Tag Archives: christ

Warriors of Love!

I heard the song His Kind of Love by Group 1 Crew today on KSBJ in Houston (my favorite station)!  I am sure I have heard it many times, but I was planning to run today and the great beat struck me.  I drove home from dropping the girls off, bought it for my i-pod, put it on repeat, and ran out the door.

The song got me really pumped up for a run, and as I running I was really listening to the words and feeling His love, praying for understanding His love, and wanting to share His love.  I made it home and as I was stepping into the house I was listening to the line in the song, “Is reckless for us” and do you know who I thought of?  I thought of women in abusive relationships and marriages.

I thought to myself these women understand reckless love.  They stay with their partner or husband through the beatings, through the verbal abuse, through the humiliation.  They love their partners and they wait out the bad times and hope for the good times to return. They haven’t forgotten the glimmer of Jesus that they saw in their spouses eyes when they first met and they probably see Jesus again every morning after the storm in the apologies, hugs, kisses and promises that it will never happen again.  They lose friends and family who don’t understand why they won’t leave.  In the end others give up on them or even start to hate them for their weakness for staying… just as Jesus was despised by so many.  The bruises, scars, and pain are their battles wounds showing us that they know a lot about loving as Jesus loves.  They know about Reckless Love.

I am in no way suggesting these women stay in these relationships or continue to put up with abuse. I don’t want that for them or anyone!

However since realizing this, I will never again look upon these women with pity.  I will see them as Warriors of Love!  I will want to kiss their battle wounds and pray for a quick recovery.  I will want to ask how to help them and not take the assumption that I know how to help them.  I will want to thank them for showing me that it is possible in our world to love recklessly as Jesus loves us.  I will want to ask them how they do it (not as a put down or to embarrass them, but as a student would ask a teacher)  so that I can humbly try to spread the love that they are spreading through this one lost individual that they have been appointed to care for, teach and love!

Jesus please help us to love as these women love and help us to change our perspective and see these women as You want them to be seen, as Your Warriors of Love!

Who is wicked?

I was cleaning some raspberries this afternoon that I had left in the refrigerator 2 days too long.  As I was cleaning them I had to throw away parts of some that had gone bad, but in the end all of them had at least one bead of fruit that was still good.

While I was doing this I was thinking about a documentary I watched last night that discussed the wicked and quoted Daniel 12:10, “… None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand”.

I started wondering who is wicked?

The definitions I found for wicked are below

  • Evil by nature and in practice
  • Evil or morally bad in principle or practice

If someone is considered to be wicked or evil, but this person does not know better due to abuse, neglect, a lack of education, a terrible upbringing can we still consider this person to be wicked or evil?  I think their acts can be considered evil and wicked, but are they really evil to the core?

What if I had experienced the same abuse, neglect, difficult upbringing and poor or lack of education? Maybe I would be doing even worse things than the person who did experience this childhood?  Maybe I wasn’t exposed to this because the potential I had for acts of evil was even greater than the person who was exposed to this in reality? Maybe I would have been lost forever?

I don’t believe that anyone is wicked or evil to the core.  I believe we all still have at least one bead of good still inside.  I think Jesus wants ALL of us, down to the very last good bead!

I think Jesus may be protecting those with a weakness for performing wicked and evil acts through ignorance.  This puts a very heavy burden on those who are given knowledge and understanding.

Jesus please help us to see the beads of good in everyone, and help us to use any knowledge and understanding that you have blessed us with ONLY for Your Glory and Your Good!

I Believe!

I just heard the song I Believe by Chris August!  This is the first time I have heard it and I love it and wanted to share it with you!

At one point in the song he sings…

If you had some heartache that made you cry a thousand tears
Then let me tell you now I know just how you feel

When I heard this I thought, I have never experienced this heartache and would not be able to tell someone that I know how they feel, but I then thought of a dear friend who has experienced this heartache.  I had this image for a moment of how treasured, loved and special she is and that we are so blessed that Jesus has been carrying her through these difficult times.

I believe and carry a hope in my heart that she is nearing the end of these trials.  Every now and then I think I see Jesus put her down for a day or two so that she can begin taking her baby steps while still holding His hand.

