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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!

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!

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!

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!

Rainbows

My girls love rainbows!  They talk about them a lot and love to color rainbows.  I have always loved rainbows too, and have always loved to stop and look around for a rainbow at the end of a storm.

My girls love to look for rainbows too, but they don’t just look for them at the end of a storm.  They are always looking for rainbows on sunny days, overcast days, rainy days, snowy days and the amazing thing is that they almost always find one regardless of the weather!  They found the rainbow on the back of a CD/DVD, they found the rainbow on the blank TV screen caused by the sun reflecting off of it at a certain angle, and today we were on a boat and they found the rainbow caused by the sun reflecting through the water spray along the sides of the boat as it sped through the lake.

The more rainbows they have shown to me, the more I have begun to wonder if my girls really see what I see when we look at the world?  At the park when I hold their hands and tell them to step over a log, do they see the brown log that I see or do they see something else?  I am starting to think that we see things very differently and I want to see their world, I want to jump over a rainbow, see magic caterpillars, and see the Care Bears peeking down from the clouds.

I think children truly see with the eyes of love!  I want to take off my dark and dingy glasses and see with the eyes of love too and I think listening to what my girls see rather than telling them what I see is a good place to start!

Look for a rainbow in an unexpected place and I bet you will find it because it is Our Best Life!!!  My friend, I wish you true joy in your heart when you find your hidden rainbow today!

Betrayer and Beloved?

I just finished reading all four gospels for the first time.  Even though I grew up attending mass weekly, this is the first time (at least in my flawed memory) that I have heard of the disciple whom Jesus loved or the beloved disciple.

Who is this disciple?  I didn’t realize until I did a few internet searches last night that the question of the identity of this disciple has been under discussion for quite some time, but I always love a good mystery so I have decided to join the scholars in their discussion despite my lack of in depth knowledge.  Below are my initial thoughts.

Jesus gives the most love where the most love is needed.  Jesus will leave 99 sheep grazing in order to search for 1 lost sheep.

Jesus chose his disciples and he knew all of their fates.  He knew they would be hated, despised, persecuted for following Him.  He knew most of them would be killed for spreading His message.  Jesus loved them all, but of the twelve who needed the most love?

Matthew 26:24 – “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man!  It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

I think Judas Iscariot needed the most love from Jesus in order to survive the self hatred that he would inflict on himself following the betrayal and to survive the centuries of hatred and persecution aimed at him from people all over the world.

Jesus thank you for loving Judas Iscariot so much.  I have a feeling that he may be Your beloved disciple.  Please help us to remember that we do not know the whole story and that we do not need to know the whole story, but we must love as You love.

Please help me to love Judas Iscariot as you love him.

The only thing good in me is Jesus!

I heard the song, The Only Thing, by Ronnie Freeman for the first time tonight while listening to Pandora.

I loved hearing this song, and it was yet another reminder for the importance of humility. I know my heart and I know that I have proudly accepted many undeserved compliments (from others and from myself) throughout my life.  No matter what my life looks like to myself or others, I have to remember that I am still the least of thieves and yet Jesus still loves me and is in me. The more I superficially build myself up from these good deeds and compliments, the further I push Jesus away, but once I remember or realize that everything thing good in me is because of Jesus I pull closer to Him.

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, that no one should boast.”

Jesus please keep reminding me to be humble so that I can pass Your glory on to You!

It is Our Best Life… let’s pass it on!

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!