Tag Archives: christ

When are we awake?

I am not sure if you hear a lot about waking up or about the next great awakening, but I have heard quite a bit about it in some of the documentaries I have watched in the last few months.

When I talk about awake, I am talking about being consciously aware of our ego and critically questioning our personal actions and whether these actions are being driven by our egos.  Then making an effort to minimize our ego’s influence over our actions.

The first book I read about this was, A New Earth: Awakening to  Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.  I loved this book and I still consider it one of the first books of my own personal journey, but as I continue down my path I still question am I going the right way, am I waking up, will I ever be fully awake?  For me, I think it is a daily effort to wake up.  I still get caught up in worries about the future, regrets of the past and feelings, choices and actions driven by my ego.

One thing I have noticed though is that I feel more awake and more alive on days that I celebrate the joys and successes of others.  A news story was mentioned on my radio station the other day that helped me more clearly define a day when I am feeling more awake, Facebook Envy:  How Cruising can Kill Self Esteem by Wendy Sachs.

This story talks about how cruising Facebook can kill your self esteem when everyones life appears to be better, more fun, more exciting than yours.

This made me pay a little closer attention to my own activity on Facebook and I do think that I am more awake on days when I “Like” and comment on my friends photos, comments, shares.   Choosing to “Like” my friends activities is my quiet and small way to celebrate and be excited for them and the joys in their lives.

I am not sure when we will all wake up, but since so many of us are now connecting on Facebook, let’s use it as a platform to celebrate each other, support each, and love each other rather than a platform for comparison which will only plant the seeds of envy in our own heart.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Jesus please help me to wake up a little more every day so that someday I can fully share in the celebrations and joys of all of my brothers and sisters throughout the world!

Who is your teacher?

I saw a documentary today with a man in it who had been searching for a guru or teacher since he was young.  He had found one and then the story went on from there, but it made me think.  Who is my teacher?  I haven’t been searching (at least actively or consciously) since I was young.

When we are not searching then who fills the space of teacher for us?

Obviously the answer is different for everyone, but I think I have always allowed my associations (including my television viewing) to step in and fill the void of teacher in my life.

Only since I have been a stay at home mother (with a little extra time, a lack of colleagues and a recent blessing of a lack of interest in television other than documentaries) have I for the first time in my life been indirectly searching for a teacher because no one/ no thing has been here to fill the void by default.

Jesus, please guide me to people, books, documentaries and any others sources that will teach me what You want me to know.  Please help me to prepare to be a sign post, a guide, a light in the night for others or maybe even a teacher if a student ever comes my way.

It’s Our Best Life!  The choice is ours, we must choose our teachers wisely and not follow others or ideas blindly or by default.

His words are enough!

A friend recently read a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I have had the documentary, Bonhoeffer, in my Netflix queue for quite some time and our discussion gave me the incentive to finally watch it. I really liked it and am very interested in reading more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

A student of his spoke in the documentary and discussed how his teaching was so drastically different than anything she had ever experienced up to that point in her life. He taught her to read The Bible as if God was speaking directly to her.  I love this!

This is just another reminder to me that I need to read The Bible.  I can and should critically listen to others, their thoughts and interpretations, but in the end I need to read The Bible.  I need to give God the opportunity to speak directly to me.

God, thank you so much for Your Word, for blessing me with a Bible of my own and giving me the ability to read.  Please motivate me everyday to read, study, and reflect on Your Holy Words.

When words aren’t enough…

I am not very good at defending what I believe or giving convincing reasons for my faith. A while ago I was in a discussion with someone and I became totally tongue-tied and could give no better reason for believing in Jesus than to just say, “Because… I do”.  For some reason I was thinking about this earlier today and for one moment thought, maybe I am crazy, but then I remembered sweet, consistent, reliable Puddleglum from The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis.

Puddleglum said to the witch:

“One word, Ma’am” he said coming back from the fire; limping because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

Even if I can’t explain why, I would rather spend the rest of my life following Jesus and trying to live like Him, real or not, than follow anyone else!

Jesus help us to remember that most of the time we don’t need any words;  when words fail us, we only need to believe in You, love You and follow You.  We need to have faith so You can shine through!

Windows

We were away for Christmas this year and our rental house was full of beveled mirrors reflecting rainbows all over the house.  The girls had a blast finding rainbows throughout the house all week!

Every time I saw a rainbow reflected across the room, I smiled to myself and imagined that each one was a tiny window into Heaven!

Jesus thank you for blessing us with so many windows… please help us to see through them and find You!

Mirrors!

I think we all want others to see the good in us, or to let Jesus shine through as some of us would say!

How can you help everyone see Jesus within you without ruining the good intentions of an action and even running the risk of taking Jesus out of the action entirely by worrying that others see it, notice it, acknowledge it, pat you on the back for it?

I know I am not the first to say this and I am definitely not very good at doing this, but we will not help Him shine through by focusing on ourselves or our good deeds and actions.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Now imagine that you are a mirror.

  1. What is your sole purpose in life if you are a mirror?  To reflect what you see.
  2. Can you as a mirror be good or bad?  No.
  3. If you are a mirror and have a soul, does this change whether you can be good or bad? No.
  4. If you are a mirror and have a soul, would you have a preference regarding whether you reflect good or bad? Yes, I would prefer to reflect good.

Therefore as a mirror with a soul, I am still bound by the sole purpose of a mirror which is to reflect what I see, but if I desire to reflect only good then the only way this is possible is to see the good in everything!

I think the only way to truly help Jesus shine through ourselves is to focus on finding Him in others and then be their mirror!  The more light of Jesus you find in others, the more light of Jesus your mirror can then reflect back on everyone!

Can you see it?  A world full of mirrors constantly reflecting the light/love of Jesus!  It would be blinding, it would be beautiful, there would be rainbows everywhere!

It is Our Best Life… Jesus please help us to find the good in everything so that our mirrors will be full of Your light!

Arise, Shine!

For the last few months I have been waking up every morning about 10-15 min before my youngest daughter wakes up.  I usually check the time and then roll over and try to fall back asleep for a few min before I hear her calling for me.

For the last few weeks it has crossed my mind a few times during this early morning time check that maybe God wants me to wake up early and read the Bible before my daughter gets up.  I haven’t actually done this, but I have thought about it a few times.

A few days ago I started reading another blog.  The author of this blog wakes up every morning to read his Bible.

Well this morning, it happened again.  I woke up at 5:50 am, I checked the time on my phone, laid there for a min thinking about how tired I was, but then I leaned over to turn on the light.

I opened to Isaiah 60:1 and the first two words I saw were “Arise, shine”.  What a beautiful morning greeting from God!

Now I have to practice listening to His words, because unfortunately when I was done reading, I turned off the light and fell back asleep for 5 more min, and when I did wake up we had a very hectic morning.

Jesus, thank You for the beautiful wake up call this morning.  Please give me the strength to not hit the snooze button on You tomorrow morning if I am blessed with another wake up call from You!

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!