Thank you Jesus for loving my dear, sweet friend so much and carrying her through so many difficult times!

I believe it is Our Best Life!

Jesus is in everyone… have you seen Him today?

My youngest daughter now goes to school two days a week.  A few weeks ago as I was driving home from dropping everyone off at school I was listing all of the things I wanted to get done in my head and all of the sudden I decided to push everything back by 45 min and I started looking for a place to get a pedicure.  Just down the street from my house I drove by a place with it’s doors wide open.  I walked in and although they didn’t open until 9 am, the pedicurist said she would be happy to take me early.

The pedicure was awesome!  I have very dry and rough feet and I was so thankful to have someone else scrub them down.  As I was sitting there feeling blessed, I thought of Jesus washing our feet and what a blessing it was that this woman chose to wash my feet as her profession.  For the rest of the pedicure I thought about how much I loved this woman!  I am so thankful to have glimpsed Jesus in her that morning.

Thank you Jesus and Sydney for washing my feet!  Jesus please help me to open my eyes to see You in everyone and to see the opportunities You set before me everyday to serve You and wash Your feet.

It’s Our Best Life… Believe it, Live it and it will be!

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!

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!

Perspective shift

We went to the park the other day to take a short hike with the girls. As we were all getting out of the car and unfolding the stroller a woman was walking by with two small dogs. I was just about to look up and say hello when she dropped her wallet and said in a very angry and exasperated voice to herself, “This has been the worst f*****g day, can anything else go wrong?” She picked up her wallet and stomped past us through the parking lot. It was only 10:30 am, and I thought to myself, unfortunately she still has most of the day left for things to continue spiraling out of control. Obviously I only saw one moment of her story and it appeared to be a very bad moment, but it made me think about perspective and if a perspective shift could have helped her through the rest of the day.

Perspective is defined as a mental view of or outlook on a situation.  I think a perspective shift can change almost anything.  When I don’t know someone else’s full story it is difficult to suggest a perspective shift, but hopefully a personal story will help make my point.

A few weeks ago I was out on a Sunday evening on my way to return a movie. I turned onto the highway feeder road a little too quickly and hit the curb with my rear tire. The tire immediately blew and luckily I was just about 200 yards from an open gas station. As I was pulling in to see if they could help me change my tire I was thinking, It serves me right because I made the turn too quickly, as if this was punishment for my poor driving. A really nice young man changed my tire and I was on my way.  The next day I went to buy a new tire and the man at the store strongly suggested replacing the other three as well.   I took a look at the tires and if you know about the penny test to check the treads then you will understand how necessary it was for me to get new tires when I tell you that there was nowhere to even put the penny.  As I was pulling away with four new tires I could have been complaining about the hour I had just spent waiting for new tires or the money I had just spent that I had planned to use for something else, but instead I thought to myself, Thank you God for making me get new tires since I wasn’t going to find the time to do it without your help.

Despite some of the terrible things I see in the news, I try to keep my perspective shifted  and continue to believe it is Our Best Life and I hope you do too?  If we all believe it is our best life would the news change?

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

A finite number of lashes…

I watched The Passion of Christ (2004 American Drama directed by Mel Gibson) on the evening of Easter Sunday.  It was the first time I had seen it and now two months later I still think quite often about the lashing of Christ scene.  While I was watching the movie the lashing scene seemed to go on forever and at one point I actually winced as Jesus received a lash and I thought to myself, that one was mine.  The thought actually surprised me and made me cringe, but the more I have reflected on it the more I think it is true.  I think we are all responsible for at least one lash that He received that day.

The comfort I have found as I continue to think about this scene and the innumerable lashes Jesus received is that the lashing did eventually stop.  Even though the final number of lashes could not be counted by the end of His lashing, we know the final number of lashes was a finite number.  I find comfort in this because to me it means that although there is evil and sin in this world, there is a finite amount.  It does not go on forever and there will come a day when all that is left will be GOOD.  Thank you Jesus for loving us so much.

I believe it and I pray with all of my heart that you do too!  It is Our Best Life!