help others in ordinary and everyday moments without ever expecting anything (a thank you or even acknowledgement) in return.

I think when you empathize with someone, really attempt to see things from their perspective, it can help you to move beyond the expectation for a thank you or acknowledgement of what you then do for that person since you now can more fully appreciate the difficulties that brought about their current needs in this moment.  I think once you are released from this expectation you can then truly find joy in meeting their needs (serving them) in that moment without the weight of what you will receive (your expectations) on your mind.

I know I still have a lot to learn about “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse, but these are are my initial thoughts.  I hope to learn more when I get a chance to read the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul.

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we could all truly let go of “me” and focus on “you”?  I think what we would find would be Our Best Life because even if I really let go of me, Jesus won’t let go of me… He wants us All!